The Ultimate Guide to Minor League Baseball Teams in Chicagoland

Play ball! Score great family deals, grand slam discounts and even free tickets at these minor league stadiums.

Chicagoans are lucky to have not one, but two major league baseball teams to root for. Donning your Cubbie blue and heading to Wrigley Field or wearing the coolest new South Side gear to a game at Sox Park is tons of fun, but have you seen those ballpark prices lately? Yikes! 

Cheering for your local minor league team is a great way to make game day more affordable.  Not only are ticket and concession prices significantly marked down from the big leagues, but minor league teams take family fun seriously. 

At these six stadiums near Chicago, you’ll find tons of game day fun for kids, from inflatables and mascot meet-and-greets to theme nights, firework displays, cool freebies and yummy food and drink deals on game day. 

Check out this guide to minor league baseball teams near Chicago and discover your new favorite team. Don’t worry — there’s no shame in jumping on the bandwagon. Play ball! 

The Chicago Dogs 

Minor league baseball teams chicago
Photo credit: Matt Zuro

The Chicago Dogs are the newest minor league team in town. The American Association team is named after the iconic Chicago hot dog, and the team’s logo features the colors and stars of the Chicago flag. 

Minor league baseball teams chicago
Photo credit: Matt Zuro

The Dogs do a great job of creating a family-friendly ballpark experience. A dedicated activity zone has tons of inflatable baseball-themed games to keep the kiddos busy before the first pitch. Families will have tons of fun watching the antics of Squeeze and Ketchup, the team’s hilarious mascots! 

The Dogs offer a great Friends & Family four-pack deal, as well as theme nights, firework displays and daily discounts on food and drink. 

Game Day Deals and Grad Slam Events

Minor league baseball teams chicago
Photo credit: Matt Zuro

Friends & Family Packs 

Friends & Family Packs are available for select games (June 22, July 20 and Aug. 3). The packs are $48 and include four tickets, four giveaway items and a $20 gift card to Murray Brothers Caddyshack for pre or post-game grub. 

Family Sundays

Head to the ballpark on Sundays for player autographs and catch on the field. Plus, $3 bottomless popcorn and $3 bottomless fountain drinks.

Weiner Wednesdays

Enjoy $1 hot dogs on Wednesdays when the team takes the field as the Chicago Weiners

Thirsty Thursdays

Grown ups can drink $2 cans of beer, play trivia and win prizes. 

Happy Hour Fridays

Fans can enjoy happy hour specials and cool giveaways on Fridays. Some of the promotional items include Chicago Dogs bucket hats, backpacks and hats. 

Theme Night Saturdays

Post-game fireworks and kid-friendly themes the entire family can enjoy, from Star Wars to Elvis Night.

Squeeze’s Scholars

Kiddos can join this free, eight-week reading program and win a free ticket to any Chicago Dogs regular season game at Impact Field. 

Joliet Slammers

Minor league baseball teams chicago
Photo credit: Joliet Slammers

On the far southwest side of Chicagoland, the Joliet Slammers are the fan favorites. 

Slammers games are tons of fun for families. Exciting theme nights, post-game fireworks and even overnight campouts at Duly Health and Care Field are amazing ways for kids to have fun and develop an appreciation for the sport. 

Game Day Deals and Grand Slam Events

Post-Game Fireworks 

Join the Slammers for a post-game firework show after every Friday home game, and on the evening of Wednesday, July 3. 

Barbie Night – Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Come on, Barbie — let’s go party! Wear your favorite Barbie-inspired outfit and be sure to wear something pink. On Barbie Night, the stadium will turn into the ultimate Barbie dreamhouse. 

Super Hero Night – Thursday, July 4, 2024

Dress up like your favorite superhero for this celebration of real life heroes! Police officers, firefighters and more will be honored at this super celebration. 

2024 Scout Sleepover

Spend the night at the ballpark! On Aug. 3, families can enjoy a ball game then camp out on the field. Tickets are $18 per person and include a reserved ticket, popcorn and a drink, overnight camping and breakfast. 

Spike’s Super Students

Schools, classrooms and libraries can sign up for this exciting reading incentive program. Kids can redeem reading time for one free reserved ticket at a Joliet Slammers home game; plus, parents and family members can reserve their own tickets for just five bucks! 

Each organization enrolled in the program will also receive a mascot appearance from Spike! Book Spike for reading nights, a kickoff assembly or other program. 

Kane County Cougars

minor league baseball in chicago
Photo credit: Sarah Caputi

I was raised a Kane County Cougars fan, thanks to my elementary school’s participation in the Cougars Reading Club

Cougar’s games are affordable and fun for the entire family! Chow down on daily food and drink specials, and get into the game day spirit with tons of cool activities for families, from inflatables and games in the KidZone to fireworks, theme nights and more surprises. 

Game Day Deals and Grand Slam Events

minor league baseball in chicago
Photo credit: Sarah Caputi

Sunday Free Feast

All seats are $15 on Sundays — and that $15 is returned to you in Concession Cash! Think of it as free admission to the ballpark — all you have to do is buy some snacks! 

Taco Tuesday

Enjoy Mexican food from Sammy’s Mobile Taqueria & Cantina. Grown ups can wash it down with a half-price Cayman Jack margarita.

Thirsty Thursday

Hot dogs! Get your $2 hot dogs! That’s right, hot dogs, beer and pop are just $2 each on Thursdays. 

Friday Frenzy

This meal deal includes your choice of a burger, brat or hot dog with a bag of chips, small soda and a Cougars baseball cap for $14-$16, depending on your tickets. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, because this deal isn’t available for tickets purchased on game day. 

Fireworks Nights

minor league baseball in chicago
Photo credit: Brad Repplinger

Post-game fireworks are on most Thursday, Friday and Saturday games. Check the schedule for a full list of dates. 

Gary SouthShore RailCats

Located just over the Indiana border, the Gary SouthShore RailCats are fierce American Association competitors. The team is an MLB pro league partner, which means you can watch rising stars conquer the field, all while enjoying family fun and theme nights. 

Feast on food and drink specials at every game, and enjoy exciting theme nights, dazzling fireworks displays and more post-game fun at the SteelYard. 

Game Day Deals and Grand Slam Events

Sunday Fun-Day

Kids can enjoy pre-game catch on the field and run the bases after the game. Plus, parents can sip on $5 cocktails. 

All You Can Eat Monday

Arrive hungry for Monday games! The All You Can Eat deal includes unlimited hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts for $15. 

Taco Tuesday

Enjoy $3 tacos and $5 margaritas. 

Pierogi Wednesday

Feast on $1 pierogies and $5 craft beer pours. 

Thirsty Thursday

Save a few bucks with $2 hot dogs and No. 3 domestic beers. 

Fireworks Friday

Catch a post-game firework show every Friday. 

Signature Saturday

Snag pre-game autographs and run the bases after the game on Saturdays, Plus, the Saturday Steal Deal includes a ticket, a Chick-fil-A coupon and a RailCats cap for just $15. 

Schaumburg Boomers

minor league baseball in chicago
Photo credit: Schaumburg Boomers

Welcome to Boomer Country! Named after the Greater Prairie Chicken, a native bird of Illinois, Boomers baseball is a hit for families in the north suburbs. Every game at Wintrust Field has a theme that kids will love, from dinosaurs and princesses to meet and greets with characters from popular shows like Bluey or Cocolmelon. Plus, kids can run the bases after every game at Wintrust Field! 

Game Day Deals and Grand Slam Events

minor league baseball in chicago
Photo credit: Schaumburg Boomers

Post-Game Fireworks

Prepare to be dazzled by a post-game firework show on Fridays and Saturdays. Special fireworks shows will be held on Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4. 

Jurassic Ballpark – Friday, June 21, 2024

Enjoy dino-mite fun throughout the game! Plus, fireworks at the end of the night. Be sure to wear your favorite dinosaur outfit or costume! 

Bluey & Bingo Meet N Greet – Sunday, June 23, 2024

A special ticket package will be offered for families who want to meet Bluey and Bingo! Plus, pre-game catch of the field and post-game autograph sessions. 

Bark in the Park

Furry family members will be allowed at the ballpark on three dates: Sunday, June 30; Sunday, Aug. 4, and Tuesday, Aug. 27. 

Star Wars Night – Friday, July 12, 2024

Dress up as your favorite intergalactic character and meet your favorite Star Wars characters. Fireworks and a special Dron Show will follow the game. 

Harry Potter Night – Friday, July 19, 2024

The first 1,500 fans at the park will receive a Harry Potter-themed house scarf. Plus, you can meet Harry Potter characters and enjoy a post-game firework display. 

Cocomelon Meet N Greet – Sunday, Aug. 18, 2024

A special ticket package will be offered for families who want to meet JJ from Cocomelon

Windy City Thunderbolts 

Spend a day at the ballpark with the Windy City Thunderbolts, located in the south suburb of Crestwood. 

Sign your little Thunderbolts fan up for the Boomer’s Buddies Kids Club. Members of the free club receive seven Sunday game tickets, seven vouchers for hot dogs, chips and sodas, and a free kids’ combo. Plus, earn free merch, get post-game autographs and play catch on the field. 

Game Day Deals and Grand Slam Events

Family Sundays

Sundays at Ozinga Field may have the best bang for your family’s buck. The Family Sunday deal includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four chips, four beverages, four ice cream cups and four souvenirs for just $45. Kids can enjoy face painting and animal encounters during the game, then get autographs and play catch on the field after the game. 

Active military members and veterans receive two free tickets to Sunday games.

Value Tuesday Nights

Score box seats for just $3 and feast of hot dogs, chips and soda for just $2 each. 

Wednesdays: Military Appreciation, Senior Wednesdays and Karaoke!

Active military members and veterans receive two free tickets to Wednesday games. Seniors 55-plus also receive a free ticket on Wednesdays. 

Wednesday is also Karaoke Night! Sign up in advance by emailing info@wcthunderbolts.com. All karaoke participants receive a free hot dog and a drink! 

Wrestling Thursdays

Perhaps the quirkiest of all the theme nights, Thursday is Wrestling Night at Ozinga Field! The Thunderbolts will take the field as the Windy City Sliders, and beer specials will be served all night long ($1.75-$4 per beer). The night wraps up with a one-hour, post-game wrestling show! 

Friday & Saturday Post-Game Fireworks

A dazzling fireworks display will light up the sky after the game on Friday and Saturday evenings. Check the calendar for a full list of exciting, kid-friendly theme nights with fireworks.

On Fridays, families can score big savings with a special combo deal: two upper level seats, two hot dogs, and two drinks for $26.


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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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