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If you're heading to a San Diego Padres baseball game with the whole family in tow, check out these awesome insider tips.
Named America's No. 1 ballpark by USA Today, Petco Park has so much to offer, from its stunning location by San Diego Bay to its yummy food and beverage options to its great activities for kids. And there's plenty for families to do at the ballpark even when the Padres aren't in town.
Check out these insider tips for making the most of your family visit to Petco Park.
The grassy expanses of the ballpark's Gallagher Square, situated behind center field, make it the perfect spot for families to picnic and relax, with great proximity to food vendors and more. And even on non-gamedays and during the offseason, the area serves as an open public park.
Younger kids will also love playing in the sand pit between Gallagher Square and the centerfield fence, or taking a whack at a Wiffle ball and running the bases at Play Ball Field, a miniature baseball diamond made just for them.
The younger members of your household won't want to miss KidsFest, a family celebration in Gallagher Square that starts two hours before every Padres Sunday home game and includes bounce houses, interactive games, face painters, balloon artists and much more.
Sundays bring a fantastic postgame option, too: Kids Run the Bases, an activity open to all game attendees age 14 and under. Families can begin lining up in Gallagher Square after the end of the eighth inning for a chance to sprint around the Petco Park basepath just like big-leaguers.
Throughout the season, the Padres host a range of fun, family-friendly theme events — from Star Wars Weekend to Bark at the Park, which lets you take in a game from Gallagher Square with a canine family member.
For an inside look at the ballpark and San Diego Padres history, your family might also want to check out the range of Petco Park tours on offer — some of which come with the added bonus of catching Padres batting practice.
Throughout the year, Petco Park hosts an impressive variety of top concerts — in Gallagher Square, on the larger Sycuan Stage and (for the biggest acts) venue-wide. Petco's cozy confines provide great excellent sight lines for even the biggest shows.
Savoring all the great food and beverage offerings at Petco Park is an activity all its own: Check out our Grub Guide for a comprehensive look at the options. Bonus tip: If your youngest family members are clamoring for a sweet treat, check out such kid-favorite snack options as Mister Softee, Cravory Cookies or Holy Paleta frozen desserts.
Depending on the time of year you're visiting and the place you're sitting in Petco Park, either sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats or blankets and sweaters might be advisable, so remember to bring those items along. But if you forget those things — or, better yet, just want to pick up some great Padres swag — don't leave Petco Park without checking out the San Diego Padres Official Team Store, which is located on the ground floor of the Western Metal Supply Building (incorporated into the ballpark) and carries loads of Padres merch, from hats to uniform jerseys to branded blankets.
For family members on the autism spectrum, Petco Park and the Padres offer several accessibility options, including sensory bags with noise-canceling headphones, fidgets and other items (via a partnership with KultureCity), plus a Sensory Story, Sensory Map and more. For additional information on services for the disabled in San Diego, check out our accessibility guide.
The San Diego Trolley is a quick, inexpensive and low-hassle way to get to a Padres game — and special transit deals make it even cheaper when traveling with the family. On Saturdays and Sundays, up to two children ages 12 and under can ride free with a fare-paying adult on all Metropolitan Transit System routes. And children 5 and under can ride free at all times with a paying passenger on all Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District routes.
And for an overall look at everything the home of the Padres has to offer — from transportation and parking options to great hotel options and fun ballpark facts — be sure to check out our comprehensive Guide to Petco Park.
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