There was a time, not too long ago, when a day at the ballpark meant plunking yourself down in a hard plastic seat for nine innings. But not anymore! Today’s major league stadiums are supercharging the fan experience with everything from aquariums to giant slides and swimming pools. Here’s a look at some of the best—and quirkiest— ballpark attractions in the majors.
Chase Field, Phoenix
It’s not often that seats come with a deep end. But at Chase Field you can take in a Diamondbacks game from an 8,500-gallon swimming pool just behind the outfield fence. The surrounding patio, which can seat 35, offers breathtaking views of the field. But book early. The Party Pool—which includes a spa—is one of the hottest tickets in town.
AT&T Park, San Francisco
Most stadiums have fan zones, but few are as inspired as the one at AT&T Park. Located on a raised mezzanine beyond the center field fence, its hallmark is a towering 20,000-pound replica of an old-time baseball glove. There’s also a 56-foot-long slide that courses through a giant Coca-Cola bottle. And if you can pry yourself away from all that, the waterside concourse offers stunning views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
For fans of the life aquatic, there’s no better ballpark to visit than Tropicana Field. The stadium is home to more than 30 cownose rays that live in a specially designed tank—one of America’s biggest—stationed just beyond the centerfield wall. Fans can feed and touch the docile sea creatures, which are smaller cousins of the manta rays.
Turner Field, Atlanta
Ever wonder what makes a curve-ball curve? Or how baseball’s best hitters mash home runs? Well, you can find the answers to those questions and many more at Scout’s Alley in Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. Filled with interactive exhibits, including touch-screen displays, Scout’s Alley provides primers on the finer points of the national pastime. Once you’ve boned up, you can jump into the nearby batting cages or clock your fastball with a radar gun.
Yankee Stadium, New York City
No ground in baseball is more hallowed than Monument Park, an open-air museum behind Yankee Stadium’s center field fence. It’s filled with memorials to the greatest players to ever don pinstripes, including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Open ahead of home games, it’s a great way to soak in some history before the Yankees hit the field.
Citizen’s Bank Park, Philadelphia
Baseball is a great game, but its pace can leave little kids crawling up the walls. Thankfully, for fans of the Philadelphia Phillies there is the Phanatic Phun Zone. (Say that 10 times quickly!) Designed for kids eight and under, it features slides, climbing walls and a giant cushioned play area—everything you’ll need to tucker the little one out and get back to the game.
Which is your favorite baseball team? Tell us who you support below.