We’re lifelong Chicago Cubs fans, so it was a no-brainer that we’d go for a trip to Wrigley Field for our son’s first ballgame. We took a week off work for a “stay-cation” and this was an easy trip to scratch off our summer bucket list. We couldn’t wait to take our three-month-old baby for this rite of passage!
My husband bought tickets for a 1:20 pm game on StubHub.com. They were more expensive than we’re used to paying, but that’s mostly because the Cubbies are ranked first in their division of the American League right now (52W-32L). We usually burn in the bleachers with friends, but we needed to keep the baby out of the sun, so we bought seats in the upper terrace along the first base line. The seats were in the shade the entire game! This is particularly pleasing when it’s 90 degrees outside.
We drove down to Wrigleyville from our home in the suburbs, so Eric also purchased a parking spot using SpotHero.com. We parked less than a block away from Wrigley Field for $30 (much cheaper than day-of parking in the area where it can cost you up to $50 for a spot). We parked behind an apartment building on Addison. We walked a quick two minutes down the alley right to the front gates. This is a must if you are taking young children to the game. The train can get so packed before and after games. Driving through traffic isn’t ideal, but it helped to know that I had a private place in the back seat of the car to nurse Leigh when he was hungry.
We got to the park early because there was a free giveaway to the first 30,000 guests. We scored sweet 1916 Chicago Cubs replica throwback jerseys. Gates open at 11:20 am (two hours before the game begins). Security thoroughly checked our book bag but didn’t have a problem with us bringing in sealed bottles of water (remember to keep them sealed; they won’t let you bring in opened bottles). I wore Leigh in our front-facing baby carrier and he had a great time looking around at everyone. I got through the metal detectors without taking off the baby.
Before the game, we walked around the concourse to locate First Aid and family restrooms for future use. The nice man who helped us find our seats gave Leigh a #LetsGo sticker. The Cubs give away free certificates for your first game, so we picked ours up from a super nice lady right by our seats. It’s just a piece of paper with the date and Leigh’s name handwritten on it, but a nice memento for the occasion. You can also get the certificates on the concourse but there was a huge line for it. I’m glad we found the woman on the upper-level terrace!
While everyone said Leigh was too young for his first baseball game, we think he was a perfect age. He’s not big enough to warrant his own ticket and too small to get bored easily. He gave lots of smiles sitting on my lap before the game started and then promptly fell asleep as the first pitch was thrown out. He had a hard time napping while everyone cheered, but he managed to get in a good 30 minutes. When he woke up, we went to First Aid and nursed in their nicely air conditioned area. They have three patient rooms and one is set aside for nursing mothers. Eric sat in the waiting area while we camped out in a soft chair. I even changed him in the room — much better than waiting in a long line to use the dirty restroom.
I didn’t know this, but if you purchase food an hour before the game begins, it’s 25 percent off. We missed out on that deal, but we picked up a couple of hot dogs and a frozen lemonade cup before heading back to our seats where we sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with the crowds during the seventh inning stretch. It was a lot louder than I had anticipated, but nothing that disturbed Leigh. He didn’t cry a single time while we were at the game.
We left in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the crowds (41,000 people were at the sold out game). A quick walk back to our car and we were on our way. Leigh fell asleep as soon as we starting driving.
Even though the Cubs lost, we couldn’t have asked for a better trip. He may not remember this game, but we always will. And we can’t wait to take him back!