Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blue Jays - Toronto

I am not a terribly sporty person, other than during the Olympics when I suddenly become intensely interested in every sport up to and including the two man luge.  One of the few sports I actually like watching is baseball.  I grew up in Toronto and Mississauga so I am a lifelong Blue Jays fan so I was pretty excited to take my kids to their first game a couple years ago.  Since then we have been a few more times and I have learned a few tricks along the way.
The view from the cheap seats
I actually like the cheap seats the best.  Partly because they are cheap I admit, but also because it tends to be not quite so crowded up there and I swear you can actually see better than you can in some of the higher priced seats.  In the 100 level seats if someone is standing in front of your kid they can't see a thing.  The last time we went we had seats along the first base line, row 9 but we also had people getting up and down every 12 seconds in the rows and seats around us.   In the cheap seats it doesn't matter much if people are getting up since you can see over them better.  By the way, that is true even if the person standing is a kid so please don't be like the dad a couple rows ahead of us who let his kid stand the whole game thus blocking the view of the all the kids behind him.  Even an adult sitting in front of a kid will block their view at the 100 level but you can get a booster seat from guest services to help with that. Tickets start around $15 for the cheapest ones up in the 500 level.
 A definite upside to sitting on the 100 level is you will probably get to see Ace the mascot.
You can bring food in.   So long as it is packaged so it won't spill or leak and you can fit it under your seat.  Personally I firmly believe that ice cream tastes better in little tiny plastic helmets and I am willing to pay whatever price they demand for that delicacy but I can certainly see how one might balk at the $5.50 water bottles. You can get all of the standards like peanuts, popcorn, foot long hotdogs but no cracker jacks!  Not all concession stands sell the same things so if you want a foot long hotdog (like me!) you have to find the stand that sells them. I now fully understand why peanuts are a staple of baseball games.  It is the only time and place where you sit still for long enough to actually be able to eat more than two and you are outside so you can just drop the shells.  They do have a nut reduced area if you happen to be going with someone with a nut allergy.

By the way the line ups for the concession stand get longer as the game goes on.  I would recommend getting your food early.  You can buy drinks from a vendor in the stands during the game.
I found this picture, along with a ton more when I googled "ice cream in a Blue Jays helmet" so I am obviously not the only one who loves them.
Little kids don't have the attention span to sit through a game.  Baseball games are long and not as action packed as some other sports so I really can't see any kid, even an avid sports fan, under the age of about 6 actually enjoying the game.  If your kid can't sit through a game then neither can you since it isn't like you can send them off to entertain themselves while you watch so I would highly recommend either waiting until kids are old enough to actually enjoy it or leave them at home and go without them.
When you have a baseball mad daughter you pretty much have to go to see the Blue Jays play live!
If it is your kid's first game or their birthday you can let the Blue Jays know and someone will come by during the game and give them a little certificate which my kids got a kick out of.  I would get your request in early because they sometimes shut down the program part way through the season.  You can also get a message put up on the jumbotron but it costs $100 and if you happen to be at the concession stand when it shows up well so much for that!

You can print off some activity and fact sheet pages for kids before the game.

My kids love everything about the Blue Jays games including the Seventh Inning Stretch, the Tu-Lo chant, the wave, and the music they play when each batter comes up to the plate.   You name it, they love it.  By the way, Chris Colabello wins on the music selection.  Return of the Mack indeed!

If you have a baseball nut in your family I suggest getting the Jr. Jays Club Kit.  They sell out though so get them early.  We did it last year (we missed out this year) and we got a Blue Jays cap, a wallet, a water bottle and a coupon book that was actually pretty good for $25 CAD.  The hat alone would have cost almost that so it was well worth it.  It also comes with a little membership card which entitles the bearer to certain perks like autograph sessions and the like.

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