If you have a family of sports fans, perhaps no vacation brings more excitement than a summer baseball road trip! What could be better than traveling from city to city taking in delicious food and watching America's favorite pastime live? The good news is, Major League Ballparks have become more kid-friendly over the last 10 years or so. So if you are traveling to a game with small children, there are some things you should be prepared for.
If your children are ages 2 or under, they won't require a ticket at any Major League stadium. In fact, a few stadiums like St. Louis and Cincinnati will allow a 3 year old to enter at no cost as well. The stipulation here is that the child without a ticket is expected to be sitting on the lap of their parent with a ticket. At many games, there will be empty seats around you which means you'll likely find an open seat for your child.
With thousands of people around the ballpark and so much activity and excitement, safety should be top of mind. Most teams will give you a personalized wristband for your child that includes your seat location, in case they are lost. Ask for a guest services booth when you walk in, and they'll be able to help get you set up. If no wristband is available, take your ticket stub and put it your kids pocket (rather than mom or dad holding everyone's ticket). Again this will help a child who is lost find there way back to the seats, or at least be able to get help.
Most ballparks built within the last 10 years have dedicated play space for children. This means you'll want to show up early and take advantage of all the extras, many times at no additional cost. Things like speed pitch, a Wiffle ball field, running the bases, and even riding a carousel are sure to keep everyone entertained before (and maybe even during) the game.
One pleasant surprise is that most teams will also allow you to take strollers into the ballpark. If you have a small stroller that will fit under your seat, that is idea. Simply fold it up and take it with you. If you have a larger stroller, most teams will allow you to store the stroller at one of their fan accommodations booths and pick it up when you leave. Depending on how far you have to walk from the car, this may be a life saver.
Jake Cain is a Reds' fan and the creator of www.ballparksavvy.com.
Tags: kid-friendly baseball road trip