Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Living in Connecticut, we are close to two of the country’s top rival teams – the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Getting to either city isn’t difficult, but why drive when you can enjoy a game without leaving the state?

Chances are you’ve heard of the Hartford Yard Goats, our capitol’s minor league baseball team (MiLB). Connecticut is also home to two other professional teams. The New Britain Bees are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The Connecticut Tigers, who are part of the New York-Penn League, call Norwich home.

There are benefits to staying local for a game. Minor league stadiums are typically smaller and less crowded than their major league counterparts. As a result, you’ll probably have a better view of the field and the game. Tickets are less expensive and easier to come by, and fans are (usually!) better behaved – though not less passionate about the game!

Though your little ones may not want to sit still for nine innings, minor league games are designed with families in mind. There are often kid-friendly activities before, during and after games. Team mascots make their way through the stands to shake hands and pose for pictures. Some fields set off fireworks after the game to keep the fun going once the players have left the field.

Then there’s the food. Eating at a baseball game in the 21st century is a culinary experience. Even minor league locales have more than just hot dogs on the menu. (But can you really say no to a hot dog at a baseball game?) Prices are much more reasonable than at MLB games, and there are plenty of delicious options for dinner – and snacks!

Watching sports with your kids offers a chance to explain the rules of the game, communicating values, and teaching what it means to be a gracious winner and loser. Just remember to keep your cool if your team falls behind or the ump makes a questionable call! They’ll be watching your reaction.

Remember to download the PDF to make your own Summer Bucket List!