My kids were on spring break last week and we had a really fun and memorable couple of days enjoying all that the Valley has to offer this time of year.
My in-laws also came to visit from Texas, as it was their spring break too. They have four boys. We have two boys. So that’s SIX energetic little boys looking for adventure.
Fortunately, we delivered.
I’ve gone to quite a few spring training games over the years, but it’s a whole different ballgame when catching a game with little kids. Their attention spans are shorter and their appetites are insatiable (which food group is cotton candy in, again?)
I’ve found it’s easiest if you avoid the bigger crowds by skipping weekend games and choosing games on a Monday or Tuesday instead. We get there early for autographs. It amazes me to see the access the teams give their fans to the players before the game. For a 1pm game, we try to get down near the third base line by about 12:30pm. Our boys were thrilled to get to meet and get signatures from A.J. Pollock, David “Freight Train Peralta, and even Paul Goldschmidt!
SPRING TRAINING PRACTICES
Did you know many teams have open practices on the mornings of games? It’s not always publicized, but if you head to their practice field, you can watch the players practicing their swing or doing defensive drills... and sometimes even jog right alongside them. Check out this video of the kids working out alongside the Padres!
Occasionally you even run into baseball royalty at practice.
EVEN MORE BASEBALL
You would think these boys would have had their fill of sports by this time in our spring break, but apparently, there’s no such thing as TOO MUCH SPORTS.
On Sunday, we headed to the ASU baseball game. Did you know that kids get free admission on Sundays and get to run the bases after the game? Score! Grand Canyon University offers the same thing during home games on Sundays.
This huge Mesa park sits between the Cubs spring training facility and a Chick-fil-A. In my kids' minds, it doesn’t get better than this. There are two playgrounds, a 50-foot tall climbing tower, a 60-foot long caterpillar mesh rope climbing structure, a mini-zip line and a large splash pad/water play area. Kids can spend hours burning off their energy before you refuel at Chick-fil-A. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
More info on the park: http://bit.ly/2HR9h7Q
I hope our cousins come back next year and we continue these spring training memories.
It really is the best time of year to enjoy our Arizona weather!
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