One of my favorite summer activities is going to a baseball game. I grew up in Chicago and Minneapolis, both good baseball towns, and my fam went to a lot of games and watched even more on TV. After a brief hiatus out of ball towns, I was thrilled when I moved to DC and had a team to watch again.
Okay, so the Nationals aren’t the best of teams. But I was born, raised, and will die a Cubs fan, so it’s not like winning’s THAT big of a deal. Going to a ballgame is all about the experience: the cheering, the cheap beer, the sunstroke, the greasy food you probably shouldn’t be eating. Watching the game is secondary. The Nats are champions of putting on a great show. They have an absolutely fantastic state-of-the-art stadium (and I say that as a fan of old-school stadiums), great between-play entertainment, and superb food choices. And sometimes they even win, which is like a cherry on top of a hugely fun day.
So when I heard that the Nats were doing an event called Pups in the Park—where you get to bring your pooch to the game—I jumped on it. For $20 plus a $5 ticket for your dog (which a donation to the Washington Humane Society), you get to enjoy America’s pastime with your dog. Our tickets normally tend to run in the $30 zone, so it was like giving us a discount for something even better.
The day could best be described as controlled chaos. Nats Park has this semi-enclosed picnic area for families above a section of seats which they used for the dog attendees. They had plenty of water, dog watchers if you wanted to go get food, little bags of treats, and my favorite, rolls of sod for pit stops.
Inside the picnic area and seats, dogs were everywhere—hair flying, barking, jumping on people, stealing food and licking beer bottles, sitting in seats, howling to the National Anthem. It was fabulous.
Alice behaved like a proper bleacher creature and tried the best of ballpark food: cheese fries, a hot dog wider than her leg, a pretzel, a burger, and even a capful of beer. By the time we got back to the car to go home, she was completely wiped out.
All in all, having dogs there made a typically fun time even better. I’d definitely do it again—and I’d recommend that if you ever have a chance, take your pup to the park, too!