What Makes the Whitecaps Awesome?
The Whitecaps are serious about bringing exceptional baseball and affordable family fun to the West Michigan community. Not only are they a top 10 MILB team, but they also give back to the community in numerous ways through the work of the Whitecaps Community Foundation.
Did you know your child can enroll in the Whitecaps foundation’s reading program each March? By reading only 15 minutes each day for the month of March, your child can win two FREE Whitecaps tickets, so be sure to enroll them!
Making Family Memories with the West Michigan Whitecaps
There’s something about going to a baseball game with your kids that warms the heart. Not only does it scream “SUMMER!” but it’s also the perfect way to have good, old-fashioned fun with your family. Is there anything better than the sound of a bat cracking into a ball and the crowd cheering?
Not to mention, it’s a great excuse to enjoy peanuts and a hot dog, especially during the week, when the Whitecaps’ have such great promotions to help you save money!
On Tuesdays it’s “Dime Dog” night throughout the summer where each hot dog only costs a dime – WOW! And, on Thursdays it’s “Thrifty Thursdays” when you can get 20 oz. beers, 22 oz. sodas and hot dogs for only $2!
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 below are my helpful tips to ensure your family has an amazing time at the ballgame.
Pro Tips for Going to a WHITECAPS Game With Kids
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 ($9/each) and getting to the stadium 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.
Kids are also able to move around in the grass, because we all know, especially with younger kids, they don’t stay put for very long! Take advantage of bringing your littlest ones to the game; kids 2 and under are free!
If you buy tickets 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.
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 priced tickets for an Upper Box or reserved seat. Limit 8 tickets per bulletin. Check out other weekly promotions here!
You can also attend on a night they offer fireworks, giveaways, or a special theme nights like, “Harry Potter Night” or “MSU / U of M – Rivalry Night“.
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.
Every Sunday at Fifth Third Ball Park is “Family Day,” which means kids get autographs and play catch on the field before the game (Fifth Third Ballpark will open its gates for the public one hour fifteen minutes before game time), and the first 1,000 kids eat free! Whoa.
After the game, kids can run the bases.
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. The Meijer Hometown Playground is just past the first base lawn area and open until the eighth inning. This area features turf covered ground, playground, rock features, slides, monkey bars and more!
There are also inflatables! Featuring a basketball game, t-ball, speed pitch, and two different size bounce houses, this area is perfect for all ages. (Note: Some inflatable games cost money.) The play area is ADA-approved and is monitored at all times by ballpark staff, and no alcohol is allowed in this area.
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 ticket to RSVD, Upper Box, or Lawn seating 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 MORE!
Download the registration form and get your kids enrolled today!
5 – Car Talk
Parking is $7.00 at Fifth Third Ballpark for cars and motorcycles. RVs and Buses are $10.00. Cash or Credit is accepted by all money takers. Parking lots will open two and a half hours prior to first pitch, except on Fridays when they open three and a half hours prior to first pitch.
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.
6 – What to Bring to Whitecaps Games with Kids
As parents, we know how important packing up the right gear is. 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.
- Empty water bottles (such as Nalgene or Camelbak). While no outside food or drinks are allowed, there are drinking fountains throughout the ballpark. On especially hot days, its nice to fill up a couple bottles for the family to stay hydrated.
- 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.
- 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.
7 – Fifth Third Ballpark has a LOT of Food Options
My family enjoys going to events all around town, but I’ll be honest, we tend to follow events that have really good food. Fifth Third Ballpark has so many options for food. Even if you are trying to eat healthy, or have a food allergy, this ballpark is set up to cater everyone’s needs. Check out all your options here! Make sure to look at the map to see where your favorites will be. While the ballpark will always have hot dogs and hamburgers, each year they come out with some fun foods that the fans get to vote for. Some of this years new food and drinks are: Street Corn Nuggets, Rocky Balburrito, and Wine Slushies!
And lets not forget some of the odd foods they have had in the past to try. Did anybody try the crickets last year? My son did! And he loved them!
What did we miss?
Are you a Whitecaps fan? We would love to hear your tips and tricks on taking kids to Whitecaps games.