Play Ball!

Found yourself whistling “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” lately? With springtime comes the return of outdoor sports! Opportunities abound for ways to share a love of sports with a young one in Seattle this season—here are some of our faves.

If you are a ball fan, you’re in luck! Check out a University of Washington baseball or softball game at the Husky Ballfield. Tickets are only $2 on Tuesdays (with $2 hot dogs!) and you can get a family ticket (good for four) for $15 any day. The stands are open air, so bring a hat and some sunscreen. There is an open grassy field for running a toddler during the game, and ushers occasionally toss hot dogs into the crowd to celebrate strikeouts.

Great minor league baseball can be found just off of I-5 south in Tacoma and north in Everett. Watch a Tacoma Rainiers game in a fun, relaxed environment. General admission tickets are only $7. This is the last stop before the majors—see tomorrow’s stars up close today! The Everett Aquasox play up in Everett in the summer. These games are fun for everyone: you can get a haircut while you watch the action, take the kids to the “fun zone”, and cheer on the superhero who collects trash from the stands. Kids can run the bases after the game on certain days. Check the website for this summer’s dates.

Of course, Mariners games are always fun, and opening day at home is right around the corner, on April 12. Kids under two are free, and if you take a stroller to the game, you can enter next to the team store on 1st Avenue and take the elevator up to your level. A very civilized way to navigate Safeco Field! If you’re lucky, it will start to rain during the game and you and the kids can “ooh” and “aah” as the roof closes.

Amateur baseball is played at parks all over Seattle. Cal Anderson Park has games all weekend long in the spring and summer months. Grab a taco at Rancho Bravo or ice cream from Molly Moon’s and picnic on the bleachers. Or check out the schedule at your local high school. Adopt a team and become a fan!

Public parks are also a great place to watch tennis, Frisbee and touch football. Volunteer Park has casual leagues playing on the big field most weekends. You can also climb the water tower, warm up in the plant conservancy, and get the wiggles out on the playground.

Boating season opens on Saturday, May 1st this year. Join the crowds on the shore of the Montlake cut to watch boats of all sizes and ages row in the Windermere Cup crew races. The Parade of Boats starts at noon—check out the array of boats that cruise Lake Washington. Later in the spring, gather at Gas Works Park to watch the Duck Dodge. The fun, colorful races start on May 18th.

If you’re adventurous and want to expose your young one to a more exotic sport, check out the UW intramural sports and club sports calendars and the Seattle University calendar. Whatever your game, get out there and have fun exploring the array of athletic events throughout the city this spring.

—Karen McHegg