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Tips for a Kid-Friendly Trip to Nationals Park

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Welcome back Nats fans!

Baseball season is back in session. My husband and I took our kids to Opening Day at Nationals Park last week and I always love the excitement of going to a game, especially on a nice day. The kids are excited, there’s fun music, good food and the hope for a winning season.

We make it to a lot of games throughout the season. Here are my favorite tips and tricks (with or without kids).

Tips For A Kid-Friendly Trip

Drive. The metro trip from Vienna is long and waiting for the train at the end of the game when it’s packed, the kids are tired and coming off their ballgame sugar high is no fun. Buy parking ahead of time. Check pricing between Spothero and ParkWhiz.

Get there early to get food. The lines get long once the game starts. Check the full list of concessions here to scout food. You can buy bottled water outside for $1 and bring it in with you as long as it’s unopened (1 per person). They also do allow outside food as long it’s served in single serving bags or factory-sealed containers can be brought in.

The Nats offer a $5 discount on tickets for Military, Seniors, Government Employees, and students under 18 with valid ID at the box office on the day of the game.

The Presidents race in the middle of the 4th inning. It’s one of the highlights for kids, so make sure you don’t miss it! As soon as the race is over, head over to section 131 where the President’s line up for a photo opportunity with fans during the 5th inning.

If you have kids who need to get some energy out, there’s a PenFed Kids Zone for kids under 10 on the 100 level of right field. Slides, climbing structure, place to run etc. One tip though: it’s all plastic, so on hot days when the slides are too hot, they close it to the public.

On Sundays, the kids can run the bases after the game, ages 4-12. From the Nats site:

Kids will start their run at first base and they will be directed around the bases to home plate. Sliding into bases is prohibited. An adult must accompany each participating child to the field – adults will drop children off at first base and meet them near home plate. Please note that adults may not accompany children as they run the bases. One adult will be permitted onto the field per child participating in Kids Run the Bases. The line for Kids Run the Bases forms outside the ballpark on the First Street sidewalk – participants should exit the ballpark through the right field gate and proceed to the line. The run will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game and the event usually lasts about an hour. Jr. Nationals Kids Club members age 12 and under receive access to an exclusive line that goes onto the field first.

Parents start lining up early because the Kids Club (see below) get in first and way worth it.

For $20, you can join the Nationals JR Kids Club. We did this for my son and it was totally worth it. They get coupons for free food at the ballpark, a Harris Teeter coupon, free birthday message on the screen during the game and other freebies.

Keep your eye out for special kid-friendly days at the park, like Bobble Head giveaways, kids watch giveaways, etc.

If you are bringing a diaper bag, make sure you read the new bag policy. You can bring a diaper bag but it must be smaller than 16″x16″x8″. There’s a nursing lounge for mother’s to feed babies, pump, change diapers or cool off with the air conditioning. You’ll find that space adjacent to section 223.

Kids under 2 are FREE

Adult Only Tips

Ignore steps 4-11 above. Grab a beer/cocktail in the right field bar and have a great time!

Go Nats!

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