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Even if they’ve never picked up a bat or glove, most people have at least one fond memory of watching a baseball game. For families, a ball game is a great way for both adults and kids to spend a few hours together rooting for their favorite team. Here are two tours that help families enjoy the pastime together.
Jay Buckley’s Baseball Tours Families looking for a little nostalgia will enjoy itineraries from Jay Buckley’s Baseball Tours, which visits some of America’s most iconic ballparks.
"I've been told by many parents that our baseball tour was the best bonding experience they ever had with their children,” said Jay Buckley, founder of Jay Buckley’s Baseball Tours. “On our trips, families are together 24 hours a day enjoying a common love: baseball.”
The company’s nearly 30 trips — which range in length from five to 11 days — begin in March with trips to Spring Training in both Arizona and Florida, and continue through the fall. The tours include visits to ballparks across the U.S., such as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Petco Park in San Diego, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Yankee Stadium in New York and Fenway Park in Boston.
In addition to offering clients guided city tours, ballpark tours and the opportunity to attend baseball games, some itineraries also feature visits to bucket-list baseball spots such as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.; the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Ky.; and the film site of “Field of Dreams” in Dyersville, Iowa.
“Traveling is one of the most educational endeavors we can provide children,” Buckley said. “So, our tour escorts — many of whom are, or were, teachers — enjoy sharing the history, pop culture and current events of these cities along with baseball information relating to the ballparks and teams.
Nate Wiste, office manager for Jay Buckley's Baseball Tours, notes that what makes the operator so great for families is that the company takes the hassle out of planning a vacation.
“You don't have to worry about driving, getting tickets to the game or finding hotels,” he said. “All you have to do is get on a bus with your family, relax and enjoy America's greatest pastime."
Take Me Out to the Ballgame TourDeparting on Aug. 25 from Chicago, the seven-day Take Me Out to the Ballgame itinerary from America by Rail offers families the opportunity to travel the way baseball teams once did: by train.
Operator America by Rail takes baseball fans to six cities for games at five of the best ballparks in the country, including Wrigley Field — the second oldest park in the majors, known for its ivy-covered outfield wall and hand-turned scoreboard — and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., the fourth oldest ballpark in the American League. The tour also includes a visit to the Cardinals Nation Hall of Fame & Museum in St. Louis.
“We make all the arrangements,” said H. Lawrence Swartz, chairman and CEO of America by Rail. “You don’t have to worry about planning your own day-by-day experiences, and you can literally go along for the ride.”
Because travel is during the day, passengers can relax and take in spectacular U.S. landscapes from their window as they move from city to city. Plus, families can enjoy refreshments and games in the lounge car or a full-course meal in the dining car.