My family has a goal to visit every single Major League Baseball park and we’ve been to quite a few so far. Because my children are still young, we spend a lot of time at these games walking around and visiting the kids’ play areas. And with three children, our measure of a great ballpark is not just views of the playing field, food offerings and general ambiance – it must have a great children’s section.
As I have become a connoisseur of these playgrounds, I can honestly say that our home park – the New York Mets’ Citi Field – has the nicest kids’ area of any I’ve visited.
The Fan Fest area of Citi Field, behind the center field scoreboard, features a dunk tank, batting cages, a miniature playing field and a video game kiosk. Mr. and Mrs. Met also make an appearance before the game to take pictures with the fans. And I never miss a pitch when we’re playing because a large screen on the back of the main scoreboard broadcasts the game.
The Mets have outdone themselves this season by adding even more features to make going to Citi Field the ultimate family-friendly experience.
Every Sunday home game this season is Family Sunday at Citi Field, featuring:
- Inflatable play areas, face painters and balloon artists on Mets Plaza outside the main park entrance before game time.
- A family-themed giveaway for the first 15,000 fans. At this Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, it’s a recyclable Mets tote bag. Next Sunday versus the Miami Marlins, it’s Mets Loom Bandz
- The Mr. Met Dash. The highlight for me, I mean for my kids, is the opportunity to run the bases after the game is over. Kids 12 and younger (adults can accompany the younger runners) experience what it’s like to step foot on a Major League field, as they dream of someday crossing home plate as a Met.
The Mets also have a Mr. Met’s Kids Club for children, which includes free tickets to Family Sunday games, a lanyard, and perks for attending games. Sign up for free or get the $29 “orange membership” with extra goodies at http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/nym/fan_forum/kidsclub.jsp.
Finally, the new Mr. Met’s Kids Kitchen, also behind centerfield, offers food options for young ones with smaller appetites. Portions are smaller and the prices are a little cheaper … but just a little.
Disclosure: The writer received free tickets from the Mets to a recent Family Sunday game at Citi Field to review the family-friendly features. The opinions are his own, though, and not in exchange for compensation.