Looking for a fun family activity that is laid back and won’t break the bank? Check out a minor league baseball game in your area. It might just do the trick.
Have you ever attended a minor league baseball game with your family?
Snagging tickets to a sports games as a family can be so much fun. When children are young, though, tickets can be expensive and the whole experience might feel a bit of a hassle. Minor league baseball games, however, offer a great family-friendly alternative to major league events because they are more accessible and tend to offer multiple avenues if entertainment.
Recently, we took in a minor league baseball game. We didn’t try to overdo the night and headed home when the kids showed the first signs of exhaustion. Our time at the game was a great success.
If you’re looking to attend a baseball game with family or friends, consider checking out your local minor league team and be sure to take advantage of the tips below to enjoy a minor league baseball game when you attend with your family.
14 Tips to Enjoy a Minor League Baseball Game With Family
Pick a Night with a Theme You Like ~ Most nights, games are sponsored by an outside company that incorporates some of their brand into the evening. We absolutely love Legos, so we attended a game sponsored by Legoland Discovery Center.
Along the concourse, Lego set up tables with boxes full of bricks for building. The Lego expert from the local Legoland manned the table and helped us make some great things, including an oar boat and a really neat stadium. He even taught us a new trick that Lego plates can be fitted to stand upright. Pretty cool, right?
Stay to Run the Bases ~ Many minor league teams let kids run the bases after the game. Check the team’s website and schedule to be sure, but if your kiddos can hang that late, it’s a pretty fun way to end the evening. We didn’t make it to the end of the game this time, but we have in the past and the kids were stoked.
Look for Great Seats (they often aren’t too expensive) ~ Some of the best seats at our game sold for only $14 a ticket. Compared to Major League games, that’s a steal (no pun intended). Minor league games are a great a opportunity to sit up close without breaking the bank. We even enjoyed free parking, which I expect is available at many minor league field.
Avoid Seats Along Third and First Baselines (unless they have protective nets) ~ Many minor league fields have amazing seats right along the base lines with really great views. Without safety nets, however, these can be dangerous for little ones. Unless you know the stadium has nets along the baselines (and many do not), choose seats higher up or directly behind home plate. Minor league stadiums are small enough that any seat is great!
Keep Score (the old school way) ~ Grab a program when you arrive and keep score with your kids throughout the game. It helps keep everyone engaged and teaches the little ones the rules of baseball.
Visit the Attractions & Activities ~ Baseball games are long, especially for little ones. Many minor league games have play areas or other activities for kids. Check them out mid-game to break up the baseball before returning to your seats.
Make up a Family Game ~ Maybe it’s a guessing game or a spelling or math game. Add up players uniform numbers. Spell different positions. Guess how many pitches each batter will take for their at bat or where they will hit the ball. Maybe even keep score and make a friendly competition out of it. Creative learning can happen anywhere, and kids see the concepts applied to real life situations when learning happens “in the field”.
Check the Schedule for Special Events ~ Many times thought the season, teams have extra activities like fireworks after the game. Review the team’s schedule and find a night with a fun extra activity your family will love.
Look For Kids Areas ~ Many stadiums have open, grassy areas for kids to run around or activities areas including things like bounce houses, batting cages, or throwing games. Most kids will need a few breaks between innings to make it through a full nine, so check them all out.
Aim For an Afternoon Game ~ If you have younger children, consider choosing a day game. Most people know baseball games usually last three or four hours. If they start at 7 or 8 pm, that’s a really late night for children. We choose a night game because we really love Legos, so that date and sponsor suited us best. But as I mentioned earlier, we left a few innings early to fend off any exhaustion meltdowns.
Expect Typical Stadium Food ~ Some major league team stadiums have stepped up their menus and offer fancier fare beyond soft pretzels and ballpark frank’s. But minor league stadiums still have fairly general menu offerings including things like hot dogs and burgers, popcorn and pretzels, and some candy, soda and water (and beer, of course). Depending on your food preferences and budget, eat beforehand if ballpark food isn’t your favorite.
Reviews the Stadium’s Policies about Bringing in Food and Drink ~ Many, but certainly not all, stadiums allow visitors to bring their own food and drinks. Typically, they must be unopened upon entering the stadium, but this can save a lot of money and make for healthier eating if either of those are priorities for your family. The team’s website should include details on their specific policies.
Don’t Be Afraid To Leave Early ~ As much as we wanted to stay, we started to get tired and saw the meltdowns coming after just a few innings. We packed up and headed home, even though we missed several innings. We didn’t tell the kids about the opportunity to run the bases, specifically so they didn’t realize they missed out. I’m sure when they get older, they’ll be able to hang a little longer and make it through nine innings.
Check you Tickets for Discounts ~ Many local companies and retailers work with minor league teams to offer game attendees discounts and coupons on really relevant deals. Our tickets included a discount for Dick’s Sporting Goods, a very popular store in our house full of avid sports fanatics.
Attending major league sports game is great, but the experience can be stressful and expensive. Especially for younger children, minor league games offer a much better alternative that’s more affordable, less overwhelming, and an all-around easier and more fun experience.
When you attend your next minor league game, be sure to tag us @kidssportslab on Instagram or Facebook. We love featuring our community and can wait to hear which tip was most helpful for your family!