Take them out to the ball game – family friendly guide to summer sporting events
From the Mariners and Seahawks to lesser-known talents like Sounders FC2, here's what you need to know to enjoy all the local sports with your kids.
Whether your family likes long evenings at the ballpark or shorter, more boisterous outings to soccer or basketball games, following a local team is a great way to enjoy summer in the city. And Seattle is a great sports town. There are big teams with fancy venues and huge followings (MLB, NFL and MLS), and there are lots of options for those who want a more affordable experience, with greater contact with the players. We're also lucky enough to have two excellent professional women's teams, the Storm and Reign FC, so your daughters and sons can see that sports are not just for guys.
Even if you aren't overly enthused with Major League Baseball, Safeco Field is a delightful place to spend a summer afternoon or evening. The sight lines are good, the food is outstanding, and the atmosphere is playful. You can sign your kids up for gear, newsletters and ticket deals through the Mariners Kids Club (Free or $25, depending on the level.) The field also has a kids play area, and each home game offers multiple opportunities to go meet the Mariner Moose in its Moose Den. More details here.
Everett AquaSox (playoff game Saturday, Sept. 8)Memorial Stadium, 3802 Broadway, Everett
Tacoma Rainiers (done for 2018)Cheney Stadium, 2502 S Tyler St, Tacoma
For a fraction of the cost of a Major League Baseball ticket, the regions two minor league teams offer spirited baseball in more intimate settings. If your family loves baseball, they'll enjoy these games.
Sounders crowds are fun to be part of. They have earned a reputation for creating some of the most raucous home games in Major League Soccer. Between the brass band, the big supporters clubs with their flags and banners, and the stadium special effects, it's a party atmosphere. It may even make you want to wear a scarf in July. The Sounders kids club is free and includes events, select ticket and gear discounts, newsletters and oral hygiene advice (Delta Dental is the sponsor.)401 5th Ave N
It's not an exaggeration to say that some of the best women's soccer players on the planet play for Seattle's National Women's Soccer League team. And if you join the line in the fan zone at the end of the games, your kid can get an autograph with one of them..2502 S Tyler St, Tacoma
The Sounders reserve team features some talented young players. They play in Tacoma.
Men's and women's college games start in mid-August. You get to sit up close to the players and college band musicians often perform from the stands. The University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University and Seattle University all field both men's and women's teams.
Seattle's WNBA team provides a fun evening out, with great action on the court, thunder-sticks and goofy cheers galore. Plus all kids are invited onto the court to conga line behind the mascot in the Doppler Train, first timeout of the fourth quarter. More details here.
August is the NFL preseason, a time of low pressure and consequently low star power. Nevertheless, expect the fans to be passionate and loud. Consider having your family wear ear protection. See also: 6 Kid-friendly Spots to Watch the Seahawks.
Ultimate401 5th Ave N
Ultimate, the team sport with the flying disc, is huge in Seattle. Kids growing up here get the chance to participate in one of the largest youth scenes anywhere. For a look at how the game looks when practiced by the best, come to a game of Seattle's professional ultimate team, part of the American Ultimate Disc League. Ticket prices are low, and the scene is down to earth. If you or your child sign up for a skills clinic with the team, the players on the field will be among those coaching. And this is one venue where you don't have to worry about an admired athlete throwing a tantrum or doing some other behavior you'd rather not see your kid emulate. Ultimate has a fanatical ethic of sportsmanship.