If you’re looking for an affordable, fun, family outing look no further than Bowie, home of the Baysox, a Baltimore Orioles minor league farm team. The Baysox play at Prince George’s Stadium, and it is one of the best minor league stadiums I have been to – clean, easily accessible, and with plenty of free parking. It’s a low-key setting, perfect for introducing the national pastime to your kids, newly arrived foreign guests, or your sports-deprived-as-a-child spouse.
Last week the Our Kids squad and select extended family members took in a Saturday evening game. Typically before the games in the ‘breezeway’ there are various tables featuring sponsors of the game or general information about the Baysox. Busch Gardens Williamsburg was on hand with information about their park plus fun giveaways. Other tables included information about the Louie Kids Club and various other local organizations.
The stadium’s small scale is perfect for families, and all the seats in the house are good ones. We bought our tickets online and knew the general section we were in, but we thrilled to find out we were directly behind the visitor’s dugout. Section 112, Row C is the place to be! What an amazing vantage point, made even better on a hot summer afternoon by having the sun to our backs. Even if you’re a Baysox fan, Our Kids suggests that you try to get seats on the third base line (visitors side) of the stadium. You’ll be happy to be in a more shaded area.
The game itself was fun, and went quickly. As you might expect, there was plenty of inter-inning entertainment. The night was warm but the OK interns (ages 10 & 8) made it through the entire 9 innings without any trouble, and even got a foul ball just for asking. In fact, foul balls are a crowd pleaser. Our interns loved watching fans lunge for (or away from) the foul balls, especially the kids who brought their gloves. (For our part, the senior OK staff loved seeing a cell-phone user yapping away as a high fly landed two seats away, when he finally heard the ball smack and then dove for cover. He did finally grab the ball, and realized the entire stadium was laughing at him, but kept talking the whole time.
If you don’t think your kids can stay in seats for two or three hours, fret not- you can still see the game as you take them over to the play zone at the far end of the first base line. There is carousel and plenty of other entertainment to let them burn off that extra snack.
After the game (and after many weekend evenings games), the Baysox will treat you to an amazing fireworks display. The fireworks display must have lasted at least 20 minutes — each time I thought it was the grand finale, the fireworks kept on coming.
Food & Drink
Food includes the standard ballpark fare, minus long lines. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and sausages are the core of the lineup, but they do through a curve too: some of our OK foodies went with the black bean burgers and declared them a hit. For $8 you get a good size black bean burger and fries. Other items on the menu include pretzels, ice cream, cotton candy, soda, beer and wine. For the kids, check out the $5 kids meal. Kids get a hot dog, juice box, chips and a small prize toy.
Our Kids Awards Bonus Points to the friendly, helpful stadium staff: concessionaires, ticket takers and event staff all seemed to be genuinely happy to be there. What a nice experience!
Things to Know Before You Go
- Purchase your tickets online. They range from $6 to $14 plus applicable service fees. Include other discounts here and include information on purchasing tickets at the stadium.
- There is an ATM onsite.
- All kids 12 and under can run the bases EVERY home game after the game has ended.
- No outside food or drinks are permitted into the stadium. Consider tail gaiting to save a few bucks, otherwise there are plenty of food options inside the stadium.
- Be sure to bring your hat, sunglasses and sun block.
- The Bowie Baysox offers birthday party packages.