In every stage of my life, baseball has always been there. Growing up, I was a regular at Coors Field, a Dante Bichette superfan collecting every Blake Street Bomber card I could. In high school (my very small high school), I played boys’ baseball. I went into debt buying World Series tickets in my 20’s. I took my newborns to games at The K with posters, and now my family is venturing around the U.S. visiting every baseball stadium!
The Baseball Stadium Bucket List dream started out of an AFC West rivalry. When football was a more serious matter to my husband and me, we didn’t see eye to eye on teams. He is a born and raised Chiefs fan, and I was a die-hard Broncos fan. But baseball season was a time to cheer for each other’s teams: Rockies and Royals! We’ve had so much fun learning about each other’s home team and stadiums.
Visiting all 30 stadiums requires a lot of traveling. Traveling as a family gets tricky and expensive the more kids you have. Baseball stadium based travel is a budget and family-friendly option. Exploring a new city with the welcoming atmosphere of a ballpark has been one of the best (and most doable) family adventures we have embarked on.
We are still at the beginning of our journey and will cross off stadium number nine this summer. We have had such an enriching adventure not just in the stadiums, but experiencing their respective cities. Our goal is to see them all by the time our oldest daughter turns 18. We only have 11 years to go! We have learned many tips to make these trips possible and enjoyable for our entire family. Even if seeing every stadium isn’t your goal, I encourage you to go to a new city and catch a baseball game while you’re there.
Tips for Visiting Baseball Stadiums with Kids
- Check your favorite team’s schedule. When I’m planning our trips, I start by looking at where the Royals and Rockies are playing. Then, I make a list of dates and locations we haven’t checked off. We don’t see our teams every time, but it’s always a goal when planning.
- Cross reference baseball schedules with summer travel deals and airline specials. Look into kids fly free programs and choose a game in those date ranges. (Once, we had a $19 flight to catch a Braves game in Atlanta!)
- Cluster stadiums together. Look at a map and find multiple stadiums to visit on a road (or train) trip. This is also a great way to follow your team and see them in multiple cities.
- Check in with local family and friends (or couchsurfers!). Visit stadiums where you can stay with someone to save on hotel costs. Touring a stadium with a local fan makes the entire experience even better.
- Big city amenities. Stadiums are located in cities that want you to visit! Check out other unique experiences offered: local parks, children’s museums, new cuisines, historical and local monuments. There are so many options to create a vacation’s worth of affordable activities.
- Follow local resources on social media a few weeks before your visit. Check in with event calendars, parks and rec, and attraction pages to see if they have any free events or specials going on. City Moms Blog sister sites in other cities offer summer and city guides, which is a perfect way to get family-friendly advice from a local mom!
- Find a farmers market. A great way to add to your overall experience is to eat what the locals eat, what’s grown there, or the specialty of that region. Food is so important to a city’s identity, and a local farmer’s market is always a family-friendly experience.
- Local transportation. Plan your accommodations in relation to the stadium. If you fly, book a place that has an airport shuttle and is on a public transportation route. It may seem intimidating but if you can ride the KC Streetcar you can use public transportation. For shorter trips, try staying in walking distance to optimize time.
- If you are making your visit on a road trip, book an Airbnb. Having a more homey environment takes away a lot of stress. Having access to a kitchen is also a huge money saver. Bring groceries or shop when you get there. Taking away the cost of eating out every meal is a big help. (Buy ingredients at the farmers market!)
- And my number one advice for everything: lower your expectations. Traveling with a family can be stressful. From saving and planning, to delays and cancellations, I always travel with an Amazing Race mindset and roll with whatever roadblocks may pop up. Kids may not sleep as well, get overwhelmed, or become over-sugared, so make sure to balance the fun with quiet time and comfort items.
I hope you find these tips useful when planning your next family stadium adventure. Happy travels!