Heading out to the ballpark with the whole family to attend a game? While peanuts and Cracker Jacks may not be on the list of things you plan to pack, here are a few items that you definitely don’t want to forget:
1. Protective Eyewear
Eye protection for the entire family is paramount, especially when spending several hours outside in the blazing hot sun. Make sure everyone’s eyewear is in good shape, and if replacement lenses with UV protection are needed to swap out old ones with scratches, do so before you leave and make them as good as new.
2. Baseball Caps
Guard everyone’s faces from the sun’s harmful rays by requiring your whole crew to wear ball caps. Caps will also help keep your kids’ hair out of their faces so they can be ready to catch those fly balls!
3. Sunblock Lotion
You might get stuck sitting on the sunny side of the park, so slather up before you leave the house, and reapply every two to three hours as needed.
4. Weather-Appropriate Gear
Check the hourly forecast prior to heading out to determine which apparel works best for the entire family. Unfortunately, you may find the temperature to be on the cooler end of the spectrum for the first hour and rapidly increase as the game progresses, or vice versa. To be prepared, dress your children in layers and shed them as it warms up, or add to them as it cools off.
The weather can have a mind of its own, despite all your best preparations. Be ready for that unexpected downpour with fold-up ponchos.
6. Baby Gear
Beyond the baby bag filled with all the items your little one(s) will need, also consider bringing a stroller and portable booster seat, if permissible, into the stadium. This will take the load off of your back, and they’ll have a comfy place to sit as they cheer on their favorite team.
7. Tailgating Essentials
Planning to tailgate before the big game? If so, place the folding tent, chairs, and a few blankets in your vehicle before departure so the entire family can relax in comfort prior to the opening pitch. Also, pack along an iPad, some card games, and a couple of pillows to help pass the time.
Don’t forget to load up your cooler with some snacks and drinks that everyone will enjoy. Southern Living offers some great game day recipe ideas to choose from!
8. Baseball Gloves
If you arrive early, head to the bottom levels to get an up-close and personal view of the pregame batting practice. There’s always a chance a team member in the outfield might toss a practice ball to your son or daughter if they’re wearing a catching glove.
9. Permanent Marker
If your kids catch a fly ball or have the chance to meet one of the players, don’t pass up the opportunity for them to get an autograph. Arm your kids with a Sharpie marker and dress them in t-shirts or jerseys that can be signed if the opportunity arises.
10. Digital Camera
Make sure you have your smartphone or a digital camera on hand to capture memories of the special day of family fun! Remember, aim to get the sun behind you as you take pics to get the best lighting for photos.
This post is by Allison Martin who is a writer, financial mentor and business consultant to mommy-preneurs. Her work has been featured on ABC News, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, Fox Business, Credit.com and Money Talks News. When she’s not writing away, Allison enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.