I love many things about summer – watermelon, iced coffee, beach days, more sunlight – but my favorite part of the season is going to baseball games. There is nothing more satisfying than leaving work in Manhattan to head out to a Yankees or Mets game in perfect nighttime weather. I grew up going to the ballpark more times than I can count; it was our #1 choice for a family outing. (Go Oakland A's!) Even if you aren't a die-hard fan, going to a game can be a great experience, and something your kids will likely remember for a long time. Here are three reasons to bring your family to a game.
- It is surprisingly affordable. Some major league ballparks – I'm thinking of the A's, for example – run promotions for tickets as low as $1. If your stadium is pricier, keep an eye on sites like StubHub.com for ticket discounts. If you happen to be in minor league territory, you're also in luck. A family of four can see a game for an average of $62. That number includes four hot dogs, two sodas, two beers, a program or scorecard, and parking, according to the Minor League Baseball's website. I'll cheers to that!
- It's a great way to help stop the summer slide. I am definitely not a math person, but as a child, I loved learning about every player's various statistics. For baseball and math beginners, keeping score is a great way to practice addition. Older kids can start keeping score with a scorecard and learn about players' batting averages and pitchers' ERAs. What does a batting average of .300 mean? How do you calculate a pitcher's ERA? The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has free age-by-age baseball-themed math lessons on their website for before or after the game.
- It's not just about the game. Your little one might not love sitting in her seat for more than a few pitches at a time but that doesn't mean she won't love the atmosphere of the game. Some kids are content to walk up and down the aisles, making bleacher seats well worth it. Others may want to explore the various concession stands and soak up the scene. Some parks even have attractions to visit while you're there. For example, Comerica Park, home to the Detroit Tigers, has a Ferris wheel and carousel. Every park has fun giveaways and special days for families. Kids may get a collectable bobblehead or the chance to run around the bases. Check your team's schedule before you buy those tickets. Also, anyone can go early to watch the team practice (and maybe even sneak in an autograph or a wave from a player).
However your family experiences the game, everyone is sure to have a blast. Going to a game is fun, educational, and an amazing bonding opportunity. I may be a girly-girl when it comes to most things, but some of my greatest summer memories are at the ballpark.
How does your family celebrate summer?