How to do Whitecaps Games with Kids
Did You Know The Whitecaps are ranked a top 10 MILB team?
The Whitecaps are serious about bringing exceptional baseball and fun to the West Michigan community. Not only are they a top 10 MILB team in the nation, they also give back to the community in numerous ways through the work of the Whitecaps Community Foundation.
Also, there really are few things as iconically SUMMER as going to a good, old fashioned baseball game. Is there anything better than the sound of a bat cracking into a ball?
Not to mention, it’s a great excuse to enjoy peanuts and a hot dog, especially on the Whitecaps’ “Thrifty Thursdays” when you can get a $2 hot dog and $2 pop or beer. There are even a few “Dime Dog” nights throughout the summer where each hot dog only costs a dime – WHAT?!
Attending a Whitecaps game with kids is much more than just sitting and watching the team play, although that is fun, too! There are tons of fun things for kids to do at a Whitecaps game, so read on for helpful tips to ensure your family has an amazing time at the ballgame.
WHITECAPS with Kids – Pro Tips
Tip #1 – Find The Perfect Tickets For Your Family
The Whitecaps schedule is packed all summer long, so it’s easy to find a game that will work with your family’s schedule. “Superfans” can download their calendar to keep handy.
Afternoon games start at various times – 11AM, 1PM and even 3PM. Evening games can be a bit challenging if your kids have an early bedtime, but if that’s the case for you, I’d suggest getting the cheap lawn seats ($7/each) and going to the game when the gates open up (gates open 1 hour before each game). That way you can maximize your time there and not feel bad if you can’t make it through the final innings.
Another great option is the Family Section, if you want an alcohol-free viewing experience for your family. These seats are in section 209 and cost $11.50/each. You can buy your tickets online, over the phone or in person at their box office.
If you buy them online, try to remember to bring your printed off tickets with you. You can get your online tickets printed at their will call booth, but it will lengthen your time in line. Finally, take advantage of bringing your littlest ones to the game; kids 2 and under are free! Purchase the perfect tickets for your family here today.
Tip #2 – Take Advantage of Whitecaps Promotions
The Whitecaps know how to keep the fun going all summer long. Their promotions page is brimming with events, themes and deals.
I already mentioned “Dime Dog” night and “Thrifty Thursdays,” but did you know about “Bulletin Night Mondays?” Every Monday, you can bring in your church or community bulletin and get half off box or reserved seat tickets. Box seats are usually $13, so at $6.50/seat they are even cheaper than lawn seats with that promotion!
You can also attend on a night they offer fireworks, giveaways or a special theme like “Lego Night” or “Superhero Night.”
Tip #3 – Kids Can Run the Bases and More!
If you haven’t yet done this, every Grand Rapids kid needs to run the bases at a Whitecaps game at least once. Every Sunday at Fifth Third Ball Park is “Family Day,” which means kids can play catch on the field before the game, sign up to run the bases and the first 1,000 kids in eat free! Whoa.
Little Whitecaps fans can also work on filling up their autograph books before or after the games! Fans can “seek autographs along the fenceline in the first base lawn area before and after the game, as well as near the clubhouse on the third base concourse after the game,” according to the Whitecaps.
In addition, a team autograph session is held on the field every Sunday before the game for all fans. (*Please remember that players must focus on their jobs, so please respect their judgement on signing or not signing autographs before the game),” says the Whitecaps website.
Tip #4 – The Whitecaps Know How to Let Kids Have Fun
They have a playground and bounce house!
When it comes to giving kids a fun time at a baseball game, the Whitecaps have seriously thought of everything. They have a great playground on site, as well as a free bounce house. Kids can play here before the game or if your children get antsy sitting halfway through, just pop over and let them burn some energy at the playground. The play area is ADA-approved and is monitored at all times by the ballpark staff.
Crash’s Kids Club is a steal
Whitecaps fans age 14 and under can enjoy being part of Crash’s Kids Club for only $25! The Kids Club is a one-year membership and includes the following perks:
- One free reserved seat ticket to every Sunday home game
- One free Kid’s Club t-shirt
- “Express Lane” to run the bases after each Sunday game
- Chances to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and say “Play Ball!” before a Whitecaps game
- And MUCH more
Tip #5 – Car Talk
Parking at Fifth Third ballpark is $7/vehicle typically, but you can check the promotions page (see above) for $1 parking nights.
There is reserved handicap parking available to properly licensed vehicles (FYI-they also have barrier free seating for wheelchairs). In case you had visions of tailgating at Fifth Third ballpark, think again. Tailgating is prohibited there, but I suppose you could always find a different location to tailgate before the game if you had your heart set on that.
TIP #6 – What to Bring to Whitecaps Games with Kids
As parents, we know how important packing up the right gear is. The Fifth Third ballpark does not allow outside food or drinks, unless it is for a baby or a medically-related condition. Plan to bring money for concessions or fuel up before the game.
What families can pack for a Whitecaps game:
- Bring along chairs and/or blankets if you have lawn seating.
- Bring sunglasses and hats. Sunscreen is never a bad idea either.
- A stroller or baby carrier if you have little ones. (Bonus: the stroller can help hold your other items.)
- Rain coats and/or umbrellas if the forecast is iffy. You could always leave them in the car and run out and get them if the need arises.
- Dress in layers. The games might be hot at the start, but as the sun sets on an evening game, the stadium can get pretty chilly.
- Kids can bring their baseball gloves and autograph books. That way they’ll be ready to catch a fly ball and get players’ signatures. (Plus, you don’t want to have to catch a fly ball barehanded, while holding a baby, like this guy…)
What did we miss?
Are you a Whitecaps fan? We would love to hear your tips and tricks on taking kids to Whitecaps games.