If you're a die-hard Cubs or Sox fan, make some time this summer
for a tour of Wrigley or U.S. Cellular Field.
333 W. 35th St.
Tours are available weekdays and include the White Sox home
dugout, press box, field, suites and the Stadium Club. Advance
reservations required. For younger children who might find the
75-minute tour too long, the tour staff can provide short visits
that include the field and the dugout. Admission is $5, $3 kids 13
and under and seniors.
1060 W. Addison St., between Clark Street and Seminary
Non-game day tours may include visits to the seating bowl, press
box, bleachers, visitor's clubhouse, Cubs' clubhouse, Cubs' dugout,
as well as a chance to step on the field. On game days, guided
tours may include visits to the seating bowl, press box, bleachers,
indoor batting cage, as well as a chance to step on the field. The
75-90 minute guided tours are conducted rain or shine through
September. Admission is $25.
Looking to take a few swings yourself? The Hitting Zone
in Bartlett offers hitters a chance, rain or shine, to plunk down a
couple of tokens in their five baseball/softball cages, while
tunnel rentals are available for hitting, fielding and pitching,
according to co-owner Jim Stancl.
"It's good for entertainment and the athlete looking to get
better," Stancl says.
Closer to Chicago, the "ping" of a rubber ball hitting an
aluminum bat can still be heard at the legendary Novelty Golf
& Games in Lincolnwood. It has five batting cages-three
baseball, two slow-pitch softball-where generations have warmed up
for games or stopped in after a round of mini-golf.
Whether you're playing, watching or just love the game,
summertime is when America's favorite pastime shines its brightest.
And the Chicago area offers more than its fair share of ways for
families to enjoy the fun.
Aside from the Cubs and Sox, the Chicago area boasts four other
professional teams for you to catch the action. For more than 20
years, the area's standard setter has been the Kane County
The Cougars enter their 22nd season in Geneva with a rich
history of showing off future stars on the field as part of the
Midwest League schedule, while also putting on a show for nine
innings around Fifth Third Ballpark.
"Our goal is to provide something exciting and fun for
everyone," says Shawn Touney, Cougars public relations director.
"Each night there's going to be some surprises and gimmicks."
Kane County's approach to "family-friendly fun" is solidified
with a wide range of theme nights, special guests and the
ever-popular fireworks nights. For 2012, game-day promotions
include "Daddy-Daughter" night, the return of Star Wars nights,
Sunday Fun Days and Peanut-Free night-a first-of-its-kind concept
introduced a few years back to accommodate fans with peanut
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The newest entry to the local baseball scene this summer is the
Boomers. Ed McCaskey, media relations director, touts cheap
game tickets and free parking to get people through the gates at
"Frankly, we're going to be more affordable," he says, noting
advance ticket purchases are discounted.
A Sunday family plan includes four tickets, hot dogs, drinks,
chips and entry to the kids play area for $56. The kids' area
includes speed pitch and jump houses, while mascot Coop the Boomer
keeps things fun between innings.
The Boomers also offer a unique food selection McCaskey hopes
also will become an attraction.
The Joliet Slammers and Windy City
Thunderbolts are baseball destinations for fans in the south
Dan Campana is a dad and freelance writer living in Streamwood.
See more of Dan's stories here.
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