When referring to toddlers, the age that comes to mind is 1 year & 8 months to late 3 year olds. Terrible twos, terrorist threes, functional fours – these are REAL concepts made by real parents. Keep these in mind when you are considering taking your toddler to a Braves game.
Every parent wants their child to experience new things. So I had the great idea to take my toddler ( 2 years and 5 months old) to a Braves game for the Mother – Son Game Day event (meaning Dad did not attend this game with us). Just thinking about taking my son by myself made me cringe, so I brought a girlfriend along to carry drinks, take pictures and provide a second set of eyes to help me! After attending the game, all I wanted to do was save parents from their misery and offer the best advice for taking a toddler to a Braves game– and it wasn’t just a Braves game – it’s more like “Experiencing Suntrust Park with a toddler”. It’s definitely doable, but save yourself some trouble and do not take this advice lightly.
What Game to Attend
I recommend taking a toddler to see a Braves game at night or during the week. Week day games aren’t as crowded and while yes, it’s a school night, you’re not going to make it through the entire game. Trust me. Night games are also nice because of all the lights. My son is fascinated by bright lights so this helps keep him distracted.
What Seats to Buy
Children 2 and under are FREE – but that comes with a price. If a child gets in for free, that means they have to sit in a parent’s lap. My son refuses to sit in my lap, so that wouldn’t work on a game day that’s expecting a high attendance. For games that aren’t expecting a huge crowd, it could be possible for my child to sit in my lap. This is all about flexibility. Honestly, you will be lucky if your toddler will sit in their seat for more than 30 minutes.
Toddlers are tricky. I paid for a General Admission ticket and by the time we got to our seats, my son was absolutely terrified to be sitting so high up. He literally sat there for 4 minutes and decided he was done. If your goal is for your child to actually attempt to watch the game, I recommend purchasing a lower section ticket so that your child is able to actually see what’s going on on the field. If you did this, you would have to buy your child their own ticket because those tickets sell out quickly.
The Coca-Cola Corner (no shade): $3.50+ per a ticket
General Admission (shaded): $7.00 per a ticket
410-420 Section (shaded): $8.50 per a ticket – recommended if you’re taking a stroller (Stroller details below)
312-317 Section (no shade): $8:50 per a ticket – recommended if you’re taking a stroller
116-120 Section (no shade): $66.00+ per a ticket – recommended if you’re taking a stroller
Here is our view from General Admission. This is how my son watched the 4 minutes of the game after discovering his fear of heights. Know your goal before you go and choose your seats wisely.
What Parking Pass To Buy
Suntrust Park offers a variety of different parking lots to choose from, but you must buy your tickets in advance to get a good deal. The lots fill up FAST and this is crucial to have a good time. I would park in the Red Garage located in The Battery. It costs $22 to park in this lot, but it’s worth it. It’s only a quarter of a mile from the entrance to the Stadium and you get to walk through The Battery so it keeps the kids entertained. Trust me, THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO PARK. Get off of the elevator on the 3rd floor and it takes you exactly where you want to be. The website will prompt you to purchase a parking pass after you decide where you want to sit. Save yourself the trouble and purchase everything together.
What To Pack
Change of clothes
Drinks/ Water Bottles
CASH – The lines for beer are extremely shorter if you have cash.
Take a book bag! If you plan to take a stroller, you can pack a small purse inside of a book bag. Book bags are allowed inside of the park – but no coolers or cooler totes. Take a towel. There is a fountain that kids can play in located in the Battery right outside of the stadium. Since the game is “scary”, the fountain is where we spent most of our time.
Why You Need A Stroller
Suntrust Park allows you to take strollers into the stadium. Umbrella strollers (strollers that can fold up) can be stored up under your stadium seat. Honestly, by the time you get to your seat and maneuver a stroller through the crowd, you are miserable. You are also welcome to take a jogging stroller! It’s a lot more secure and comfortable for you child and comes off a little more aggressive in large crowds. One of the best things about Suntrust Park is that they offer “Stroller Check In”. It’s like a valet service for your stroller and it’s FREE. The check in is located at Guest Services – Section 111. Don’t waste your time going inside the lobby of guest services. You can easily walk up to the outdoor desk and say “I want to check in my stroller”. They will hand you a nifty little card that you bring back when you’re ready to pick up your stroller. Easy as pie.
One of the reasons why I recommend sitting in Section 116-120, Section 312-317 and Section 410-420 is because it’s close to guest services (where you checked in your stroller). By close, I mean that you can easily access an escalator or an elevator without walking a mile around the stadium to get to your seats – AFTER YOU CHECK IN YOUR STROLLER.
Now that you’re all packed, head to the game and mentally prepare yourself for taking your toddler to the Braves game.
You’ve Packed Up The Car, Now What?
Now that everything is packed and ready to go, you take off towards the Braves game. My number one piece of advice is this: GET THERE EARLY. Your child is not going to actually watch the game. As much as you want them to, it’s not going to happen. Here are two options of how I recommend doing this:
Option 1: If the game starts at 7:35pm, get to The Battery around 5:30pm. Plan to walk around The Battery and look at the shops, then head over to Antico Pizza for dinner. After you eat, let your child run around the turf field OUTSIDE the stadium for a little while. Once you enter the stadium through The Battery, take a right and you will be in the Kid Zone. This section of the stadium was made for kids. Equipped with a zip line, rock wall and a special place to run the bases. They also have these awesome arcade games where your child can hit off a tee, pitch to a virtual player, or play wack-a-mole. These games cost you tokens – 1 token = $1. I purchased 15 tokens and my son played 6 different games. When you’re out of tokens and sense the meltdown coming on, it’s time to head to your seats.
Head back towards the entrance of the park and you will be walking towards Guest Services. Check in your stroller with no hassle and head to your seats. By this time, it’s probably about 7:30pm. Just in time for the game to start! Depending on how long your child lasts throughout the game, now is the time to get a drink and some snacks and enjoy the game. Assuming it will only last about 30 minutes – Now it’s time to go pick up the stroller!
On your way out of the park, make sure to stop by the fountain! Change your child into their bathing suit (or don’t) and let them wear themselves out before the trip home. This will allow them to sleep the entire way home 🙂 Ps. Boys will be boys. Be prepared.
Option 2: If your game starts at 1:30pm, try and leave by 11am. For an early game like this, I recommend packing a picnic! Because a stroller also acts as a pack mule, you can afford to tote a ton of stuff to the game and then check it in with your stroller. Once you arrive at the Red Garage in The Battery, park and head to the turf field outside of the stadium! Lay down a blanket and set up a picnic – This is the perfect way to stay on budget and let the kids enjoy the pre-game excitement!
After your picnic, head to the Kid’s Zone! Remember: Your child is too small to zip line, rock climb, or run the bases. Try your hardest to keep their attention away from the zip line.
After the arcade games, check in your stroller at Guest Services and head towards your seats! Let you child enjoy the game as long as they possible can. They will let you know when they’re ready to go.
After their meltdown, exit the stadium and show them the fountain. Let them get out all of the energy they have left so that they will sleep the entire way home. Maybe even stop by Antico’s for some gelato! You never know, they may pass out before you ever make it to the car.
The unexpected Option 3: One last option is to not purchase a Braves ticket at all. Simply head to The Battery on game day and let the kids play. This way, you save money on tickets and ball park candy and let the kids play outside instead. It’s a win – win.
If you’ve decided to venture out and take your toddler to a Braves game, I wish you the best of luck. Make sure to use the Share Your Photos App to share all those fun memories with friends and family!
Sydney @ Share Your Photos <3