Atlanta Hawks games have all the elements you want for a fun family afternoon or night out, even if you’re not a basketball fan.

“Those guys are so tall!” marveled 11-year-old, Oliver Abbott, during warm-up time. “The shortest guy is 6’1!” Seeing these professional athletes up close is indeed impressive. Watching players hit 3-point shots or make fast passes and dunks is inspiring.

And plenty of additional entertainment throughout the game will keep your attention. The game opened with local elementary school kids singing the national anthem, and continued with lots of energetic cheers and hype from the Hawks cheerleaders and prize-winning games during half-time and timeouts.

Every game someone has the opportunity to win $10,000 by making a shot from half-court. We held our breath when a fan tried and cheered for him even though he didn’t make it. The game we attended was a “Throwback Night” – players sported vintage 1970s uniforms and the Hawks dancers performed to ‘70s music wearing bellbottoms and other costumes.

At half-time, the Hawks’ “Sky Squad’ Trampoline Dunkers ran across the court, propelled themselves off trampolines and dunked the ball. We were amazed at the different tricks these acrobats could perform.

Another highlight of the games is Sir Foster, the organist. According to the fans, he “plays the world’s least cool instrument to play Philips Arena’s hottest beats.” He often plays requested songs tweeted to him during the games.

Finally, team mascot Harry the Hawk struts around the arena throughout the game, posing for pictures with kids and families. He helps shoot off a T-shirt cannon and announces the dropping of the Chick-fil-A prize parachutes that fall from the ceiling into the stands where people catch them.

Put on your red and black and get out to enjoy a Hawks game!

Tips for a great experience: Look for Chick-fil-A Combo Nights and other promotions in which you can purchase tickets and also meals at a discounted rate. The CNN food court is next door to the arena for inexpensive food and drink choices. Arrive a little early if you’d like to receive freebies such as thundersticks and signs and it’s also cool to watch the players warm up.

– Becky Cooper

The Details

Atlanta Hawks
Philips Arena, 1 Philips Dr., Atlanta
Admission: Tickets start at about $10, and can be found on the Hawks website or on Ticketmaster. Look for Chick-fil-A fan package and other family deals.

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