Friday, April 14, 2017

Taking a Toddler to a Baseball Game
at Wrigley Field

Victoria is so lucky and she doesn't even know it yet. She went to a Chicago Cubs World Series game in October and to three games this week at Wrigley Field. While it's not easy to take a two-year-old to such a crowded place, it can definitely be fun for everyone involved. Of course, I don't plan to take her to every game I attend, but when I do, here are some lessons I've learned to make the outing easier. These are specific to Wrigley Field but can apply to other ballparks as well.

Skip the stroller. The fewer bulky items you bring on the train and to the ballpark, the better. For her first game, I put her in a toddler carrier (Ergo brand), and that worked out well. I was able to easily get her in the ballpark and to our seats. Besides, you have to check strollers, so not having one saves you time.

If you can, buy a separate ticket so he or she can have her own seat. (Unless you're OK with your toddler being on your lap for hours, that is.) While babies age 2 and younger don't need a ticket, those on the older end of that spectrum would probably be better off in their own seat and you'll be more comfortable. (I am not taking about infants who can be easily held and don't wiggle as much.)

Bring snacks and a water bottle. Fill it up at water fountains to save at least $5.

Arrive early to avoid the crowds that gather in the concourse. For popular games, you will be shoulder to shoulder with someone in the concourse at Wrigley Field, so it's best to either arrive early or late to the game. Otherwise, be patient. Also, enter through the gate on your ticket because it's closer to your seats.

Choose seats wisely. I would suggest sitting somewhere that's covered by shade in the summer to avoid getting too much sun or being soaked by rain. That means it's probably best to not sit in the closer aisles but rather in the 200-level seats at Wrigley Field. I also suggest not picking seats in the middle of a row, as it can be tricky to get out for diaper changes. The best seats we had with a toddler were in Section 108, Row 1 at Wrigley Field, because she had no seat in front of her to potentially kick.

Look up where family restrooms, stroller check and guest services are before the game. It's best to have an idea of where to go to save time.

Check the weather and dress accordingly. Chicago can have such deceiving weather. It was in the 70s on Opening Night but then it dropped down to the 40s. I brought a blanket this week to wrap her in on chilly Opening Night, but even then I wish I had brought warmer clothes and more accessories.

Get your first game certificate. I didn't do this for Victoria's first game but I wish I had!

Leave early if needed. Though you might not want to, play it by ear based on how well your toddler is doing. I left early this week to avoid the crowds walking toward the train (and because it was a night game and we wanted her to go to bed at a reasonable hour).

Have fun and stay calm. I was extremely nervous about taking her to a game, but I have found there is nothing to worry about. The people around me have always been welcoming of Victoria and many have even offered her snacks. On Opening Night, someone handed me a poncho for her. In October, someone gave her their freebie gloves even though she was already wearing gloves. She also made her big screen debut this week. Don't worry so much on what could go wrong and enjoy the game!

Do you love baseball as much as we do?

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