On Friday night, we attended our first Texas Rangers Baseball game! It was the first Major League Baseball game I’ve been to since I was probably 6 or 7 years old, and for sure the first one for A + B! Adam hadn’t been since he was in probably high school, so it was basically a first time for all of us!
Truth be told, we were NOT excited about going. For several weeks, I wavered back and forth over just not taking B at all, and staying home with him, because every time I thought about it, I could feel anxiety start to brew. Taking a 3.5 year old AND a 10 month old to a baseball game, in the Texas summer heat, high up in a huge stadium, in little bitty seats, at night and way past his bedtime, was not something we had on our to-do list, and frankly, sounded slightly miserable. Especially after having JUST flown with the two of them. (#exhausted) Neither of us are big baseball fans to begin with, but we ARE fans of a good ole fashion fun experience, and more-so, an experience with our whole family. My husband’s entire family would be going, in part to celebrate my BIL’s birthday, and we knew we’d regret not being a part of it. A is at the age where she is LOVING doing everything her big cousins do, and we knew she’d have a blast. We also didn’t want to feel like we were missing out on special memories simply because we were nervous about what to do with the baby! So, we did some research, put on our big girl and big boy panties, and we took ourselves out to the ballgame! Spoiler alert: it ended up being a grand slam and so much fun!
The idea of bringing a baby to a major event like this had me nervous about so many things. What kind of bag could we bring? Would there be a changing table in the bathroom? Would my husband be able to keep a watchful eye on our toddler while I took care of the baby? What time would he need to eat and would we have access to hot water to make him a bottle? Would he even take a bottle with all the noises from the ballgame? (Wasn’t even going to attempt to nurse him or warm a bottle of BM!) Should I wear him? (Obviously we couldn’t bring a stroller!) Would it be too hot for him? Would he even tolerate sitting in our laps? ALL THE THINGS. I wasn’t nervous about our big girl at all, I knew she’d do fine, but a baby takes things to the next level!
I thought I’d put together a quick post of our experience, and all the things we learned. Before we headed to the game, we searched and searched online for tips and tricks, and do’s and don’t when it came to bringing a baby to a Rangers game. There didn’t appear to be a TON of info out there, so maybe this post will land in the hands of another curious mama, either local, or visiting the DFW area!
Tips For Bringing a Baby To a Texas Rangers Baseball Game
Make sure you leave in plenty of time to deal with traffic, and huge parking lots. We drove over from the Keller area, and all in all it probably took us 45 minutes to get there, and get parked. I’m not very familiar with the Arlington area, but there seemed to be some construction everywhere I looked! Once there, there are several huge parking lots surrounding the stadium, and from what I could tell, all cost $20 a car. They took my card just fine, but I’m sure cash would be accepted/easier as well. It is quite a walk from the parking lot to the actual front gates of the stadium, so get ready for that.
Admission + What You Can Bring Inside:
You’ll stand in line outside the main front gate (at the roundabout – although this will be different next year since they’ll be playing in the NEW stadium next door!) and will enter through metal detectors. We were informed we could bring a diaper bag, so that is what we did. I honestly only saw diaper bags and small soft-sided coolers, and really no one had purses, backpacks, or any kind of tote. I saw several other moms wearing their babies in Ergo-type carriers, and that is what I did with our baby as well. It kept my hands free to help with our toddler and I wore the diaper bag on my back. A security office at the gate will search your diaper bag. If I were you, I would clear out your diaper bag of any extra clutter beforehand and only bring the essentials. We originally thought we could only bring a small clutch, big enough for diapers/wipes, but after calling ahead of time they told us a diaper bag would be fine. (PRAISE!) The security guard had no issue with baggies of formula, and baby snacks, and I’m assuming would not have had any issue with a bottle of breastmilk.
Here is what I found directly on the Globe Life Park website: “No metal cans, glass containers, or alcoholic beverages may be carried into Globe Life Park. In addition, no hard coolers, or oversized bags will be admitted. Only soft-sided, collapsible coolers without plastic inserts are allowed (liners must be removable). All bags and purses must be 16″ x 16″ x 8″ or smaller and are subject to search by ballpark staff.”
Getting To Your Seats + Restrooms & Changing Tables:
Once inside the stadium, you’ll easily be able to ask an attendant to point you in the direction of your seats. We were in the top level, so we rode a small maze of escalators to the top, and found our section pretty quickly. On the top deck, there is a large area to walk around, and take in the views – it was actually beautiful! There appeared to be restrooms every few sections, as well as concession stands with monitors where you could view the game. (In case you need to stand out there or walk around with the baby!) The women’s restroom AND men’s restrooms both had a changing table. The actual seats within the stadium are small, and obviously very steep. If you’re wearing your baby, you’ll want to be extra cautious of the steps and not trip! We actually saw a man trip and fall over a row of seats right when we got there – sooo that was nerve wracking! However, it looked like there was a medic standing outside every section, so that was nice to know.
Sitting With a Baby:
Like I mentioned previously, ballpark seats are small, and the rows are very close together. When you buy your tickets, I would suggest making sure you’re towards the end of a row, and also towards the tunnel that goes out to the concourse where the concession stands/bathrooms are. I promise you won’t be sitting for long periods at a time! Ha! Also make sure you’ve got extra hands, of course, to help pass the baby around! As for a toddler, our daughter is 3.5 and had no trouble sitting in her own seat. I would imagine anyone younger/smaller than probably 2-2.5 though would probably need to sit in your lap.
Getting Hot Water for a Bottle:
Since we opted to just make a formula bottle while we were there, we had to find hot water. This ended up being super easy, but also a bit tricky. My husband was able to get a small cup of hot water from the concession stand without any issues. The tricky part came when we realized it was SUPER HOT. So, once we made the bottle, and shook it up, it was still pretty stinkin’ hot. We ended up pouring a little bit of cold water into it, and blowing on it, to cool it down enough so it was safe enough for our little guy to drink. Of course, this whole time he could see it and was hungry so you can imagine how fun it was keeping him occupied while we cooled off his bottle! Once he took his bottle though, he was much more content. He actually almost fell asleep sitting my FIL’s lap.
Since soft-sided coolers are allowed, I would assume you could bring in your own water bottle. I wish I’d brought my toddler’s water bottle in the diaper bag, to be honest! Bottled water is for sale at the concession stands, but is EXPENSIVE. So, prepare for that! I would also suggest maybe bringing something like a Frogg Toggs Cooling Towel to help keep baby cool.
You could also think about maybe bringing a small hand-held fan, just to help circulate some air!
** From what I’ve read, the NEW stadium will be air conditioned!!
Our game started at 7:05 PM. We arrived in the parking lot at probably 6:45 PM, and once we got parked, got the diaper bag situated, got the Baby situated in the Ergo, and made the long walk to the front gates, and got to our seats, the game was already well underway. So, I would definitely arrive sooner than we did if you are hoping to catch the National Anthem and the first pitch.
Our baby usually starts bedtime around 7:00 PM, so we knew this night would have to be an exception and we’d just need to roll with it. We fed him dinner and I nursed him before we left for the game, but I knew he’d be looking for his bottle around 7 or 7:30 PM, so we tried to stick to that ‘schedule’ as best we could to avoid extra fussiness. I think we actually gave him his bottle around 7:45 PM. Our 3.5 year old daughter typically goes to bed by 8 PM, so again, we knew she’d be sleepy but also knew tonight would just have to be FUN and not worry about it!
I actually ended up leaving with our little guy around 8:30 PM while Daddy kept our big girl. (They ending up staying until the final end to see the fireworks!) We took two cars to the game for this very reason. The upside? I could leave in time to get him home and asleep at a decent hour and out of the heat. The downside? It cost $40 to park two cars. Also – if you’ll be doing what I did, be sure you leave before dark. You do not want to be walking to your car, with your baby, alone, after dark.
To leave, I put him back in the Ergo, and my husband walked us back down to the main gate. I was nervous about riding the huge escalators wearing the baby without having an extra hand to help steady us! Once downstairs, I was actually able to catch a ride in a golf cart back out to the parking lot. The attendant who drove me out actually told me they were for disabled fans only, but that I could pay “those people over there” to take me to my car. (Pointing to a line of carts outside the stadium along the sidewalk) I told her I really didn’t want to pay someone and would just walk, she then told me I could hop on, and then she took me to my car. I’m not sure if it was the sweaty, disgruntled look on my face, or the cute baby that got us the free ride, HA! SO, note to self – bring a little extra cash in case you need a ride back to your car!
Fun to Know:
We didn’t know this prior to our game, but this would be super fun to do next time! (This will probably look different in 2020 – but worth looking up on the website ahead of time!)
“The Kid’s Zone is a climate-controlled interactive kid’s play area featuring a playground with a baseball bat slide and interactive games for children of all ages, including three PlayStation gaming systems. Located in left center field behind Vandergriff Plaza, this attraction features a family restroom, concession stand and kid-sized Rangers merchandise. After paying a low entrance fee, kids can come and go throughout the game. Rangers Captain stops by to sign autographs in the 5th inning.”
Overall, it was a FUN experience, and once we knew the ins and outs of what we could/couldn’t bring, we felt much more comfortable taking our baby. I think all it takes is just doing it one time yourself, to convince yourself that you CAN do it with a baby, and it will be okay! The memories make it all worth it, and I’m proud of us for still going! With our second baby, I’ve had to learn that life goes on – you can’t quit doing the fun things just because you have a baby, and more importantly, you can’t let the fun things intimidate you.
**REMINDER – 2019 was the final season at Globe Life Park. Starting in 2020, the Rangers will be playing at the brand new Globe Life Field.
Local moms – what am I missing? Would you do something differently? Do you have a tip or trick to add? Moms in general – have you done a major sporting event with a baby?