We are always looking for fun weekend activities that are not too far of a drive, so when my son said he wanted to go to a Braves game for his birthday, we were all in! As a child, I went to many Braves games in the old stadium that was downtown. It was always a great time, but I had heard how much fun the new stadium at Truist Park was, so we were excited to experience everything with our own kids. It is really close enough that you could go just for the day — especially for an afternoon game — but we had decided on an evening game, so we decided to make a quick vacation out of it.
We had a blast, and I have some pointers to make the most of this quick trip:
- If you’re going to book a hotel, do it early if you can: This is not a must, but I did look longingly up at the rooms at the Omni as we were getting rained on before the game started. We had a room at the Embassy Suites, which was great for our large crew, but it was a bit of a hike to get to the game. You can Uber, take a pedicab, drive and pay to park closer to the game, or walk. We loved the walk there, but the kids were exhausted by the end of the game and it would have been nice to have a hotel a little bit closer. The kids were quickly over it when we woke up to a yummy Embassy Suites breakfast though! There are many hotel options nearby, but I would book early to get one that works best for your group. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get around everywhere, and this made staying anywhere near the stadium really fun!
- Order your Braves gear online ahead of time: I ordered a Braves shirt on Amazon, but couldn’t find ones that I liked for my kids, so I just decided I would wait and get them at the game. This was a mistake. The lines to get into the stores are long, they had very limited inventory in kids’ sizes, and everything was double the price of what I could have gotten online. They were totally out of kids’ jerseys, so the kids were disappointed about that.
- Bring a glove to try to catch fly balls and a ball to get signed: Don’t forget to bring your favorite glove for trying to catch fly balls. You never know!! Also, two people sitting around us got game balls handed to them by the people working the stands from the bat boy, so chat it up with the Braves employees and let them know it is a special day or your first game and you might luck out. My kids were also obsessed with watching the Jumbotron and trying to make it on the big screen, so that was probably one of the biggest highlights of the night for my girls! The boys stood by the field in the rain trying to get autographs, and it made their night to have one of the players come up and sign their ball and talk to them.
- Join the Braves Kids Club: I always do a little research online before any trip, and I had read about the kids club but didn’t pull the trigger to join, but I wish I had. For $34 per child, you get a Braves Kids Club t-shirt, head band, socks, arm sleeve, drawstring bag, lanyard, and free games in the kids’ area at the stadium all season long. You get front of the line access to special events like running the bases, e-mails with ticket discounts for kids, and ten percent off at the Clubhouse store. I wish we had joined the kids club and skipped our big purchases at the Clubhouse store because it was much better bang for your buck. You can join at the stadium or online at this link. A friend said that she does this for her kids every year because the swag they get alone makes it worth it!
- Get to the stadium early: The area around Truist Park has a lawn area with bands performing live music, bars and restaurants to enjoy lunch or dinner before or after the game, and just a lot of fun to be had before you even enter the stadium. It is worth going an hour or so early to explore the area around the park. You can enter the stadium two hours before game time. It is fun to watch batting practice, and there is a kids’ area in the stadium with fun games and activities.
- Find a good ticket deal: There are many websites on which to purchase Braves tickets, and we went for close seats because we were going for my son’s birthday, but I think the kids would have been just as happy anywhere in the stadium! The activities around the stadium provided lots of entertainment, and the boys were obsessed with trying to get autographs, so I think we could have just gotten there early and watched batting practice up close, then sat anywhere in the stadium to watch the game and they would have loved it!
Sit back and enjoy one of America’s favorite past times: From the peanuts and cracker jacks to the 7th inning stretch to doing the Tomahawk chop to watching a huge group of people work together to try to get the “Wave” to make it around the stadium, watching a baseball game is something every kid should get to enjoy!