It’s no secret that we love baseball. I’ve written a couple of posts about our experiences taking Aiden to various ballparks at different stages of his life. We have been really excited and fortunate that this year we’ve had the opportunity to see the Washington Nationals baseball team several times. I thought I would put a post together with some tips for taking a toddler to see the Washington Nationals for a day game or night game.
There are some challenges to bringing a toddler to a baseball game. For one, most games are in the evening so it’s hard to commit to going when you know you are going to leave early. Most games start at the time we are finishing up Aiden’s bedtime routine. If you get tickets to an afternoon game, you are dealing with the steamy Washington, DC heat and sun.
Depending on when we go, we structure our day a little differently. Here are our tips for day and night games.
Tips for Washington Nationals Baseball Team Day Games
For day games we plan to be at the game for the duration. We try to get to the park a little after the gates open and check out batting practice and then hit the playground (assuming it’s open — if it is too hot they close it). Sundays are a great day to go because kids can run the bases after the games, which is a really cool experience. There are usually minor league players signing things on Sundays too. If your little one isn’t too freaked out by mascots you can grab a shot with Screech or one of the Racing Presidents before the game.
Make sure you bring your sunscreen and a hat! Also, you are allowed to bring in sealed water bottles so get a few of those BEFORE you get in the park.
Children under the age of two get in free so we don’t usually buy Aiden a ticket, but be prepared that if the people show up around you, your toddler will be in your lap. We typically spend the first two innings in our seats and then Dan will get up to find food and let Aiden stretch his legs. Eating takes up another couple of innings. By the sixth inning or so we usually have to get up and wander the park, by that time Aiden is usually tired of sitting. The cool thing is that as he gets older he watches more and more of the games!
Tips for Washington Nationals Baseball Team Night Games
As I mentioned before night games are tricky. There is no way we would ever be able to stay for a full game that starts at 7 pm. I hate to waste money so we usually try to make a day of being in DC. We will start out at The Yards Park and can spend several hours playing in the splash pad/wading pool there.
Once the gates to Nationals Park open for the game we head over and watch batting practice and then play on the playground. Around the start of the game, we grab dinner and head to our seats.
For night games we usually bring sweatshirts (depending on the weather and a light blanket in case Aiden wants to lounge).
We can make it until about 9pm so that is usually the 5th or 6th inning then we leave. The good thing is because we leave so early we don’t have to deal with traffic coming or going.
Quick Recap & General Tips for Visiting the Washington Nationals Baseball Team with a Toddler
- If your child is two or under they don’t need a seat.
- Get to the game early.
- Bring a hat, sunscreen, and sealed water for day games.
- Bring a sweatshirt, light blanket, and sealed water for night games.
- If you are going to a night game with a toddler check out The Yards Park for some fun before the game.
- Guests may obtain identification wristbands for their children, indicating their seat location in the event they become separated. Please visit any Guest Services location to speak to a Nationals Guest Experience Representative to obtain a wristband.
- If you are wondering where to sit, there really aren’t any bad seats in Nationals Park. We’ve sat in just about every section and they are all great for different reasons. They also have nice standing room sections and lounges where you can sit.
- Strollers are allowed in the concourse areas but not in the seats. I suggest leaving it at home, they are more work then they are worth!
- Watch for foul balls and home runs. During the game is not a good time to be on the phone or not paying attention. Plus you will want to catch this cool souvenier.
Do you have any tips for visiting the Washington Nationals baseball team and park (or any ballpark) with a toddler? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
If you liked this post check out Going to a Baseball Game with Kids at Petco Park and Tips for Taking Your Baby to His (or her) First Baseball Game.