If you want to take your kids to a major league baseball game, a trip to Tampa Bay or Atlanta can turn into an entire weekend. Luckily there’s a fantastic alternative for baseball fans right in Jacksonville: the Jacksonville Suns minor league baseball team. One small step below the big leagues, Suns players display the skills and talent of any pro team. The Jacksonville Suns have produced such greats as Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, and even Alex Rodriguez, so there’s no telling what star of tomorrow you can see with your family today. Plan to take half a day and dedicate it to spending time with your kids and enjoying some great baseball.
The Suns have promotions throughout the baseball season that make your family trip a little more special. Check the official team website for the schedule each year. You may end up with free team shirts for the kids, a bobblehead doll, or other souvenir, or even a chance for kids to run bases on the field before or after a game. Try going to the game on any Friday when there’s a home game; you’ll enjoy a fireworks show shortly after the game. As long as your schedule is otherwise clear, you might as well take the kids on a night that offers a free souvenir or fun opportunity.
Have dinner at the game to give the family more of an old-fashioned experience. The Suns offer a concession special every Tuesday offer hot dogs, peanuts, and ice cream treats for 50 cents each. The rest of the week, you can enjoy a variety of snacks and meal items such as corndogs, sausages on a bun, fruit salad, and grilled chicken sandwiches, as well as the classic peanuts, popcorn, and Cracker Jacks. If you’d rather bring your own, a soft-sided cooler makes the perfect carrier for your own sub sandwiches or other easy-to-eat treats.
Add to the fun of a minor league baseball game by getting your kids into the spirit of things. Buy team t-shirts or wear clothing in team colors. Get some washable face paint and paint the Suns logo on your kids’ cheeks. Have them help make a banner they can hold up during the game to cheer the team on. Take them to the playground at the ballpark before the game to get rid of any extra energy they might have, then grab a snack and lead them in some chants and cheers during the game.
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