I wrote a post a few years ago with tips for families heading to Wrigley Field, but decided it was time for a brand new one seeing how many improvements have been made at the Friendly Confines over the last few years!
Here is my personal guide to Wrigley Field especially curated for families!
Wrigley Field is truly one of my favorite places. I would equate it to Disney for me— crazy, I know, but the feeling I get walking under that marquee onto the concourse each game is never anything short of bliss. Even after a loss, I never feel sad at Wrigley. Hopefully, when you go to experience that joy for yourself, these tips will come in handy! So, let’s go!
First, let’s go over a little synopsis of Wrigley! Wrigleyville is located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. You can find Wrigley Field at 1060 W. Addison Street. The 2023 season just started March 30!
I won’t really get into tickets or parking except to say, 1) get tickets in advance, even if you get them last minute on an app like Gametime and 2) plan your parking ahead. They have a couple lots you can buy pretty reasonably priced parking in nearby, which I recommend, or you can park in the surrounding neighborhoods for free until 6pm. (Watch the signs!! Chicago parking is no joke and you will get tickets if you park where you shouldn’t.) You can also find people selling spots, but that can get pricy and exit access can be difficult. Just some things to think about!
Public transit is always a good idea. There are free lots further down Addison towards the expressway where you can park and ride the bus. The bus passes right in front of the field and the CTA Red Line is close by, too.
Okay, so I guess that was basically a big tip, but moving on!
Tip One: Download the MLB BallPark App
Wrigley went green so all tickets are located on the app and the whole stadium is cashless. PRO TIP: screenshot your tickets before you get close to the field in case your service is spotty. There’s also a map in the app, which is handy if you aren’t familiar with Wrigley! There’s a lot going on and a lot to see!
Also, in regards to tickets, everyone ages 3+ needs a ticket. Ages 2 and under can come in for free, but they need to sit on your lap! Space can get tight real quick, so I usually opt in for a seat for the kids!
Tip Two: What can you bring in?
Let’s talk bags— the park’s policy is that only bags smaller than 16 x 16 x 8 inches are allowed in the ballpark, however, they make exceptions for diaper bags/kid bags. I usually bring a small backpack (my kids are 3 & 5) and it will get searched but I’ve never had one issue bringing in things for the kids. The same goes for drinks, snacks, etc.
You can bring a small collapsible stroller, but I recommend checking your stroller at the bike check under the Red Line because getting through the crowds with a stroller is rough. Carry the kiddos through that or use a baby carrier.
Tip Three: Bring ear protection for your littles
Even if your kids don’t have sensory needs, the ballpark gets loud and headphones/muffs are a good idea. We’ve always taken a pair for the girls, even when Ivy was a baby before we knew she had sensory needs. You can also get noise-cancelling headphones at guest services should you forget like we have on occasion!
But on that note, Wrigley has really stepped up their accessibility services (as they should) and have a full guide on their website. I’m especially happy with their sensory kits from KultureCity available for fans with sensory needs at the Fan Services booth on the main concourse. We will definitely be checking those out on our next visit. For those who don’t know, my five-year-old has autism, so we are ALL about the sensory-friendly experiences!
You can also stop by Fan Services for an ID bracelet for your kiddos. Should you be separated, they’ll return a lost child to their seats if found. This is great for peace of mind, especially if you have a little one who often elopes, and you can note anything of importance, like autism or other health conditions, so they are aware.
While you’re at Fan Services, be sure to pick up a personalized certificate for any first-time visitors to Wrigley!
Tip Four: Parents, utilize the bathrooms in the Advocate Health Care First Aid Station
Seriously, take note because this station, located behind home plate concessions, is a godsend. They have changing tables and it’s air conditioned, which is great for those hot summer games. They also have kind, helpful workers who are always willing to help with the kiddos! This is also a great spot for nursing, pumping, or even just a napping toddler. Family restrooms are available, too, but there can be a long line, so this is a great alternative. (Family restrooms are located near sections 113, 128, 307L, 326R and in the upper Budweiser Bleachers.) There is also a nursing pod located near the Gallagher Way entrance, but I never had the opportunity to utilize it.
Tip Five: Check out Gallagher Way if the ballpark gets to be too much
Gallagher Way is right outside Wrigley between the stadium and Clark Street. There is a huge green space, perfect for running and play, as well as a huge screen to watch the game on. There’s also fountains to play in during the summer. This is a great place to come and hang out if anyone starts feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated in the stadium. Gallagher Way usually has activities before/during/after games and there’s a concession stand!
Last random tip, if you’re looking for a great, local family-friendly restaurant for game day (or any day!!), check out D’Agostinos on the corner of Addison and Southport!
Now, ENJOY YOUR CUBS GAME!