I don’t know about you but about this time in the summer I start fantasizing about fall. It’s not just because I can’t wait for school to start so that I can have 5 minutes of silence a day, although that will be heavenly. It’s not even the weather because, well this summer has been more than a little mild. No it’s because come fall it’s FOOTBALL SEASON!
If you can’t wait until fall, don’t fear! our friends at Chambanamoms.com have all the information you need to take your little quarterbacks and linebackers on an adventure! Bear training camp is underway now in Bourbonnais Illinois and Chambanamoms.com is sharing with you how to get there, when to go and what to do!
The Chicago Bears want you to visit them at training camp in Bourbonnais!
Located in Kankakee County, off of Interstate 57 Bourbonnais is just about 90 miles and a 2 hour drive from Lake County. Admission and parking are FREE, and there are special family days to mark down on your calendar.
The Bears will be in residence at their preseason training facility on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University starting on Friday, July 25. Most practices are at 9 a.m., with a couple of 3 p.m. times (Aug. 4 and 10; gates open at about 2:30 p.m.).
They will be on campus most days through the end of training camp, with the last practice open to the public on Aug. 12. (Here is a link to the complete schedule).
It’s not just the training camp that is the attraction – there is a kids fun zone for children ages 4-12 with inflatables and other activities. For morning practices, gates will open at 9 a.m. Bears coaches and players will already be on field for warm ups at this time. Team-oriented drills will begin at approximately 9:45 a.m. and practice will conclude at approximately 11:30 am. Fan and kid-friendly activities will remain open until 12:30 p.m. Food and drink is available for purchase.
There are many special events, including:
* YOUTH FOOTBALL DAY will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 6. Youth football organizations and cheerleaders who attend and wear their team uniforms/jerseys can enter their information for a chance to win prizes, including Bears Autographed Memorabilia, Bears apparel and more.
* GATORADE JUNIOR TRAINING CAMPS are held on July 28, July 31, Aug. 6 and Aug. 12. This is an organized area for kids ages 4-12 to participate in football drills and competition. Adult supervision for children is required and a waiver must be signed prior to entering.
* Autographs! At select practices, the first 150 kids ages 4-12 in line outside Gate 1 will receive a pass good for that day’s autograph session only. The autograph session is typically held immediately following practice and is located inside the tennis court area. Kids only autograph dates: July 26, July 28, July 30, July 31, Aug. 5, Aug. 6, Aug. 11.
* Armed Forces Day will be held on Monday, Aug. 4, and is dedicated to the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country. Special reserved bleacher seating will be available for those who dress in uniform. Stick around after practice for live music from the U.S. Navy’s cover band. If you are interested in being part of Armed Forces Day, please contact the USO of Illinois for more information.
Directions: I’ll let you use your GPS or preferred online map provider to determine the best way for you to get to I-57. From there, these directions came from the Bears website: Take the IL-50 exit (exit 315). Keep right and travel north on IL-50. Turn left (west) onto E4000N Rd/Larry Power Rd. Turn left (south) onto Rt. 45/52. Turn left onto University Avenue. At the stop sign, follow the curve left and enter campus on Nielson Drive.