If you are looking for a fun family friendly activity right at your doorstep, look no further than Raley Field in West Sacramento. We loaded up our kids recently to catch an evening Sacramento River Cats game. The sights, sounds, and smells brought a nostalgic feeling for us parents as our little ones got to experience the buzz of excitement for the first time. We’ve always wanted to take them to a San Francisco Giants game, but a minor league game in town offers a much more affordable option without the hassle of driving to the Bay. We were seated right behind home plate, but looking around we saw many other great seats available including lawn seats which looked like a nice option for little ones with a lot of energy to burn. The kids loved being so close to the action, as we could hear the loud crack of the bats and the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt. The pitchers were really throwing some heat! Every so often a foul ball would fly over our heads and the kids held onto hope that they would eventually catch one.
Its best not to come to Raley Field with a full belly because you will want to try at least one of the many treats offered to baseball goers. We tried the kettle corn which was fabulous. Our daughter could not pass up the “Chicago mix,” which is a mixture of caramel-covered popcorn and cheddar popcorn. Of course, you will find classic ballpark hot dogs, but they also serve a wide variety of other dishes, such as salmon tacos and garlic fries. We surprised the kids with a treat/souvenir they could take home: miniature helmets filled with ice cream and hot fudge. I remember collecting those as a kid! Needless to say, those treats were a home run.
While the older kids were fixated on the game, the younger kids were not left out of the excitement as they watched River Cats’ mascot, Dinger’s antics around the stadium and waited for a chance meet him in person. Our five-year old was ecstatic when he finally got a chance to high-five Dinger and we later were able to snap a picture with him on our way out of the park. Other entertaining activities included a potato sack race on the field and standing up and signing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. Kids can also join Dinger’s Club for a discount at the Deck Shop, tickets to the Kids Corner and other fun promotions and activities. For more information on Dinger’s Club, click here.
What: Sacramento River Cats, Sacramento’s AAA Baseball team, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
Where: Raley Field, West Sacramento, just across the river from Old Sacramento.
When to Go: The season runs from April 7 – September 5, 2016, but the best family days are Toyota Family Value Tuesdays, when hot dogs and desserts are just $1 each and Sunday Fundays when balloon artists, face painters and even the players themselves are out for the family to enjoy. Check out the many other fun game day promotions, here and click here to view the full game schedule.
Where to Park:
Parking option 1: this year, the River Cats and Lashers Auto Group have partnered up to reward carpoolers. Parking is FREE at any Raley Field parking lot if you have at least 4 people to a car. You must fill out a form here, print out a voucher and present it upon entering the lot on game day.
Parking option 2: Head into Old Sacramento, park in the South garage, and enjoy a short, picturesque walk across the Tower Bridge to the ballpark.
by Kara Keister