Take Me Out to the Ball Game

For many, the start of spring is not marked each year by the warming temperatures, the blooming of daffodils and crocuses, or the falling of April showers. No, the start of spring is marked by 30 teams—15 in the American League and 15 in the National League—showing up to play on diamonds in 18 states. Before you head for a game near you, do a little research on park rules so you and your family can enjoy a great day at the ballpark. Use these tips to get started.

Layer up. Spring games can be chilly, especially at night. Dress in layers to ensure that you’re comfortable for the long haul (and nine innings can go LONG!). If you bring clothes in a bag, check the park’s regulations on bag size and the number of bags a guest can carry in.

Bring sunscreen. The early-season sun can be tough on winter skin, though you may not feel it due to cooler temps. Slather waterproof sunscreen on before heading to the game, and carry a bottle to the ballpark to reapply. If you get home and notice sunscreen marks on your clothes, check the garment’s care label for instructions. Rinse the garment in cold water to dilute the stain, then launder in warm water with detergent. Always test a small section of fabric before treating, and follow the basic instructions when hand-washing washable silk or wool.

Pack snacks. Check the stadium’s rules—many allow you to bring in unopened plastic bottles of water or soda and snacks like chips, crackers, or fruit. This provides the opportunity for some healthy snacking, but save room for that ballpark frank. Be ready for spills—stash a stain remover pen in your bag so you’re ready to treat spillage as soon as it happens.

Check out park activities. Taking little tykes to the game? Fill some of the nine innings with activities available at major-league ballparks. Strike up an epic game of Eye Spy, find out where the mascot hangs out during the game for a photo op, or take advantage of park offerings like batting cages, pitching games, playgrounds, and more.

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