Out of all the adventures I had with my dad as a kid, I will never forget the great lengths he went to in order to get me to stay in my seat and not whine all through nine innings of baseball. I mean, I could have asked for a pony and he would have gotten it for me if that meant he could actually pay attention to the game.
So when it was my turn to be the parent, I did my research to ensure that my kids, husband, and I would enjoy it and we wouldn’t have to mortgage our house in order to pay for all of their requested snacks and souvenirs. So where did this North side mama take her kids for their first MLB game? Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. Shocked? Don’t be. Because I’m here to tell you why you need to take your kids to a White Sox game STAT.
The White Sox provided my family and I with complimentary tickets to a game. All opinions are my own.
BUDGET FRIENDLY TICKETS
First off, let’s be honest. The White Sox aren’t the most popular baseball team in Chicago. And that’s fine. Why? Because it keeps ticket prices low for families and has created a much more upbeat and whimsical environment at the ball park. Will you hear some boo birds? Sure. But chances are you will not witness rivalry fist fights and drunken arguments like you would at some other ball parks.
WHITE SOX FREEBIES
You can really stretch your dollar if you take advantage of all of the freebies available at a White Sox game. Adults can sign up for the White Sox team newsletter to learn about discounted tickets and merchandise while kids under 13 can join the White Sox Kids Club—all at no cost. Just be sure to sign up before the 7th inning on the 3rd level of the Kids Zone so that your child can start collecting swag such as an official ID badge, lanyard, and more.
As for other freebies, designated drivers can earn a coupon for a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage by taking the “Designated Driver” pledge before the 2nd inning at the Designated Driver Booth in Section 129.
And of course, document your first White Sox game by visiting the “Rookie Corner” in Section 154 or either Guest Relations office on either the 3rd or 5th levels to receive your own customized “My First White Sox Game” certificate and button.
THE XFINITY KIDS ZONE
Have a kid who hates sitting still and has zero interest in watching baseball? Me too. So after three innings of snacks and refreshments, we headed to the Xfinity Kids Zone. And honestly…we never went back to our seats. Why? Because there was SO MUCH for my antsy and athletic kids to do. I’m talking 15,000 square feet of things to do.
The skills based zone provides kids with opportunities to receiving fundamental training from Bulls/Sox Academy coaches all while mom and dad watch the game in the background. There is a whiffle ball field for fielding instruction, batting and catching cages, and my boys’ personal favorite—base running simulations. Just be sure to wear gym shoes to the game because kids can’t participate in Kids Zone activities if they are wearing sandals.
The creative marketing team behind the White Sox come up with some really fun and unique themed days and nights throughout the MLB season, but if you are planning on watching a White Sox game with kids in tow, be sure to visit on a Sunday so that you can take advantage of all of the fun available on Family Sundays.
In addition to discounted tickets ranging from $5 in the upper level to $15 in the lower level, there is so much FREE fun to be had. Balloon artists and face painters are set up throughout the concourse (don’t forget to tip them for their efforts) to help the littlest fans show their team spirit.
As long as the weather permits, any and all kids are welcome to run the bases after the ball game. Be sure to line up (starting on the 1stbase side on the concourse level—Section 120) at the start of the 8thinning and get your cameras ready. Once the line starts moving everything goes really quickly and parents will have to walk and video their kiddos all at the same time in order to meet each other in the stands near home plate.
Finally, for those early bird families who like to get to the park right when the gates open, the first 100 kids with a paid ticket are invited to attend an autograph session and will receive signed photographs from four current White Sox players. Check online to find out if the Family Sunday game you are attending has an autograph session scheduled before heading to the ball park.
Each guest is allowed to bring in one sealed bottle of water upon entering Guaranteed Rate Field, but there is no restriction on baby formula or any other food as long as it is in the small, clear bag. While snacks are great for the kids, be sure to indulge in some of the delicious cuisine offered at the ball park or even join in on one of the tailgates that go on in the parking lots. And don’t forget to hit up the craft beer vendors either.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
*If your child is shorter than 36 inches, he or she does not need a ticket but will have to share a seat with a paying adult.
*Aerosol sunscreen is banned from the ball park and will be confiscated during bag checks.
*Feel free to bring in snacks and drinks for your little one, just be sure that the water bottle is sealed and that the snacks are in a clear bag.
*Strollers are allowed, but if your stroller is large you will need to check it in. Lightweight, umbrella strollers are highly recommended.
*On hot days, visit Section 161 to cool off at the Shower from Old Comiskey Park.
*There are no drinking straws available at Guaranteed Rate Field, so if your child struggles with drinking, pack an empty sippy cup to avoid spills and messes.
*Fireworks are shot off when the White Sox score, so prep timid kiddos about what might happen when the White Sox are on their way to victory.
*All bathrooms are equipped with baby changing stations, EVEN THE MEN’S ROOM!
*Nursing moms can request a private space to nurse by either visiting the First Aid Room or contacting anyone at the Guest Relations Booth for other private areas.
*The family restroom is located near Section 107.
*There is a new nursing room located near section 352 and accessible from the Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Lounge. It is climate controlled with comfy chairs and outlets for pumping and using.
*If your child struggles with sensory issues, ask for sensory bags that include noise cancelling headphones, fidget tools, and visual cue cards from Guest Services on each level of the stadium. There is also a Sensory Room for families to take a break from the game.
If I haven’t convinced you to head to a White Sox game this season, there must be something wrong with you. Because no matter what team you cheer for, the White Sox welcome families in a way that other MLB teams simply don’t do. Here’s to a great season!
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