The Twins have announced that they hope to start regular games around July 23-24. Meanwhile, we developed this plan for Family Twins Games on the Cheap toward the end of last season and are excited to tweak it this year. With the Saints off in Sioux Falls this summer, this may be our best option to get us out to the ballgame.
UPDATE: I’m going to clarify because readers have pointed out that MLB games are not open to the public in 2020. We are hoping this plan can be done even if games are not open. It does not require tickets and does not involve going into the game. It is a picnic in the courtyard during the game – with all the yummy bells and whistles of a MLB game but without the commitment of sitting in the stands with squirmy kids. We also, obviously, suggest skipping public transportation this year. Maybe consider biking instead. Read on for details.
Our Impromptu Twins Game Adventure
It was a beautiful weekend afternoon. The sky was blue; the forecast was beautiful; and I had been itching to try out my idea for spontaneously attending a Twins Game for free for some time. Today was the day. There was seriously not a cloud in the sky. We dug out our Twins gear, gathered our picnic stuff, found our stored value cards for the bus and headed out.
“Was that a rain drop? The sky is blue!”
It was a raindrop, but it had to be a fluke, so we kept going. By the time our bus reached downtown, it was downpouring. We waited under the shelter of a building for the rain to slow. Then we hopped a train to ride the couple blocks from Nicollet to the Target Center. The rain started again and that perfect blue sky was gone. We tried to stick it out, but it was getting chilly and the game was on hold. We decided to give it up and head home. On the bus ride home, the sun came out and the Twins had a beautiful summer evening for a ball game.
So, our first attempt didn’t go so well for us. However, we still had a fun adventure and did find time for our picnic between rain showers. We will be doing this again. No its not a replacement for a real game in the stadium, but it is a fun way for baseball fans to enjoy the game with other baseball fans, to get out with your family on a beautiful day, and to have an excuse to eat hot dogs and cracker jacks.
A Spontaneous Twins Picnic Without Tickets
Planning Ahead for your Family Twins Games:
While you can plan ahead to some extent, this is an adventure that is best done spontaneously. You want beautiful weather and a unhurried day to match up to an afternoon or early evening Twins game. The magic combo will happen, so bide your time and hide some cracker jacks in a high cupboard so you don’t have to go on a search for them the day of. While you wait for that perfect day, you can get a few things ready ahead:
- A good, leak-proof thermos – big enough to hold as many hot dogs as your family will eat.
- Portable condiments. If you don’t have a stash, you’ll need to figure out ahead of time how you plan to transport them. We used a mix of packets and containers.
- Cracker Jacks (if you want them). They are not guaranteed to be at every grocery store and they store well enough in the package.
- Picnic Dishes. We like the cheap plastic baskets.
- A Good Backpack for carrying it all.
- Bicycles for Everyone or Stored Value Passes from Metro Transit. If you are biking, take the Cedar Lake Trail. If you are taking public transportation, you don’t want to be searching for cash and getting there by bus and/or train is half the fun. Both the Blue Line and the Green Line drop off at Target Field.
- Twins Gear for the Whole Family. It’s just more fun if you dress for it. If you don’t wait until the last minute, you can almost always find Twins gear super cheap and often free around the Twin Cities.
Picnic Hot Dogs Recipe:
Picnic Hot Dogs
Take Your Hot Dogs on a Picnic – No Grill Required
- 1 package Hot Dogs (We easily fit six dogs into our thermos.)
- 1 package Buns (One for every dog)
- Individual Chip Packs or Other Fun Sides
- Peanuts in the Shell and/or Cracker Jacks (Particularly if you are going to a ball game)
- Pop or other drinks
Start by boiling some water.
While it boils, put the cold hot dogs into your thermos.
Pour the boiling water on top, leaving a little room at the top and give it a minute before screwing on the lid. This will keep the hotdogs hot for up to a few hours.
Grab a ziplock bag for each family member so they can assemble their picnic meal. Add a bun for each hot dog, whatever sides they've chosen, napkins, and their plastic basket. This step is not necessary, but will make assembling each meal easier later.
You shouldn't need individual utensils for this meal, but you might need some for adding condiments. You'll also want to pack tongs to grab the hot dogs out of the thermos. The water might still be pretty hot when you picnic.
Once You Get To The Stadium:
Once you get there, find a place in front of the jumbo screen outside the stadium, and settle in to watch the game and picnic. The upside of going to the game this way with little kids is that its okay if they need to run off the energy. There is a lot of green space for them to run. Anyone who is a hardcore fan will be inside. If they get bored before the game finishes, you can just leave or explore the courtyard. There is no one to climb over and you aren’t out the ticket price.
Family Twins Games on the Cheap When You Have Tickets
Sometimes we get lucky and we are offered tickets or sometimes we splurge and buy them as a treat. When that is the case, there are deals to be found for families and kids:
Meal Deals: It’s good to know that Kids Meals are $4.00 on Sundays. Kids meals include a hot dog, choice of apple sauce or chips and choice of milk, soda or juice box. They come in an activity bag with a box of crayons.
Free Stuff For Kids:
Freebies: Check the Promotions Schedule for Gate Giveaways. We’ve received some really great Twins items at the gate. The year we got knit caps, they came in handy! We still use them.
Photos with the Mascot: Kids can get their picture taken with T.C., the Twins’ mascot, at the 3rd inning of every game. Line up at T.C.’s Clubhouse (the playground near section 229).
Publications: My husband loves to reminisce about keeping scorecards with his dad. Be sure to pick one up for free throughout Target Field.
Not Free, But Fun: If your kids LOVE Twins Baseball, consider signing them up for T.C. Sluggers Kids Club. A $30 annual membership includes special extras (like t-shirts, lunch bags and lanyards), discounts and access to exclusive T.C. Sluggers Kids Club events.
Children’s Admission/Tickets for Twins Games
The Minnesota Twins offer complimentary regular season admission to children who are shorter than 30″ in height and accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. These children must sit on the lap of the accompanying adult and not occupy an additional seat. The Twins require a valid ticket for fans at post-season games, regardless of age.
If you have a picnic at the stadium, share your pictures and your experience. We always love to hear from families.