Imagine stepping out onto the lush, green grass of the Friendly Confines and standing where our World Series Champions made Chicago so proud. You can, plus learn and see even more, on a Wrigley Field Tour. If your kids are Cubs fans or history fanatics, going behind the scenes at this iconic ballpark and hearing stories of its 100-year-plus history is sure to make their summer day.
A number of tours are available, including Game Day and Non-Game Day, VIP and Living Legend Tours. Game days are great to get a sense of the excitement building before the Cubbies hit the field. Non-game day tours give you a chance to visit the Cubs’ dugout, visitors’ clubhouse and press box. Daily Tours, $25 per person, last more than an hour, rain or shine, and include walking and climbing steps.
Experiencing the ballpark in the more intimate setting of a tour gives you a firsthand look at what makes Wrigley so special, from the historic touches to the World Series memorabilia and the recent renovations.
Our tour, led by the humorous and knowledgeable Robert Daniels and attended by home and opposing team fans, started out on the field. It’s astonishing and supremely gratifying standing out there, especially in the hushed quiet of the almost-empty stadium. You can watch the groundskeepers preparing the field. You can shuffle your feet in the gravel that leads up to the grass and think about all the baseball greats that have stood in that same spot. Soak in the awe and take tons of photos.
While the Upper Deck might be home to the cheap seats, it really does provide an exceptional view of the ballpark. Perched up high, our group heard our guide’s stories of home runs, stadium history and ballplayer antics. You probably know Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the U.S., but did you know it was originally home to the Chicago Whales and that the Chicago Bears have played more games there than at Soldier Field?
We discussed what it’s like inside the historic manual scoreboard (hot with no plumbing), talked about the iconic ivy that took root 80 years ago (Daniels says Anthony Rizzo and Dave Martinez recently found a ball in there that they think is at least 20 years old) and marveled about being the last ball club to add lights. The park’s nautical-style flags are a nod to the Wrigley family’s passion for sailing. We hope to see a lot of Ws flying up there this season. Either way, we’ll continue to bleed Cubbie blue.