Brooke Tucker-Reid, momstown writer
Take me out to the ball game! Try these tips when taking your kids to sporting events.
We take our daughter to a handful of Toronto Blue Jays games each season and we’ve learned a few things along the way. Like how letting her carry the large bag of popcorn back to our seats like a big girl wasn’t the best idea… In any case, many of these tips apply to any sporting event if you’re bringing the tots along.
This goes without saying but prepare for anything. Start by checking the forecast. Make sure you bring hats, sunscreen, or sweaters just in case there is a shift in weather. Pack a few toys and make sure your phone or tablet is charged in case the little ones get bored. Each stadium is different but the Rogers Centre has a few spots to check your stroller which is convenient for getting to and from the stadium.
We typically choose seats in the first row of the 200 section (second deck). There’s much more legroom in that row which allows kids to get up more often and stretch their legs. Choosing seats beside the aisle is also a good idea so getting up for frequent bathroom and snack trips isn’t too much of a hassle for your neighbours.
Join the club
Many professional sports teams have kids clubs, like the Jr. Jays. Check the team’s website to find out which game dates have special programming for kids like live music, crafts and face painting. Most clubs encourage youngsters to run the bases once the game has ended. The line to run the bases gets pretty long so you may want to line up during the 8th inning if you plan on getting out of the stadium at a decent hour.
Bring your own food
Until recently, I wasn’t sure you could bring outside food into the stadium. I’d try to tuck fruit leathers into sneaky diaper bag pockets and refrain from direct eye contact with guards during routine security searches. Then I watched a family strut through security with a foot longs oozing with condiments in each of their hands. Now I pack more snacks than we know what to do with just because I can.
Don’t wait until the 7th inning to take a stretch
I can’t sit in the same seat for an entire game so I don’t expect my daughter to. We make a habit of spending an inning or two by the West Jet Flight Deck area on the 200 level but any open standing area with a view of the field will do. There we can grab a drink, our daughter has more space to run around and burn some energy, plus there are plenty of televisions to keep track of the game.
It’s a really special experience for most kids to be treated to a game at the stadium, but it does take a lot more preparation. We have a ton of great photos and memories from a few Jays’ games and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Go Jays Go!