Creative Living

Ballpark Franks

My husband and I are baseball fans.  He knows about players and stats and who is where in the standings.  I used to know that stuff until it got pushed out of my head when all things children crammed the way in.  But I still enjoy a day at the ballpark.

ImageActually truth be told I enjoy an evening at the ballpark.  Summer and I do not get along and inside I’m whining as much as the children about the sun in my eyes and the sweat sticking my back to the seat and….  Let’s just say I know what I like and summer ain’t it.

When we booked tickets to two ball games on our family vacation we were reading weather reports of  cooler than seasonal temps and I planned ahead to make sure we would have plenty of things to keep busy at the ballpark.  I downloaded simple scorecards to teach the kids how to keep score, or at least watch the action to try and figure out what’s happening. Our love of baseball is really something we’d like to pass on to our kids.

ImageMother Nature had other plans.  The weather jumped up to 35-40 degrees each day while we attended.  We soldiered through in Minneapolis, although I spent the majority of the game in the concourse with most of the kids.  We hung in there because after the game the kids were able to run the bases and the only thing better than being at the ballpark is being on the field.

ImageImageIt was stinkin hot that day.  One of our children completely melted away and was replaced with a crying fit that lasted two entire hours.  She definitely didn’t want anyone to take her out to the ballgame.  Highlight of Minneapolis: Riding the train to and from the game.

DSC_0210We tried again a few days later in Milwaukee.  We put on our game faces and told the kids how much better it was going to be this time, except we forgot to check the forecast.

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It was 40 degrees and our seats were awesome.  But nowhere near a lick of shade.  We lasted one and half innings before all our children were replaced with tear stained unhappy urchins and daddy was about to loose his marbles and mom’s fake smile was stretched so tight it was about to crack.

DSC_0113 I really felt that if we left the ballpark at that moment our bad moods would make the kids feel like they had ruined the day and even though they were all in very. bad. moods it simply wasn’t their fault and we had to make sure they didn’t feel like it was.

DSC_0148Serendipitously, on our way in to the game Nick had overheard someone talking about stations around the concourse with activities for the kids. So we asked a lovely Miller Park employee for the details and spent the afternoon traipsing around the concourse where the kids got to do everything from racing the mascots to sprinting to first base and posing for their rookie cards. All the while collecting stamps in a passport that would entitle them to a prize at the end.  (Side note:  The prize is ticket vouchers to the next home game, so if you’re from out of town it’s not so great.  We bought commemorative pens for the kids in lieu.)

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Although we didn’t get to spend the day at the park the way Nick and I would have preferred, (ie: watching the game), we ended up having a great day.  The kids may not have grown in their love for the game, but they enjoyed exploring the stadium enough that they’re curious what other stadiums are like, so that’s a start.  The game was the last stop on our vacation before we headed home and even though we had a great time I think it’s safe to say the highlight of Milwaukee was leaving.

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