Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter

Outdoor Blankets, Heaters, Stadium Seats, and More Gear to Keep You Warm While Your Kids Play Outside

Whether you’re a dedicated sports parent or just hanging out at the playground, you deserve to be comfortable when the temperature drops.
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It's easy enough to encourage kids to play outside when the days are long and warm—that's when we all revel in their ball games and park playdates, lingering to chat with other parents and resisting the need to go inside for any reason. But once the darkness of fall approaches, some parents are gripped with a specific fear: How are we going to watch our kids' outdoor games when we're chilled to the bone? Whether you're a soccer mom or just want to keep up your "outside is safest" pandemic routine as your kids socialize in the playground, you are going to need to keep yourself warm. It is possible to survive this time of year; you're just going to need the right layers, outdoor blanket, and other cold-weather gear to keep you comfortable.

Sure, our parents wouldn't have thought twice about just dropping us off while they went about their other business, but we live in an era of maximum parental involvement. Though their offspring run around and stay warm, parents on the sidelines begin to lose feeling in their fingers and toes. Just like diehard football fans in the frigid Midwest, sports parents have had to develop some tricks to survive as spectators without getting frostbite. For one thing, it's about wearing warm layers (those giant team hoodies didn't come out of nowhere). But it's also about bringing along certain accessories to help: hot beverages, electric heaters, stadium blankets, foot-warmers, and more. For the brave, chilly souls who do not care about valuing their comfort over the risk of getting teased by fellow parents, there is even the weather-proof tent pod. Even if your child has zero interest in sports, while COVID remains in our lives, we're going to be doing a lot more outdoor activities in all kinds of weather. The products we list below will keep parents warm on the sidelines from now through the spring.

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Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Amazon

Hot Coffee or Tea That Will Stay Hot: Takeya Traveler Mug

The mugs from Japanese brand Takeya aren't just pretty: They're leakproof and keep hot liquids hot for 12 hours (and cold liquids cold for 24). We also love the contoured lip for sipping and the loop that makes it easy to carry while you're lugging around the other things on this list.

To buy: Takeya Traveler Mug, $23.99 (originally $29.99);

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Rumpl

A Cozy Outdoor Blanket That Looks Great: Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

Rumpl puffy blankets come in gorgeous colors and prints, all made from stain-resistant and water-resistant recycled polyester. And excitable sports parents don't have to sit around to enjoy that insulated warmth—there's a little hook that turns the blanket into a wearable cape when you need to get up and cheer. 

To buy: Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket, $99;

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Nordstrom

A Scarf You Can Wear as a Hood: Nordstrom Tissue-Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf

On those days when you're not quite ready to bundle up in all your winter gear, a scarf like this can double as a fashion accessory and last-minute head protection.

To buy: Nordstrom Tissue-Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf, $99;

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Amazon

Electric Hand Warmer to Keep in Your Pocket: Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Whatever the saying is about having cold hands, it's not fun to stop having sensation in your fingertips. Stash one or two of these electric hand warmers, which heat up to 131 degrees, in your pocket and feel instant comfort through the rest of your body.

To buy: Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer, $22.99 (originally $27.99);

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Amazon

Disposable Foot Warmers for Your Feet: HotHands Insole Foot Warmers

You know who else spends all day standing around in freezing temperatures? Skiers. Take a tip from them and stick a pair of HotHands foot warmers to the bottom of your socks for sweet relief from that cold hard ground.

To buy: HotHands Insole Foot Warmers, $16.59 (10-pack);

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Hammacher

A Heated Seating Pad to Warm Your Back and Bum: The Rechargeable Heated Massaging Stadium Seat

Even in the best of weather, those bleachers are hard and cold, and why should you have to suffer on them? "This was a gift for my daughter, who was always cold when watching her son's ice hockey games," wrote one customer of this massaging heated seat. "She is ecstatic about it and happily keeps warm throughout [his games]."

To buy: The Rechargeable Heated Massaging Stadium Seat, $99.95;

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Amazon

A Small Heater That Can Go Anywhere: Mr. Heater Little Buddy

This little propane heater can heat up to 95 square feet outdoors, so you might be making quite a few new friends when you bring it with you.

To buy: Mr. Heater Little Buddy, $72.21;

Sports Parents Can Get Through Fall and Winter
Credit: Amazon

A Personal Weatherproof Place to Be Alone: Under the Weather My Pod 2XL

This pop-up tent will protect you from rain, wind, snow, and non-mask-wearers, but we can't guarantee you won't get a little teasing when you set it up. Just know that they're jealous. The 2XL fits two small chairs snuggly—so it's more for a grownup and a child than two adults. 

To buy: Under the Weather My Pod 2XL, $169.99;