As you probably know, I am one of those super special unicorns that was legitimately born and raised in the Los Angeles area. That means that I am a diehard LA Dodgers fan (as all LA people should be, hint hint Husband!). I have been going to Dodger games for as long as I can remember, and there was a stretch of my childhood when my mom’s boss had season tickets and we went a couple of times a month. Before we had a kid (in other words, when we had extra income) we had a small group of friends who bought Dodger mini plans and went to about twenty games a season. We have been going much less since Squirt came along (though he went to his first games last year), but we are definitely looking forward to taking him to baseball games throughout his childhood. Since I have such a strong connection to Dodger Stadium, and to baseball in general (it is on our couple bucket list to visit all of the MLB stadiums, so far we have been to ten!) I thought I would share some tips with you.
Dodger Stadium is one of the oldest in the country, which means it is steeped in history, but also lacking some modern amenities you can find at other stadiums. A recent renovation brought about some of the original 1960’s flair (which thanks to Mad Men became popular again) and the stadium itself is clean and beautiful. The views from the stadium seats are gorgeous, especially at sunset. While I have enjoyed visiting the other ballparks we have been to so far, Dodger Stadium is one of my favorites (though I might be a bit biased). Here are some things you should know before you go to a Dodger game:
Parking: One of the major downfalls of Dodger Stadium (and LA in general) is the lack of public transportation options. Unless you are prepared to hike at least a mile, you need to plan on parking at the stadium. There are buses that travel to the park, but your life is going to be easier if you drive yourself. If you do drive, make sure you go online and prepay for parking, as you will save about $10 on the cost of parking if you do. This also means you need to get there early. I typically try to arrive at least 45 minutes before game time to leave plenty of time to park and walk in.
Food: Dodger Stadium has some of the best food that I have eaten at a ballpark. My personal favorites are the Extreme Loaded Dogs, which have several different options for toppings. This one is the Doyer Dog, which has chili, nacho cheese, pico de gallo, and jalapenos on it…
And this is the LA Bacon Wrapped Dog, which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon with onions, mayo and mustard on top.
Dodger Stadium also has a lot of diverse food options, including pretty tasty Brooklyn style pizza and Mexican food. My other favorite treat is fro yo in a mini Dodger helmet. Not only is the fro yo a great treat, but the helmet is the perfect souvenir. I have a mini helmet from all of the stadiums we have been to so far and I love them. The other tip to keep in mind when it comes to food is that you can (and should) bring in your own bottled water and non-alcoholic drinks. Just make sure they are in plastic bottles and stay sealed until you enter the park. You can also bring in snacks (like peanuts) and even entrees if you are so inclined (we have brought in Subway or other sandwiches in the past).
Bring the Kids: Dodger Stadium is a great place for families. On the Reserve level, there is a kids play space where they can run around and get some energy out. There are also lots of family restrooms all around the ballpark, which are super helpful as both parents can take the kids into the bathroom if needed. Also, make sure you visit Guest Services to pick up a first timers certificate for your kid’s first baseball game (or first time at Dodger Stadium).
Friday Night Fireworks: If you can swing it, go to a Dodger game on a Friday night. Every Friday night (weather permitting), there are fireworks after the game. You can see the fireworks great from most seats in the stadium, but you are also allowed to go down on the field after the game if you want to watch from there. In addition to being a great view, it is also really cool to be down on the field so I would definitely recommend watching from the field at least once.
If you are in LA during baseball season, I would highly recommend checking out a Dodger game. There is so much history at Dodger Stadium, and it is certainly a Los Angeles landmark. If you are a fan of another stadium, leave me some tips so I know the scoop when I check that stadium off my list!