On a lovely early September Sunday, my husband and I took our two boys on a Boston adventure we had been dreaming about since they were born — a trip to Fenway Park to see the top-ranking Red Sox play ball. As lifelong baseball and Sox fans (our wedding reception was conveniently located a few miles from the National Baseball Hall of Fame), we were beyond excited to share this tradition with our kids, especially as we knew this would be one of our last major excursions as a family of four, with baby #3 due in October.
Of course, fantasy and reality are rarely a match when a 4-year-old and 2-year-old are involved, so much of our romanticism about taking our boys to Fenway didn’t really play out. But we learned some worthwhile lessons along the way you might find helpful if you’re thinking of making an inaugural trip to Fenway with your kiddos!
Get to Kenmore Square with plenty of time to spare so that you can find reasonable parking as close to the park as possible. We circled the streets by Boston University for what seemed to be an hour, narrowly missing perfect street parking on each loop. Both free and convenient on a Sunday, street parking is one way to save money, time, and walking before the game even starts.
Check out the Fenway menu, and decide in advance what you will allow your kids to indulge in before the guys carrying boxes of goodies on their heads start ascending the stairs by you. I did not do this and had forgotten how much junk food was paraded around throughout the game. Never missing a beat, my 4-year-old asked to try it all.
Make friends with your seat neighbors. Since my kids didn’t really want to stay seated — opting instead to pace up and down the row — they often bumped into the people sitting directly in front of and behind us. Through countless apologies, we made friends quickly when one father in the group reminisced about taking his own children to games when they were small, and he cheerily asked us if this was our boys’ first game. He then went on to share that he thought we’d only make it a few innings, and that anything after the fourth inning would be “gravy” — and he was right.
As soon as the Sox were done hitting at the bottom of the third inning, we decided to go for a walk to explore something we had seen on the way in — the Kids’ Concourse. My Wally-loving 2-year-old was psyched to see statues of the famous mascot and his sister Tessie, and both kids were excited to meet a balloon artist who deftly fashioned a Red Sox sword and Wally balloon for them in about two minutes flat. We were all delighted to find another hidden treasure within the concourse — Wally’s Clubhouse, which featured an indoor play area complete with giant Legos, a magician, areas to color Red Sox-themed pictures, and ice cream sundaes served in baseball helmets. Also, an added bonus: There was a full bar included in this area for the parents.
Even if you are exhausted, sweaty, eight months pregnant, and not looking your best, allow the FanFoto guy to snap a picture of your family to capture this memory. As someone who does not love being in photos, especially when very pregnant, I’m so happy we were able to get a shot of everyone looking at the camera to remember this special adventure.
All in all, we had a really fun (albeit exhausting) experience at Fenway Park on our kids’ first trip, and I truly appreciated the opportunity to share such a beautiful, historic Boston tradition and landmark with them.