The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer, which can only mean one thing: It’s baseball season in the D. America’s pastime is a huge deal around metro Detroit, and hitting up Comerica Park with the kids is a total must-do spring/summertime activity. But did you know there’s more to do at the ballpark than just watch the game?
Comerica Park offers oodles of family-friendly fun throughout the season to keep your kiddos occupied before the first pitch, during the seventh inning stretch and even after the runs are tallied – because let’s face it, nine innings of sitting still can be a chore when you’re 4.
Learn what the park offers and get some practical tips from a park expert to make the most of the Detroit Tigers opening day – or, really, any Tigers game during a season that typically begins in late March or early April and runs through September – here. Then, bring the kids downtown and get ready to knock their baseball experience out of the park.
If you plan to hit the 2018 Detroit Tigers opening day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates – which was scheduled for March 29 but postponed to March 30 for rain – get there early and expect a crowd for opening day parties at bars and restaurants in the area, which start as early as 7 a.m.
There’s even a few for families, including the Opening Day Tailgate for Families at Beacon Park.
After hitting these festivities, ticketed fans can get into the park one-and-a-half hours before the game, Ellen Hill Zeringue, vice president of marketing for Comerica Park, says (and this holds true for any home game). But before that, visit the Detroit Tigers website to make sure you’re familiar with the rules.
“There you can find a list of things you can or can’t bring into the ballpark,” she says.
Diaper bags and strollers are welcome in the park, for example, but with a few conditions. Diaper bags must be no larger than 16-by-16-by-8 inches, and strollers should be able to fold up and fit under your seat. Carriers or strollers that “inhibit general guest movement” are prohibited.
You can bring small bags into the park, too, but they will be subject to inspection at the front gate to look for prohibited items such as baseball bats, beach balls, fishing nets, knives, laser pointers, selfie sticks and outside beverages (except kids juice boxes and small bottles of water).
Guests should also expect to have to empty their pockets and walk through metal detectors before entering the park, so listen to any instructions and follow them to ensure quick entry.
“All of the security in place is to ensure the safety of our guests,” Hill Zeringue adds.
More than a game
Once you’re in the park, if it’s your child’s first time there, Hill Zeringue recommends stopping by guest services to get them a first game certificate. “It’s an official certificate that acknowledges their first game,” she says – a pretty awesome memento you might not have known about.
And, if you give yourself a little time before the game starts, you can watch the players warm up, and explore the park and the surrounding area, which is a good call for parents of younger kids – especially if it’s Sunday.
“Sundays are fantastic days to bring young children to the ballpark,” she says. “On Sunday, we offer free rides on the Ferris wheel and carousel, which are $2 per person any other day – and they can run the bases.”
The park also offers the Detroit Tigers Kids Club, a VIP experience for kids ages 14 and under, for just $25 – plus promotional giveaways and special events throughout the season, including a special Princess Day on May 27.
Park parenting hacks
The park also offers some special accommodations to make your day a breeze – including booster seats, which are available at the main guest services office behind sections 130, 210 and 330, along with a nursing lounge for moms that want to use it behind section 210.
You can also get your child a wristband that notes your child’s seat in the event that you are separated from him or her. These are available at guest services.
General park info
Comerica Park is located at 2100 Woodward Ave. in the heart of downtown Detroit. Parking lots and structures are available all around the park and are open to the public on a first come, first served basis for $15-$25. You can download a parking map at mlb.com.
Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian food options, including veggie hot dogs, are available at select venders throughout the park, as are accommodations for people with special needs. If you or someone you love requires special accommodations, call 866-66-TIGER.
For more information on Comerica Park, things to do on game day and even construction reports around the park, visit mlb.com/tigers.