I know all the reasons why my friends and I enjoy going to Rocket City Trash Pandas minor league baseball games, but I recently asked my 3rd grader what she loves about going to the games. After all, she did put “go to a Trash Pandas game with friends” at the very top of our family summer bucket list.
She didn’t need any time to begin rattling off a long list of reasons why she has fun at the games, and while some of her answers were expected (“The popcorn! The Dippin’ Dots! The hot dogs!”), other answers surprised me and made me smile.
Though we (immensely!) enjoy kid-free evenings at the ballpark every once in a while, we also really enjoy experiencing the games through the eyes and ears (and quick little feet) of our children. If you’ve been on the fence about bringing your little ones to a home game at Toyota Field, here are six reasons to make this family outing a priority this summer.
1. There’s a lot of room to run around.
If you dislike the idea of being stuck in row seating with your little ones, you have options! For starters, tickets for berm seating (the grassy hill behind first plate) are available for just $8/ticket. Bring some beach towels or a picnic blanket and spread out to watch the game while your children run around the hill with others.
If your kid gets wiggly and needs a change of scenery from the seats/area you choose, take them for a walk around the outfield. We do this loop at least or twice during each game and enjoy the yard games set up throughout the area as well as the general view of the game from behind the outfield. Our kids love sprinting around this loop!
2. Concourse entertainment
Located to the north of third plate is a sweet little playground with plenty of seating for parents or grandparents to enjoy while watching the little ones get out some energy. We have children between the ages of 2 and 8, and they all enjoy this area.
Want to give your little slugger a chance to see how fast he or she can pitch? Head to the Mojo Speed Pitch Cage, and for a small fee receive several balls to throw for speed. Our kids (and my husband!) gave this a whirl last month and loved it. Testing your own speed definitely builds admiration for the speed the Trash Pandas pitchers are throwing!
3. On-field entertainment
The variety of on-field entertainment and games will thrill your children as they watch and laugh along with the rest of the stadium.
Plus, don’t miss the t-shirt giveaways that shoot into the audience! Kids will squeal with delight as they raise their arms and jump up and down for a chance at maybe, just maybe (!) catching a rolled-up prize.
4. Little league options and birthday parties
If you’d like to take your kids to the game with a group, consider looking into the Trash Panda’s birthday party options as well as little league team options! The Trash Pandas will make sure that your kids are set up with classic ballpark foods, drinks, and take-aways.
Hotdogs and ice cream and lemonade and peanuts and french fries, OH MY! Ballpark and summertime staples just go well together; Enjoy them right alongside your child and enjoy your favorite mealtime, dessert, and drink treats while soaking in everything else a visit to Toyota Field has to offer. Doesn’t everything taste better in a plastic souvenir baseball cap anyway?
Psst: Don’t miss these four signature dishes available only at Toyota Field (Cheetos on top of mac and cheese?! Yes please!) as well as these adult beverages that are perfect for sipping on a hot day.
6. Kids can run the bases!
After every Sunday afternoon home game, children are invited to line up during the last inning and get ready to parade down to the field and run a lap from first base all the way to home plate while friends and family alike cheer with delight.
Psst: Don’t miss the photo ops your child will love, such as grabbing a seat atop one of the three-foot-tall baseballs at the main entrance or stealing Sprocket while he’s roaming the concourse!
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