|Photo: Lauren J Photography|
I've been to my fair share of baseball games. And while I wouldn't consider myself an expert, since my oldest is only 3, and I only have two kids, I would definitely consider myself "well versed" ;)
Since baseball season is upon us, I thought I'd share a few of my tried and tested tips for surviving an often long, boring, 3 hour long baseball game with kids. I like to treat a game much like I would a flight. So, these tips are definitely applicable in both places! Although you have the ability to get up and move around at a baseball game, much of the time will be spent in your seat, and we all know that sitting in one place for too long with a baby/toddler can be rough.
I'm going to start with how I pack my kids backpack!
I ALWAYS try and bring something I know will keep them busy for a good while. For my 3 year old, this means stickers. She loves stickers, and since she's still practicing her dexterity, it's something that definitely occupies the time, while she's still having fun. I have even brought a pad of sticky notes, and let them decorate the seat backs in front of them!
**I love these grab and go sets from Trends Intl.**
This is clearly the most obvious...snacks! I ALWAYS have extra (lots of extra) snacks on hand, especially a few favorites. Most places will let you bring in drinks for the kids, as well as sealed water bottles.
I'll occasionally let the kids get a treat, but we're at so many games it definitely doesn't happen every time. When I do, I give Saydee a timeline if she asks, such as, "you can get an Icee in the 6th inning." That way she has something to look forward to, and gives her a reason to behave haha
*Unless her grandparents are there, in which case she has an Icee within 3 minutes of sitting down*
Lastly, a few favorite toys! Duh.
I would be careful when thinking about letting the kids bring a ball or two, as there's nothing worse than them dropping it and having to walk down 10 aisles and ask the man in seat 14 to get the ball that's down under his seat! If you're going to bring a ball to try and get an autograph, keep it in your backpack!
A few other ballpark tips for ya:
1. Find the kids zone. Most stadiums have a kids area, where there's either a play structure of some sort, or games for the kids to play and win prizes. The ushers should always know where to direct you to find this spot.
2. Nursing mamas. Some stadiums have put in areas specifically for nursing, but you can always ask customer service if there is a quiet room somewhere that you can use. Most of the time I am directed to the "first aid" room, that is rarely in use, and it gives me a nice private quiet spot to feed the baby.
3. Baby's first game. If it's your baby's first game, go to customer service and let them know. They will give you a cute little certificate where you can write your baby's name down and put it in the baby book!
4. Strollers. Each stadium has different rules on strollers, but I have found that most will allow them in, with different regulations on where you can park them. Most of the time, the ushers will allow me to leave the stroller at the top of the section, in the handicap space. This is of course at your own risk. Other stadiums have a stroller check, near customer service. You can always call ahead of time and ask :)
5. Bring a sharpie/pen. If you're hoping to try and get an autograph, whether on a ball or jersey, make sure you bring a pen! The players will NOT have a pen on them, and you don't want to be the person who is scrambling through their purse trying to find one at the last second!
6. Pay attention. Foul balls are constantly flying all over the place, and it can be really dangerous and so scary. I can't count the number of times I've seen people get hit, and seriously injured. I know how hard it is to pay attention to kids and the game, but always try and keep an eye out, or try and buy your tickets in a safer section of the stadium (behind the net)!
7. Have fun! The atmosphere at a baseball game is so much fun! Enjoy it and don't worry about your kids being loud or annoying people around you. Teach them what's going on and cheer loud with them. After all, it is America's pastime ;)
Hopefully these are helpful for you, and PLEASE leave a comment below if you have any other questions! I'd love to try and help!