In the Atlanta area, taking the kids to an Atlanta Braves baseball game is almost a rite of passage. But don’t strike out your first time in SunTrust Park. Read on for tips to help you make your kids’ baseball experience a home run!
Going to a major league baseball game is a summer rite of passage. I fondly remember going games with my dad at least once a year when I was growing up. My husband and I are just as thrilled to share this tradition with my sons at Atlanta Braves baseball games.
The great thing about going to Braves games is that with a little planning, it can be an affordable family fun day out. Consider these tips to make sure your family has a great time and still saves enough for the next vacation.
Study a little baseball in advance
This might sound weird, but do a little homework before you even go to get tickets. See who the Braves are playing and plan accordingly. Do you want to represent your home team? You might be able to see the Braves vs. New York Yankees or Detroit Tigers here in Georgia.
Do you want to see everyone fresh after the all-star game break? In that case, you’ll want to go in later July after the Cleveland Indians host the All-Star game. Are you looking to see Ronald Acuna Jr., Josh Donaldson, Mike Foltynewicz, Brian McCann or Freddie Freeman? Then be sure to check the injured list before your game to make sure they’re going to be playing. If you want a fun game, check out when the Braves play the New York Mets. It’s a NL East rivalry 30 years in the making.
Make sure to learn a few of the players names and what they positions they play. Julio Teheran, A.J Minter, Sean Newcomb, Jonny Venters, Max Fried, Jesse Biddle and Kyle Wright are all pitchers. A few have been on the injured list but they’ll be back in the rotation pretty soon. Nick Markakis is a right fielder from here in Georgia, so he has plenty of fans. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Joyce are outfieldeers and able to play at right, center or left. You’ll be sure to see them in a game!
Buy Atlanta Braves Baseball Tickets at the Gate
When buying tickets online, fees can quickly add up. MLB is no different. Take advantage of the four hours free parking on non-event days and head down to the Atlanta Battery to buy tickets in person. In addition to hosting SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Battery is home to shopping, dining, fun events on the Fan Plaza.
Another advantage of going to the gate for tickets is that you can be flexible on when you go. Everyone wants to see the Boston Red Sox but the Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t exactly slouches. Find out in person!
Save on the Souvenirs – Pick a Sunday Game
The Braves have turned Sunday into an even more affordable family-friendly experience with free giveaways and free games. During every Sunday game, families can play for free in Hope & Will’s Sandlot. If your family needs a place to stretch before the seventh inning, you can experience a rock-climbing tower, zip line and carnival-style games. Playing in the Sandlot is normally $1 for game tokens and $5 for the rock-climbing tower and zip line. There’s no limit on the number of games kids can play, so this can be a pretty nice savings.
Sunday games also have free built in souvenirs with gate giveaways to the first 5,000 kids. The July giveaways will even include backpacks (Sunday Jul 21 v. Washington Nationals) and lunchboxes (Sunday July 7 v. Miami Marlins) to get kids ready for back to school. Fans of old school giveaways won’t be disappointed. Other Sundays will feature bobbleheads and Topps baseball card packs, just like kids have been collecting for years.
Rent a Glove and Catch a Fly Ball
In movies, there’s always the scene where home runs pop into the stands and someone reaches out a glove to get it. But what if you don’t have a glove? Don’t worry, Atlanta Braves baseball has you covered with a free glove rental. There are two Mizuno Glove Experiences located in the park. Located at the Left Field Gate and Chop House Gate, you can check out a glove for a $1 deposit on a credit card. The gloves range from youth gloves to the same style Hall of Famer Chipper Jones used in his final years. Who knows? You might even be able to catch a quick ball from Arodys Vizcaino!
Pack a Bag Lunch or Not…All About the Food
Atlanta Braves baseball has actually always allowed fans to bring their own food and water into the game. Moving to SunTrust Park hasn’t changed that. Families are welcome to bring their own lunch into the park as long as it fits inside a clear, gallon plastic bag. Only sealed plastic bottles are permitted. It doesn’t get as hot as some stadiums, but you still need to stay hydrated. There are 42 water fountains inside the park to fill up your water bottles.
While it’s easier and cheaper to bring in your own food, you could look at it like I do. With all the money you’ve saved, splurging on some of the unique meals inside SunTrust Park enhances the experience. First, there’s what Atlanta Braves are calling “The Best Darn Steak Sandwich in Baseball.” With herbed beef on a soft roll, this is a pretty good sandwich. Secondly, there’s a chicken and waffle boat that’s served with seasoned curly fries. You can even find Kansas City style BBQ. The Braves have also rolled out regional menus that pay tribute to the surrounding states in the Southeast United States.
Beyond the concession stands, SunTrust Park shares an H&F Burger restaurant with the Battery Atlanta. If you’ve never had an H&F burger, you’re missing out. While you can enter from SunTrust Park, it’s open beyond just baseball season for lunch and dinner. During the games, they’re making sure you get out quick enough to see the next inning.
Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free & Plant Based Eating Options at SunTrust Park
For families who need a gluten-free snack, there is a special Gluten Free Concessions Stand near Section 149. You can choose from fries, nachos crackers, popcorn, peanuts and even a gluten-free hot dog. If you’re looking for healthy snacks for dieting, you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and even sushi at the Centerfield Market near Section 149.
If peanut allergies are a concern, then check out the Sandlot Snacks on the first level next to Will and Hope’s Sandlot. The menu is primarily kid-friendly food, like pretzels, hot dog and chicken fingers, but it’s a 100% peanut free stand to eliminate any cross-contaminator worries.
Take a Walk Through Atlanta Braves Baseball History
The Braves organization has created an impressive museum of their history in Monument Garden. Located just behind home plate on the first level, it’s a shaded and cool area to learn more about the history of the Atlanta Braves franchise. The museum traces Braves’ history from the Cincinnati Red Stockings to the Boston Braves to the Milwaukee Braves and finally to here in Georgia. It also has plenty of player history including a tribute to Hank Aaron and his 755 homeruns. The museum is an amazingly calm and reflective place in the middle of a busy stadium.
Final Things to Know Before You Go
- Children under 3 don’t need a ticket but they will have to sit on your lap during the game.
- SunTrust Park has family restrooms at several locations around the park and changing tables in all restrooms.
- Buy parking in advance at a Braves Lot. The parking ranges from $10 to $20 but is worth it since there are few open lots in the area. If you’re not driving, Uber is the way to go. The designated Uber location acts like a taxi-stand after the games with little to no waiting.
- Check for promotions and special events. Tuesday nights are giveaways too. In 2019, the giveaway on 5/28 versus Washington will feature Ozzie Albies shirts and June 11 versus Pittsburgh will feature a Swanberson bobblehead – a combination of Braves’ shortstop Dansby Swanson and Braves’ utility player Charlie Culberson. Friday nights, the Braves shoot off fireworks after the game. Even if you choose to leave early, you can see the fireworks for a good distance in the car.