Take the kids out to the ballgame! New Jersey is home to several Minor League Baseball teams that have players who are fun to watch, seats that are closer to the field and lots of activities for the kids. There are all of the amenities of a Major League game, like autographs and stadium treats. You may even get to see your favorite pros when they move down a division as they are rehabbing. Consider a season ticket plan, or even a group outing with your kid’s scout troop or for a birthday party. The teams also have special themed and promotional nights planned, plus fireworks throughout the summer. Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks and head to the field!
Jersey Shore Blue Claws
FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way, Lakewood
The BlueClaws are a High-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. That means there’s a chance you’ll get to see your favorite pros from the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Washington National, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros if they come down to rehab.
There’s more here than just baseball – take the kids to mini golf, the boardwalk area and inflatable rides. Adults can grab a drink at the beer garden or join the Thirsty Thursday Club. A Spring Flea Market is planned for April 23 on the stadium grounds. Fireworks shows are on select nights, presented by Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. Marvel Super Hero Night with Black Panther is May 19, or meet Spider-Man on June 24.
You can sign up for the Kids Club for free, so your child 12 or younger can eat for free on Sundays. The MVP Package includes five ticket vouchers and the opportunity to watch the fireworks from the field.
The first home game is Tuesday, April 11, at 6:35 pm vs. the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pittsburgh Pirates). If you’re a fan, consider getting a 5-game, 10-game or full season ticket package instead of single tickets. There is a package for youth sports teams.
New Jersey Jackals
Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson
The New Jersey Jackals are a member of the East Division of the Frontier League, an independent baseball league which is a Partner League of Major League Baseball. They were previously members of the Northeast League, Northern League, Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, and All-American Baseball Challenge.
Opening Day will be the very first game at Hinchliffe Stadium; previously, the team played at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls. There’s a history lesson here, as Hinchliffe is one of the last remaining Negro Leagues stadiums in the country. This will be the first time since 1950 that Hinchliffe has hosted pro ball.
There will be a fireworks show after every Saturday home game. On Wednesdays, grab a buy one-get one hot dog. On Thursdays, parents can get daft beer for $1.
If your kid is serious about the sport, the Jackals offer Nike Baseball Camp for boys ages 7-15. Jackals staff member Jim Whalen will teach the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, base-running, team play and more. Camp dates are July 31 – Aug. 4, Aug. 7-11 and Aug. 14-18.
The first home game is Saturday, May 20, at 6:05 pm vs. the Sussex County Miners.
Trenton Thunder Park, 1 Thunder Rd., Trenton
Formerly a Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Trenton Thunder is now a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League. It’s a great opportunity to see players at the beginning of their careers, and maybe inspire your own athletes.
The team’s mascots, Boomer, Cloudman and Slice pay tribute to NJ’s iconic breakfast pork roll. Rookie, the bat dog, is one of the cutest parts of the game!
Treat your future athlete to something special by signing them up for Boomer’s Kids Club. For $20, kids 12 and under will receive one ticket to the Sunday games, a T-shirt, a bracelet, a 10% discount at the team store, seven coupons for a free round at the speed pitch and the ability to join Kids Run the Bases via the express line. They can also have fun at Boomer’s Birthday Celebration on June 11, sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on July 16 and try to hit from home plate on Aug. 20.
Ticket memberships are available for six games, 10 games, half-season and the full season. The first home game is Thursday, June 1, at 7 pm against the Frederick Keys from Maryland.
TD Bank Ballpark, 860 E. Main St., Bridgewater
If you can’t make it to the Bronx, this is the perfect spot to catch the Double-A New York Yankees play their best.
This year, the season will kick off with a show to include a Championship Celebration on Opening Day on April 6, plus an Independence Day celebration on July 4, and 19 fireworks nights after the game. Something special this year is the return of The Zorros de Somerset, part of MiLB’s Copa de la Diversion program, where April 22, May 19, June 25, July 27 and Aug. 25 will be dedicated to them. Plus, Bark in the Park Nights on April 20, May 18, June 20, July 5 and Sept. 5 allow well-behaved, socialized pups into the stadium to enjoy the game with your family. Marvel-themed nights will have your kids going crazy to meet Captain America on June 23, Black Panther on July 9 and Spider-Man on Aug. 12.
The first home game is Thursday, April 6, at 6:35 pm against the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals). Single-ticket prices start at $14.50. You can also get season, group or premium hospitality packages.
Sussex County Miners
Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Pl., Augusta
The Sussex County Miners will kick off their eighth championship season – and ninth overall – with a 3-game series at the Joliet Slammers on May 12, but one of the more exciting games will be when the Miners host their in-state rival, the New Jersey Jackals, on July 4.
Seasonal promotions include $2 Coronas on Tuesdays, buy one-get one hot dogs on Wednesdays, $1 drafts on Thursdays, $5 beer bat refills on Fridays, and $5 kids tickets on Sundays.
If you prefer different choices than ballpark food, Double S Smokehouse offers full lunch and dinner menus, plus a full bar. If you can wait until September, a food truck fest will be held Sept. 3 before the game to celebrate Labor Day; and Fan Appreciation Day will be Sept. 4, where you can listen to live music, hope for prize giveaways and receive a team photo. There will be fireworks after every Saturday home game, so don’t rush out of your seats after the 27th out.
The first home game is on Tuesday, May 16, at 7:05 pm, against their divisional rival Tri-City ValleyCats. Single-ticket games start at $8. There are group and season ticket packages available. Or choose a suite with a cigar deck.
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