My family moved to Cincinnati 5 years ago. And just because you take the family out of St. Louis, doesn’t mean you take the St. Louis out of the family. So, as you can imagine, we are St. Louis Cardinal baseball fans. We visit Great American Ballpark mainly during Reds vs. Cardinal series, which allows us to celebrate our hometown in our new city. As a family, we enjoy the environment around major league baseball games… there is lots of family fun to be had at a Cincinnati Reds game!
Last Tuesday evening, we took our daughter and friend (a Reds fan) to the Red vs. Cardinals game. After we parked, the girls bought peanuts from a sidewalk vendor, and then headed towards the pregame attractions. We were greeted by a local business giving away sunglasses and then listened to music by a bluegrass band.
To start your ballpark experience right, come early to explore the Kroger Fan Zone. Located on the Terrace Level along the west side of Great American Ball Park, the Kroger Fan Zone features interactive children’s games, a Wiffle ball field, the Bob Evans Reds Heads Kids Clubhouse, a playground, concession stands and much more!
Your ballgame ticket is your key to entry; and then it’s time to rally! The girls took photos with Mr. Red and Rosie, a Reds Mickey Mouse and other characters. Then they made a beeline to the playground area for a little fun, followed by participating in carnival games such as shooting hoops (an extra $5 charge). The Kroger Fan Zone is open until the last out of the game.
My favorite part of any ballgame is the food! Before heading to our seats, we purchased our dinner: hotdogs, Reds Helmet Nachos and soda. For some reason, ballpark hotdogs taste so much better than eating them anywhere else.
For more fan favorite foods in Cincy, be sure to check out Yelp’s Guide to Nostalgic Food!
As we ate, we watched pregame ceremonies on the field and the girls tried to get on the Jumbo Tron. Then we all stood, sang the National Anthem and thanked all past and present Service Men and Women. Now it was time to play ball!
Being familiar with softball, the girls understood the play and scoring of the game. From our seats, they hoped to catch a foul ball — but no such luck. It was fun to hear them have a little friendly banter as each team scored. By the 4th inning, it was time for some ballpark dessert. While my daughter ate a frozen strawberry lemonade, her friend went with a classic ballgame tradition: cotton candy. Even though both girls were sticky, they loved being together and watching the game.
We decided to leave the game early to avoid crowds and traffic. However, we enjoyed the rest of the game on the radio.
Unfortunately, the Reds won but a great time was had by all. (Hah!)
If you attend a Reds game with your kids, here’s my advice:
- Bring sunscreen
- Bring sunglasses or a hat
- Drink lots of water
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Stick together by holding hands through crowds
There is still plenty of regular season Reds games to enjoy with your family — and in fact, as the weather cools off, there’s no better time to enjoy a game! For more information or ticket sales, visit the Reds website.
Ainslie Gordon is a St. Louis, Missouri native and graduate of the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. Her career has focused on advertising, public relations and event planning. In 2011, Ainslie and her family moved to Cincinnati; and she became a stay-at-mom and founder of the blog, Modhousewife.
Additionally, she was a fashion/trends contributor on Fox 19 and Fox 2. Currently, Ainslie is the Marketing Director for Game On! Fitness. She is also a Girl Scout leader and enjoys volunteering throughout the community.