It’s the age-old question for families with kids—what should we do on a beautiful spring Saturday in Phoenix? The zoo, maybe? The Children’s Museum? McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park? Then it hit me— give the kids a glimpse of America’s favorite pastime at a Spring Training baseball game!
Olivia and Drake—ages three and five—are true gamers up for any adventure. So we loaded up the car with suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses and my daughter’s doll (she also tried to bring a swimsuit, so I had to break it to her that the stadium didn’t have a pool) and made our way to Scottsdale Stadium, home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
The Scottsdale Stadium Experience
The parking gods smiled upon us as we scored a spot about two blocks from the stadium, and once the sun block made the rounds, we made our way to the gates. Once inside, it was bustling with fans who lined up for cold beer, red vines and hot dogs at the concession stands. Merchandise kiosks offered everything from Giants apparel and novelties and Downtown Scottsdale Merchants were handing out coupons for post-game revelry. Families were buying programs and taking photos, and groups of star-struck people were looking at the line-up board to see who would be the game starters. The energy in the stadium was palatable.
Inside the Charro Lodge VIP Area
We made our way up to our seats at the Scottsdale Charro Lodge, a VIP area above the outfield. Being a long-standing member of the Scottsdale Charros, I knew that this was the spot to catch the game. The Charros charge admission, but it’s worth the price, with comfortable cushioned seating, free catering from local restaurants and all the snacks you’d ever want. Best of all, the proceeds support non-profit youth and education causes in the Valley.
For the next few hours, the kids chomped on hot dogs, red vines and popcorn and soaked in the experience. My son spent quality time chatting with a few Scottsdale police officers, curious to know how fast they get to drive their patrol cars, and my daughter made sure everyone in our area understood that her doll loves baseball and was actually a retired player in the Major Leagues. As for me, I caught a great game with my two buddies in great Arizona springtime weather.
After the 7th inning stretch, my daughter asked if she could lie down and take a nap, which clearly signaled the end of our Cactus League Spring Training adventure. I gave the signal to my son, who was actually stretched out taking a little siesta on an overstuffed couch, and we began to break down our coveted Charro Lodge position to make our way out of the park.
We arrived at the family truckster and I buckled my two adventurers into their car seats. Backing the car out, I asked what part of the game they liked best. No reply. My two Major League Snoozers were fast asleep.
Mark Stanton serves as the Deputy Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism and is responsible for the marketing, advertising, public relations and community outreach on behalf of the state’s tourism initiatives.