The holiday weekend brings plenty of festive activities to Cedar Rapids. But the one tradition that your visiting relative will really love is a trip to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena for the RoughRiders hockey game this Saturday November 25.

The game features the famous "Teddy Bear Toss" between periods with adorable stuffed animals being thrown onto the ice, collected, and donated to local charities to help insure that unfortunate kids in our area have a present under the tree this Christmas.

I remember when my kids were younger how much they loved to participate in these kinds of promotions. They would "name" the Teddy Bear, and play with them before the toss.

Once I used the Teddy Bear as a "demonstration model" to teach my daughter about hockey rules and penalties. Teddy Bear would "trip" my kid and then get sent to the penalty box. Next time it was a "slashing" call, and it got sillier each time. She would laugh so hard! These funny skits taught her the rules of hockey - from icing to cross checking, and it made her a lifelong fan.

When it was time to toss the bear onto the ice, my daughter made a big big deal out of it. She would say goodbye and instruct the bear to "be good" to whomever received it as a gift.


You'll see lots of kids at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, they're fortunate that they have parents who are able to bring them to a game. But we know not everyone is so fortunate. Which is why it's important to bring a bear with you on Saturday to the game.

The Annual Teddy Bear Toss is a great cause. It fits the holiday theme of gratitude and sharing. And its a great way to teach your kids about hockey!

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