To quote the immortal Harry Doyle:

In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there…

You now officially have no excuse not to pack up the kids and head down to Progressive Field to catch a ballgame. My 2-year-old daughter and I were the guests of the Indians when their new Kids Clubhouse opened to the public. And it’s fantastic and it’s FREE with your game ticket. You just sign a waiver for your kids, they’re wristbanded and you’re into this wonderland of discounted, kid-friendly concessions, crafts and fun activities.

The Kids Clubhouse has two sections: The Rookie Suite, a 4,000-square-foot indoor playground with sweeping views of the field, geared towards the 6 and under crowd and The Slugger’s Sandlot, the area behind the mezzanine seats with more physical activities, is designed for children 7 and up.

With a toddler in tow, I spent most of my time in The Rookie Suite. It’s packed with Step2 playsets and toys – a good portion of our afternoon involved using a play pepper grinder to season plastic foodstuffs in a fully stocked LifeStyle Grand Walk-In Kitchen.

The beauty of the Clubhouse is it allowed me to see a great outing by Ubaldo Jimenez while Rose made a bevy of new friends, including Ada from – the 1 year old that’s already been to more Tribe games than you this season (We’ll cover her story in a future post.)

Other features of the Rookie Suite include an outdoor balcony with kid-sized bleachers, a concession stand with family-friendly prices, arts & crafts tables, a climbing wall and frequent visits from Slider and the Hot Dogs.

There was no line when we arrived in the third inning. But when we left (only thanks to an ice cream bribe) in the 7th there was a considerable wait to get in. I did notice that the number of seemingly unsupervised children went up towards the later innings.There were plenty of staff members on hand making sure that kids were having a good time. One employee tried unsuccessfully to help me coax Rose into a photo opp with Ketchup. We didn’t get a picture but Rose was rewarded with a temporary Chief Wahoo tattoo on her hand.

We checked out the The Slugger’s Sandlot (particularly the Strickland’s Frozen Custard stand tucked in the back.) Kids can play Wiffle ball, take some cuts in a batting cage, practice sliding into a base, test their arm with a speed-pitch game and play on five PlayStation 3 consoles. We even got a couple of free custom baseball cards with Rose’s picture on them.

The Kids Clubhouse gets a ringing endorsement from this dad and Rose continues to ask several times a week if we’re going to “baseball game.” I guess you’re never too young to have an appreciation for the American Pastime.



DISCLOSURE: Rose and I were guests of the Indians in the Social Suite. No other compensation was received.

Photo credits: Kevin


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2 Responses to Play ball and play some more

  1. Chris says:

    So you just buy 2 regular Indians tickets, and you can just visit the kids clubhouse?

    Is the idea to help give kids a break from the game, or is this a good place to watch the whole game (or as long as your 2 year old will last)?

    I am very excited about this. Go Tribe!

    • Mark S says:

      Chris, thanks for the question. I asked the Tribe staff the same thing and, yes, any ticket gets you into the Kids Clubhouse. You could watch the whole game there if your kid can handle it. They essentially ripped out three suites, so there’s a glass wall through the whole place facing the field – plus, there are a number of TV screens with the game feed. And they’ve got the balcony, so you can sit out there with your kid as well. They really put a lot of thought into it. I imagine, it’ll be a madhouse for Father’s Day.

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