Go Cubs (at Miller Park)

Tailgating. Fly balls. And running weiners.

We took Leigh to his (and our) first baseball game at Miller Park in Milwaukee on Sunday, July 30, risky business in the middle of summer, but we got lucky and scored good weather — not too hot. Cubs beat the Brewers 4 to 2 so we stuck around to celebrate!

Before the game even started, we did what everyone does in the parking lot before a sporting event: tailgated. We have never tailgated before. Cubs fans don’t tailgate at baseball games because they don’t really drive to the game – they take the train or a taxi. There is no parking lot to grill out in! They go to the local bars in Wrigleyville and grab a few pre-game beers. We always save our appetite to eat in the park. Nothing like a good ‘ole Chicago dog at Wrigley.

We set up a little Weber Q Grill – quick and easy to char up our Lake Geneva Country Meats brats. Eric made a little pan of beer steamed onions to top our brats off. We ate potato and pasta salads with chips out of the bag. Leigh hung out in the back of the Jeep, dancing to the music around him. Tailgating isn’t super kid-friendly, but only because there are hot grills and moving vehicles all over the place. The people are so super friendly, it wasn’t hard to walk him around and let him soak up the extra attention. Smiles all around. 

Wait until the lines go down to get into the park, otherwise, you’ll have to chase your kid around while you wait in line like I did. Leigh is 16-months-old and he doesn’t do lines very well. While we waited around, an employee asked if it was our son’s first game and told us to stop at the Guest Services counter to pick up a special certificate. Wrigley Field did the same thing when we took Leigh to his first official ballgame last year. Miller Park Guest Services gave us a blank certificate and much to my dismay didn’t bother to fill it out, but that’s no big deal – I did it when we got home. They also gave us a little deck of baseball trading cards! Cute touch.

Our seats were 12 rows back from the visitor dugout along the third base line. I didn’t realize Wrigley Field switched their dugouts based on the location of the clubhouse. Usually, the home team sits to the left of home base when you’re looking from the pitcher’s mound. At Wrigley, they sit to the right. Logistics aside, we enjoyed our seats in the huge Miller Park. Known for its retractable ceiling, this ballpark is simply impressive. It doesn’t look like there’s a bad seat in the house. Except for maybe our seats sitting in the hot sun the entire afternoon game. If you have a small child with you, make sure your seats are along the first base line to stay out of the sun.

Known for its retractable ceiling, this ballpark is simply impressive. It doesn’t look like there’s a bad seat in the house. Except for maybe our seats sitting in the hot sun the entire afternoon game. If you have a small child with you, make sure your seats are along the first base line to stay out of the sun. With a 1:10pm start, the game played until 5pm and our section was in the blazing sun the whole time, so we spent about four innings in our seats and the rest exploring the ballpark.

We walked down the first base line and visited the super kid-friendly area called Bernie’s Clubhouse. They had aspot where you could race to first base, hit baseballs, and throw out a pitch. All very interactive and beyond Leigh’s capabilities, but we’ll come back to play when turns 5 or 6 so he can enjoy everything. For now, he really enjoyed meeting all the famous racing sausages.

We went to a Sunday game, also known as a “Kids Eat Free Day.” The game attendants handed us a coupon for a free kids meal as we walked in. We cashed it in for a hot dog, apple sauce pouch (Leigh’s favorite), bottled water and ice cream cone, compliments of Pick ‘N Save and Blue Bunny Ice Cream. Thanks, guys!

The coolest part about attending this game was running the bases after it was over. Kids get to run the bases every Sunday. We waited in a hella long line to do this, but it was worth the few minutes we got to stand on the field and feel the dirt under our shoes. Kids got to run from first around to third base, but since Leigh is too young to run on his own (in any given direction), he just walked from first around home to third base – the walk all the parents made to meet back up with their kids. I appreciated how Miller Park let the parents on the field so they could take photos and video of their kids running around like the players do. Everyone was exhausted after watching the game and waiting in line, but everyone had the biggest smile on their face after stepping off the field.

My parenting advice: don’t spend too much on good seats, because when you have kids, you never know how much time they’ll be willing to sit still. We’ve already decided our next tickets will be at Section 105 in the left field bleachers – they were in the shade and seated on a first come, first served basis.

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