Peanuts, cracker jacks, hot dogs and families. Hello baseball and hello warm weather! There’s no better and more affordable activity (Colorado Rockies tickets start at $4) than taking the family to a professional ballgame. With seasons extending from April to September (March if you include Spring training), families have plenty of dates to coordinate.
In my hometown, the streets of downtown Denver came alive during April’s Colorado Rockies baseball opening day at Coors Field, the most wanted ticket in baseball. The 76-acre, nostalgic-designed Coors Field stands at 20th and Blake Streets in Denver’s lower downtown/Ballpark Neighborhood, and fans of legal drinking age can enjoy dozens of sports bars outside the field. Once inside, the views are spectacular. Fans sitting in the first-base and right-field areas are treated to a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains.
This is the second year I’ve missed opening day, but it will be the second year that I’ve opted to take the grandkids instead. If you’re taking the kids, or grandkids, you better have a plan of action. Take a look at my tips make your day at the ballpark the best:
Make it a sing-a-long. Every year since it opened in 1995, Coors has been a league leader in attendance. That means your carefully laid driving plans are probably going to be snared with traffic as there are thousands of other fans heading to the stadium. My grandkids are young (3 and 5), so they will get bored. Start the game early. If they don’t know the song, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” teach ’em the words. Download the song to your iPod if possible. Kids of all ages love sing-a-longs and it’ll get everyone in the spirit.
Plan time and budget for parking. More than 46,000 spaces are located in downtown Denver, approximately 18,000 of which are within a 15 minute walk from Coors Field. Close-up parking can be spendy (from $12 to $50!), but if you have youngsters, it might be worth the investment, rather than tiring them out on the walk.
Go early. There’s more to baseball than the game. For example, for the Colorado Rockies, kids of all ages will enjoy the Coors Field Interactive Area, located behind Section 120. This area is all about getting kids into baseball. For older kids, video batting cage, pitching video game, speed gun to test your arm speed, and a home-run derby are available for a fee. Little kiddies can hit one out of the ballpark for free in a T-ball cage. It’s also fun to sit back and watch the players toss the ball around.
Bring your own gloves. No matter where you sit, you just never know when a ball will come sailing your way. Plus it makes fun for the kids.
Be alert. Know where the ball is at all times. Being hit by a ball can severely injure even kill your child. (Another reason to bring your own glove.)
Play the game. My 3 year-old grandson likes to pretend he’s pitching too, so I take time to show him how to “pretend pitch.” (Another reason to bring the glove.) My 5-year-old granddaughter does too, and she also likes to talk about how the game works. It’s a great way to teach the kids the game of baseball. When “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is played, stand up and sing loud with the kids. Teach them the wave. Make up new traditions.
Have a Plan B. Best laid plans…especially if the game coincides with nap time can make grumpy kids. Before the kids get cranky, get up, walk around, go ot the interactive area, or the playground.
Make it a point to take the kids to the ballgame this year, and you’ll start a tradition. Of course, be prepared. Once might not be enough as the kids will be begging to go to more games.
Read more about baseball at TravelingMom: Touring America’s Ballparks?
Photo Credits: Diana Rowe