If there’s one thing I love, it’s attending a baseball game in the middle of summer. The smell of the grass, the feel of the sun on my face, and the sound of the fans always excite me on a summer day at “the yard”. Since my husband and I are season ticket holders for our local team, the San Francisco Giants, we’ve invited many friends and family members to the ballpark to enjoy the day with us. Our biggest challenge: bringing our younger nieces and nephews to the games. A day of enjoyment can quickly turn sour if you’re not prepared, so here are some tips to ensure a fun day at the ballpark.
1. Do some research and choose a game wisely. For example, selecting a Friday night game when your rivals are in town will surely attract disorderly fans, and can be stressful as your concern grows for the safety of your child. A weekend day game may be the best choice as they are more family-friendly, or you can choose a game where you don’t care so much about the visiting team. This will allow you to be more focused on the comfort of your child and less serious about the game.
2. Prepare a snack bag. To save time and money, you can pack some kid-friendly snacks and drinks to bring inside the stadium. Most stadiums will allow you to bring food inside as long as you don’t have any aluminum cans or glass bottles. I like to bring juice boxes, water and a few snack-sized bags of chips so that the kids can pair them with some stadium hot dogs that I buy.
3. Watch the weather report and dress accordingly. For example, night games in Atlanta are not as chilly as in San Francisco. Pack an extra t-shirt or sweatshirt to ensure a cool/warm happy kid.
4. Arrive early. Not only will it be easy for you to find parking, but arriving early can be beneficial as it gives you the opportunity to have your child ask for autographs and take pictures with some players during batting practice. Also, the lines at the concession stands are not as crowded and you can have lunch or dinner before the stadium gets packed. Most stadiums open the gates 1-2 hours before the start of the game.
5. Take a break from the game and visit the kid-friendly attractions. Whatever the attraction may be, it’s always a good idea to take your child when he or she is done watching the game. There’s nothing more disappointing than a child telling you they’re bored and they’re ready to go home. In the newer stadiums, kids can take a swing in a batting cage, see how fast they throw in the speed-pitch or play in a mini-playground.
The bottom line is that you want your child to have a positive experience with one of America’s favorite pastimes. With these simple tips, I hope you and your child will have a great day at the ballpark!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Post them here.