Baseball Trips with Kids on a Budget

Kids of summer... throwback to our Cleveland Municipal days.
Kids of summer… a throwback to our Cleveland Municipal days.

Weren’t Jezzie and I cute when we were little? Going to Indians games growing up was a summer staple in the Barnhart house. Reflecting on it now, I’m impressed that my dad took us to so many games… and bought us food… and bought us souvenirs (we were the worst!).

This post is for all you parents out there that love baseball and want to pass down your fandom (good and bad!) to your kids in the best way possible: at the ballpark! Enjoy these tips to making baseball trips affordable and fun for the whole family:

In the Ballpark Tips:

1. Check the team your visiting’s website to see if they have a free (or nominal fee) kid’s club. Some have free tickets and merchandise discounts. Most teams also offer discounted tickets for kids or have family days.

2. To save on food in the ballpark, check to see if the team offers kids/family meals. Many parks have value menus as well. Check the team website to see if they allow you to bring in snacks. You can always bring in water bottles, though they usually need to be unopened.

3. If the kids get bored (heaven forbid!) most parks have free family activities or low priced entertainment. It varies greatly park to park, so again check the team’s website to plan accordingly.

Road Trip Tips:

4. To cut down on restaurant stops along the way, pack homemade snacks for the kids. Check out this post on for a whole post on road trip snack ideas.

5. Bring a laptop, iPad, or portable DVD player with movies as in car entertainment. For more ways to keep kids distracted on the road visit

6. Rent an audio book from the library for the whole family to enjoy. For book suggestions and other games/activities for road trips, read this post at

Air Travel Tips:

7. Fly with a child-friendly carrier like Southwest. Flights tend to be cheap and each passenger can check two bags for free. For a full vetting of airlines and what they offer to families, click over to this post on

8. Make a surprise travel bag with activities, crafts, and small toys to keep your kids entertained. My mom used to do this for us on family vacations growing up. Sometimes when I’m super bored on planes I think about them! For more air travel tips, check out this post on

Hotel Tip:

9. Look for suite deals on discount travel websites and scan kid travel websites like for family friendly hotels. For more advice on finding a hotel for the family, read this post on

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