This article brought to you by the West Michigan Whitecaps.

West Michigan Whitecaps
West Michigan Whitecaps
The West Michigan Whitecaps Minor League Baseball team is one of the most popular family friendly entertainment venues in the area. With games all summer long there is one to fit everybody’s schedule.


Your Guide to Whitecaps’ Games with Kids

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 next March!

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Make 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?

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 – WOW!

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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.

SEE ALSO: Your Little Doc Will Love Diagnosis: Fun! at the Children’s Museum


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.

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SEE ALSO: 50 Things to do With Kids in Grand Rapids Before They Grow Up

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.”

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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.

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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.

SEE ALSO: FREE Koetsier’s Kid’s Club is a Great Way to Spend a Saturday

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!

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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 MORE!

Download the registration form and get your kids enrolled today!


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.

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About the Author:

Peg Theobald
Peg is an adventure-seeker, coffee lover, amateur baker, urban dweller, and self-proclaimed GR-enthusiast. She is passionate about nap time, podcasts, reading to her boys, spicy tacos, emojis and date night.

One Comment

  1. Maryann May 16, 2016 at 11:29 am - Reply

    My husband and grandson attended the game yesterday, Sunday, May 15th. Your suggestions and tips were very helpful and they had a blast! I would like to make a suggestion of my own, based on an observation by my husband and grandson.
    Clean up after yourself and teach your children to do the same. So many parents are the first in line on Earth Day, to clean up an area of a community or participate in some other activity that has been given press or involves freebies for the kids. These practices of keeping the environment clean, should be part of daily living. There was a group of two moms and four boys sitting next to my husband. He figured they made at least eight trips to the concessions stand throughout the game. Now, there were trash cans at the top and bottom of each section. This group, and many others like them left the game without ever using the trash can for any of the items that were discarded. Shame on them for the lost opportunity to teach their children to respect our earth and facilities like this stadium, which provide for memorable outings. May I suggest that you do a separate article on this topic, expected behavior by both adults and children, etc., when attending all the many outings reccomends.
    Thank you for your wonderful and informative site. I have been a fan since the beginning!

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