The White Sox provided my family and me with complimentary tickets to a game. All opinions are my own.
There are a ton of reasons to love Chicago in the summer – the lake, the festivals, and the baseball. I love that Chicago has two teams, and this weekend we headed to Guaranteed Rate Field to see the White Sox take on the A’s. It was 72 degrees and sunny and everyone was in a good mood. It was one of those amazing days that makes you realize why you endure the winters here.
The first reason is, obviously, baseball. And as we approach Independence Day weekend, it’s a great time to watch America’s Pastime. Baseball alone is fun. Watching pro athletes do their things is pretty much always going to be impressive to me. (How Avisail Garcia throws a ball so far really does blow my mind.) But there are lots of other reasons, too, and here are our top 11.
Theme Nights & Special Events
Few people love a theme like I do, but I think the good folks at the White Sox take the cake when it comes to awesome theme nights and special events. When we went on Sat., they joined with other MLB teams across the country in showing the movie The Sandlot on the jumbotron after the game in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary.
There are lots of upcoming theme nights, including Country Music Night on July 27, Christmas in July on July 29 and Elvis Night on August 17.
I rather love the White Sox mascot. Apparently, my teen does, too.
(And while Southpaw deserves his own entry on the list, it’s really the fact that he brings out the fun side in pretty much everyone and a chance to be silly together, which is a treasured moment when you’re the parent of a teen.)
My Instagram-loving kid was tickled by his Instagram handle: @FuzzyGreenDude
I only eat hot dogs at the ballpark. They’re so good. So. Good.
But there are a lot of other taste treats to be found at Guaranteed Rate Field. My husband enjoyed The Change Up – a Johnsonville chipotle Monterey Jack chicken sausage with salsa fresca.
My teen daughter was all about the churro ice cream sandwich but ate it too quickly for me to get a photo. That’s the sign of a tasty treat!
Shedd the Straw
The Sox are the first MLB team to serve drinks during games without an accompanying plastic straw. Single use plastic is a huge environmental concern and it’s awesome to see the Sox step up as environmental leaders. It sparked a great conversation as a family about small changes making a big difference, and what it means to be a leader.
Unless your family has recently won the lottery (Congrats! And can you adopt me?) chances are you don’t have unlimited disposable income. I appreciate that Family Sundays are specially priced with $5 tickets for the upper level and some as cheap as $15 in the lower level. Also, parking is only $10, which always delights my husband. It’s the little things.
Going to the game is an event in and of itself, but it feels even more special on Friday nights when there are fireworks.
Your first game is a big deal, so if it is someone in your party’s first game, visit the Rookie Corner behind Section 154 where they can get their free ‘First Game’ certificate and button. It’s a great souvenir and makes little ones (or big ones) feel like an MVP. And who doesn’t love a free souvenir?
Xfinity Kids Zone
Sitting still is tough for little ones, but at the Xfinity Kids Zone on the third level of the ballpark, they are encouraged to move. Young fans can participate in a whiffle ball game and batting practice. They can also check out the new “How Do You Measure Up?” wall graphic and join in base-running competitions to demonstrate their speed and get out some extra energy.
That’s not what you were expecting to see on this list, is it? But on hot days, guests can cool off with a visit to Section 161 where you’ll find the Shower from Old Comiskey Park.
Safer Extended Netting
This may be the most “mom” item ever and I know it will elicit eye rolls, but I was really pleased to see* the extended netting that goes all the way to the end of the dugouts now. There are still some foul balls in the stands for excitement, don’t worry, but there’s plenty of time to spot them.
*You can see the netting if you’re looking for it but when I pointed it out to my husband, he hadn’t even noticed. It doesn’t interfere with the view of the game at all.