My three-year-old adores soccer, and I was thrilled when the National Soccer Hall of Fame opened in Toyota Stadium in Frisco, home of FC Dallas. It’s the first major sports hall of fame to be built inside of a stadium, and it’s pretty cool!
My family recently visited the National Soccer Hall of Fame and had so much fun. I was excited to learn that the NSHOF is the most interactive experience in sports, and the information I entered into my profile at the start of my tour let them tailor my experience to me, my hometown teams, and my favorite players.
When you arrive, you’re greeted at the front desk by a staff member, who helps you set up a personal profile using a tablet. The NSHOF has a lot of interactive exhibits that use facial recognition, so this personalized our visit to our likes, location, and tracked all that we did to have a record at the end of our visit!
My husband and I both created profiles that included our fan level and our favorite teams. You can choose up to three teams, so I went with FC Dallas and my home state teams: FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew. The profile you create is linked to your email address, and when you finish your visit of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, you’ll receive an email with photos, stats, and any other interactive activities you participate in.
When you enter the National Soccer Hall of Fame, you can start with memorabilia from the very beginning of professional soccer in the United States before doing your first interactive activity, letting you get in the game virtually by kicking, juggling, or heading a virtual ball. I chose kicking with Shannon Boxx and found the experience really fun! I learned how to kick a soccer ball like a pro, and while I didn’t score a lot of goals, I loved getting to test my skills like a pro.
From there, I went to a map of all of the professional soccer clubs in the United States before trying another virtual reality experience: playing goalie. For this activity, I wore a headset and held remotes to try to block kicked balls from all different angles. This activity was my favorite at the National Soccer Hall of Fame. I felt completely immersed in the experience and blocked every goal kicked my way, even beating out the number of goals blocked by my husband!
I also loved getting to build my own dream soccer team at another interactive exhibit. I chose to build a women’s team that included some of my favorites, including Megan Rapinoe and Brandi Chastain! Building my team gave me a good deal of information about each player that helped me build a team I felt was the best it could be—with my favorite players on it.
Additionally, we got to take some green screen photos inserting ourselves into famous soccer moments. My son had me giggling as he ran around while my husband and I added ourselves to memorable soccer moments, including Brandi Chastain’s game-winning goal from the 1999 World Cup.
While I was having fun doing all the exhibits, my husband and son explored as well. The National Soccer Hall of Fame is very family-friendly. My husband enjoyed all of the interactive exhibits, and my son’s favorite parts were a tie between the foosball table at the center of the Hall of Fame and getting to design his own scarf that we then got to pick up at Soccer 90 on our way out of the NSHOF! He got to choose the pattern, the team, and if it held a logo, and was thrilled with the results, and so was I.
On our way out, we visited Soccer 90, a soccer-centric lifestyle apparel store next to the NSHOF. It has soccer apparel from teams across the country and around the globe. They had everything from jerseys to tees, stickers to lanyards, and so much more. I came away with a Team USA tee to add to my collection, and can’t wait to wear it to my next soccer experience!
After we left the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Soccer 90, my husband and I both had emails with all of the details about our interactive experiences, including copies of our photos, the teams we built, and our stats for kicking and blocking goals. It was incredibly cool to compare our experience within the Hall of Fame, and I loved seeing how our visits were completely personalized to each of us.
If you’re a soccer fan, a sports fan, or looking for something unique to do in Collin County, I highly recommend you check out the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Soccer 90. It’s family-friendly, interactive, and so much fun!
PLUS A SPECIAL GIVEAWAY FOR COLLIN COUNTY MOMS READERS!
- 4 passes to NSHOF
- 1 Soccer 90 T-shirt
- $25 in stadium cash (can be used at Soccer 90 or any in-stadium vendor, including team stores and concessions)
(Valued at more than $100!)