I heard this too many times during our outing to the Saints game. And how was I supposed to respond to that? Baseball is boring. However, by the end of the night, everyone — including me and the whiner — left with warm fuzzy feelings about the Saints and about Midway Stadium. Everyone would like to do it again before the end of this season and of Midway Stadium. Next year there will be a new stadium and I’m told there will be no more tailgating and prices will go up.
For weeks before we went, I was so excited to go to this game. By the middle of the game, I was planning to report “don’t take small kids”. By the end, we were planning our next game. It took us awhile to figure things out, but once we did and I loosed up a little, it was a great time for everyone. Here are my recommendations for a good experience with small children at a Saints game. These are newbie recommendations, if you’ve done Saints games with little ones and want to chime in, please leave your comments below. We love good ideas.
- If you are going to pre-buy tickets, be aware you have to print them yourself. We didn’t realize this, and it meant an extra stop at Office Depot to print the tickets on our way to the game.
- Also, don’t bother to pre-buy the day of the game. There isn’t any savings. We were afraid they would sell out, but I don’t think that is an issue in this case.
- Go for Right Field tickets. That is where the playground equipment is. If your kids are older, they can go by themselves and you’ll be close enough to check on them. If they are smaller, you can go with and still have a pretty good view of the game. I found the view from right field better than the view from left field, too.
- Consider General Admission seats. Ticket prices are low enough to buy better seats if viewing the game is important to you, but we had a LOT of fun on the bleachers — especially toward the end of the night when most people had left. My kids also played under the bleachers a little and collected up dropped leis. They thought that was awesome. (No one complained, but I’m not certain I should be recommending it either).
- Check Midway’s lot before settling on outer lots. We arrived 15 minutes before the game and were still able to park at Midway Stadium for the same price as further away lots ($7) that did not allow grills. We wanted to tailgate, so this was important to us. I believe street parking was free, but again, tailgating would have been difficult — especially with small children.
- Park at the back of the lot where there is green space to play games and run. I was a little nervous about my two-year-old running around the parking lot. People drove slow, but its still a parking lot.
- Don’t rush to get into the game at the beginning. Tailgating is fun. Baseball is boring. Two to three hours is a long time to expect your kids to sit still. I found the game to be more exciting towards the end. Also, by midway through the game a lot of people had left, so we were able to move to better seats.
- If your kids love trains, you may want to park near the train tracks. A lot of trains went passed while we picnicked and the boys loved it.
AT THE GAME:
- Consider bringing money for concessions. Concessions are surprisingly inexpensive. I found alcoholic beverages a little expensive, but my husband assures me they were priced well, too. There were several items under $2.00 and many more under $5.00. Somehow a baseball game just seems incomplete without popcorn, peanuts or cracker jacks. Ice cream bars were under $2.00 as well.
- Bring an empty bottle or hold onto the one you buy. Midway encourages you to refill your water at fountains. Nobody wants heat exhaustion.
- Go to the Left Field for the end of the game. Players toss balls into the left field bleachers at the end of the game and then stick around to sign the balls. This was THE turning point for the whiner who complained about how boring baseball was — until she caught a ball and had it signed.
- Give yourself permission to loosen up. I know, how we are as parents. We want to make sure everyone knows we are doing our best to raise decent little people. Both staff and fans were incredibly tolerant. I decided to be, too. When the little ones got bored, we went for walks. When people started leaving, we let them play at the top of the bleachers. We spent at least an hour of the game on the Rainbow Play System behind right field general admission. If I had discovered it sooner, they could have gone in a jumpy house.