Are you headed to San Diego soon? Check out my tips to visit Petco Park with kids!
I think catching a game at a ballpark is a great activity in any new city whether you love baseball or not. Most ballparks offer local flavor in some manner or other, plus modern ballparks have cool amenities and you can’t pass up on the history at some of the old time parks.
San Diego is one of our family’s favorite vacation spots, it’s an easy trip from Tucson and we usually go at least once a year. On our last trip, we were given media tickets to a San Diego Padres game and were excited to finally visit Petco Park with kids.
The last time Peter and I were at Petco Park was probably 10 years ago, so we were definitely due for a return visit. Plus Quinn is following baseball a lot more now so we knew he’d appreciate seeing a game in action.
The boys have watched the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Diamondbacks at Chase Field and a couple of spring training games in Scottsdale over the years but we were due for another baseball adventure and Petco Park was an awesome host for it.
I wanted to share a few of the family-friendly features we found and why you should visit Petco Park with your kids!
1. Park at the Park
A unique feature at Petco Park is also the most family friendly aspect. Park at the Park, is a 2.5+ acre park literally behind the outfield with plenty of lawn seating and a huge TV screen to watch the game.
It’s perfect for families that want a little extra space to let the kids run around while still experiencing the sites and sounds of a baseball game. Tickets are general admission and the price varies by game but they are definitely the most budget-friendly option. Don’t forget to bring a blanket and picnic!
2. Shade Chart
If you’d rather sit in traditional ballpark seats, check out the official ballpark shade map. It details out which seats are in full sun, full shade or partial sun/shade. Our seats were in section 116 with full shade and a great view.
3. Nursing Lounge
The Petco Park Nursing Lounge is a comfortable place for moms to nurse. There is comfortable indoor seating with a television to watch the game and a private bathroom. There is also a section of seats outside the lounge to watch the game.
The lounge is located on the Toyota Terrace Level in Suite 32. It’s also a great place to bring toddlers who need a little more space to move around. Keep in mind it is a nursing lounge for moms that want privacy so no men allowed.
4. Ride the Trolley to Petco Park
Skip the crazy parking fees and traffic by taking the San Diego Trolley downtown. We parked at Mission Valley for free and hopped on the green line.
The 12th & Imperial Transit Center (close to Petco Park stadium) is accessible from all three trolley lines (green, orange and blue). Rides are $2.50 each way but try to catch a weekend game because kids ride free (with an adult fare) on Saturday and Sundays.
5. You Can Bring Limited Drinks
There are plenty of cool food options at Petco Park, including famous local fare like Phil’s BBQ, Pizza Port, Hodad’s, Baked Bear and Lucha Libre. As a family on a budget though, I always want to bring a few snacks and drinks if possible when we attend events.
Petco Park used to allow snacks but outside food is no longer allowed. You can bring single servings of water, and juice/milk(for little kids). The food policy change is a bummer but it seems like most big facilities are going this way. Check out the Petco FAQ for full details on what food is allowed in the park.
Sunday is the best day to watch a Padres game with kids. Sunday home game features KidsFest at the Park at the Park, plus kids can run the bases after the game. KidsFest offers a variety of fun inflatables and other kid-friendly entertainment.
My boys loved running through the obstacle courses and trying their hand at the sports themed inflatables!
Petco Park is hard to beat for the most kid-friendly baseball park. We had a great time during our visit.
Do you have a favorite ballpark to visit with kids?
This article was originally published July 9, 2017.