When I went to Boston a couple weeks ago for the Red Sox family focus group thing, one of the ideas we bloggers had was an earlier, kid-friendly game. Activities for the kids, cheap food, and maybe a big sign that says “WARNING: CHILDREN’S SECTION” so no one gave us dirty looks when our kid talked through the whole thing. It turns out that’s already an event, called Futures at Fenway, and the team generously offered us tickets so we could attend. I wasn’t sure we’d last the whole 9 innings and I was pretty sure I’d spend most of my time walking around with a very bored 2-year-old and I wouldn’t see much of the game, but I love love love Fenway so we made plans to go anyway.
It turns out my children LIKE baseball. OK, maybe they mostly like popcorn and peanuts and giant sodas ($7.50 plus free refills! Best deal ever!) and getting to sit in my lap. But that translated into watching the whole 8 1/2 innings (We won!) from our seats. I didn’t even have to resort to letting them watch Disney Jr on my phone. It was a good game too – it wasn’t the Red Sox, but the Sea Dogs, their affiliate team. That means these guys are still hoping to get noticed by the major leagues and so they try really, really hard. They run even if it looks like an easy out at first, they FLING themselves across the field for diving catches, they strike out instead of always taking the walk. It was exciting! It was tons of fun! It was a long day for a 2.5 year old and there might have been a tiiiiiiny bit of whining and crying but it was one of the best family days we’ve ever had. I felt relaxed almost the whole time – and when was the last time I said that about a summer afternoon at a crowded public event with two small children?
I was going to write a whole paragraph about how sports – even just a vague awareness that your grandfather really loved golf and made you watch it on TV in the summers when you were visiting – can mean a lot to a kid. But there seems to be a lot of dust in here and my eyes are, uh, watering quite a bit, so I’ll just say I hope Evan and Caroline have great memories of our visits to Fenway and that we can make it a summer tradition.
p.s. The event had a TON of stuff that was kid friendly – the zoo and the aquarium had animals there, Kidz Bop did a concert after the game and a meet-and-greet, the players signed autographs, a bounce house – plus the concessions were half priced. We enjoyed the eating and the bounce house, but the kids did so great in our seats we didn’t really NEED all the distractions. I would highly recommend it for families.
Disclaimer: The PR team for the Red Sox left us tickets at will-call so we could attend. No other compensation was provided. Tickets for the event started at just $5, so trust me when I say they didn’t pay for me to talk about the event.