My love affair with Long Island started about 13 years ago. I moved her from Brooklyn to be able to give my 1-year-old a better life. Yes, I know that Brooklyn is a wonderful place to raise a kid, but not at the prices we were paying. We couldn’t give her the life that we wanted to provided, while paying thousands a month for a one-bedroom, shotgun apartment. So, we got our hearts sets on a yard and walls that we didn’t share with a girl named, Velocity. It’s the little things. Moving to Long Island was the best decision we could have made for our little family. There are so many cute festivals, shops and parades. There’s really just a great sense of community.
One of the places that we’ve visited several time is Bethpage Ballpark. Bethpage Ballpark is home to the Long Island Ducks and it seats just over 6,000 cheering fans. The facility is well-kept and just the place to have a fun family night watching the great American pastime. On our most recent visit, children from local schools gathered to entertain the crowd by singing songs like the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and Take Me out to the Ballgame. It doesn’t get any more Small Town, U.S.A. than that! A local dog club was also in attendance in a blocked off area, so some furry friends were at the stadium that night. To see the kids running around, parents chatting, the crowd What a nice way to spend time together as members of our Long Island community!
Parking to the stadium is nearby, so getting to the main entrance is a walk, not a hike. For someone with kids in tow, that makes all the difference. At the entrance, we were greeted by security, ticket-takers, and a then a staff at a table that were handing out insulated grocery bags. Woo-hoo! Swag! Turns out that they handed out bags to the first 500 guests that day, so our family of 5 were part of the lucky firsts. On our way to our section, we passed a few concession stands, beverage carts and the gift shop. The gift shop is where the kids all want to go to get foam #1 hands and those whistle-things that make a loud duck-call sound. “Mommy, can we have a duck-caller?” “Oh, I’m sorry, daughter that I love, but mommy can’t handle having you actually own one of those. Who wants ice cream?”
Speaking of ice cream, you can nosh on things like Dippn Dots, burgers, chicken tenders, fries, hot dogs, and nachos. I was first introduced to Doritos Top N Go Walking Tacos a few years ago, so color me off-my-diet when I saw them at Bethpage Ballpark. Um, yes, please. There’s something about ballpark food that makes me so happy – wait, it’s probably the beer. Semantics. Prices on alcohol are up there, but you can’t say no to cold beer at the ballpark! That’s just not how it works.
The last hour of our visit to Bethpage Ballpark was spent watching our 4 year-old alternate between the bounce house and inflatable slide. That’s right, as if baseball wasn’t entertaining enough, the stadium gives the kids a place to let it all out. You can pay $2 for 1 slide, or you go with the obvious choice and pay $5 for a bracelet that gets you unlimited slides and bounces. I didn’t even see Sophia get back in line after coming down the slide half of the time. She just kind of appeared there in a loop of endless slides. Bottom line: just pay the $5 for the bracelet.
During the seventh-inning stretch, kids gathered behind home plate to sing with the Ducks’ mascot, QuackerJack, and I took a second to look around. As I stood there munching on my Doritos covered in jalapenos and hot nacho cheese, sipping on a beer, and chatting with friends, I thought that things just couldn’t get any better. Thanks, Ducks, for an amazing night!
3 Court House Dr.
Central Islip, NY 11722 www.liducks.com