If your family, like mine, is filled with sports fans, it can be fun to combine a family vacation with some sporting activities. While visiting various stadiums and fields to watch games can definitely be fun (we try to go to baseball or basketball games wherever possible), there are also museums, halls of fame, and other sporting venues that can be great to visit. Here are some fun vacation ideas for sports fans – have you been to any of these?
Disclosure: I’ve visited some of these venues at no cost for purposes of review. Affiliate links are included – if you click through and/or purchase through these links, we may make a small commission. All opinions, as always, are our own.
Vacation Ideas for Sports Fans
Of course, as a Massachusetts resident, I’m biased toward New England sports destinations. Basketball and baseball fans will love a visit to Springfield, MA and Boston, MA. Springfield is home to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which is definitely worth a visit.
At the Basketball Hall of Fame, there are plenty of interactive exhibits, as well as more traditional “hall of fame” exhibits. While you are in Springfield, you may also want to check out the new Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. While it isn’t sports-related, little kids will love it.
Springfield is also a quick drive from Boston, MA. Even if you can’t catch a Red Sox game, you should definitely consider taking a tour of Fenway Park. They are offered regularly, even in the off season.
Seeing the historic park can be a bucket list item for many sports fans, so I’d recommend it if you are in the area. Of course, there are lots of other great things to do in Boston with kids too, including museums and historic sites.
Love baseball? We always enjoy our family vacations to Phoenix, Arizona, and in March, you can also check out spring training games. The Cactus League teams all play within a short distance of each other, so you can see one or more games during your stay.
Seeing these games in such small venues can be a fantastic time for baseball fans. It’s usually much more affordable than regular season Major League games. Read our tips for checking out Cactus League Spring Training here.
Kansas City, MO
I loved my visit to Kansas City, Missouri a few years ago – it’s a great place for a family vacation because there are so many family-friendly attractions. During your visit, you can check out the College Basketball Experience, which is part college basketball hall of fame, and part interactive experience. There’s also the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which offers a self-guided tour, the centerpiece of which is the baseball diamond featuring life-sized bronze statues of some of the top players.
Within the museum is a documentary film which is narrated by James Earl Jones. While you are in Kansas City, you can also check out SeaLife Aquarium, and Hallmark’s Kaleidoscope.
Admittedly, we haven’t yet been to Cooperstown yet. But, a trip to The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is definitely on our list. There are other fun attractions in the area, including a cider mill, farmer’s museum, and art museum.
Spring or fall is the best time to go, when the upstate New York area is absolutely beautiful. Check the Hall of Fame schedule to see what events are happening during your visit.
Newport Rhode Island is another destination that can be combined with a trip to Boston. It’s about 90 minutes away. Tennis fans will want to visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which is located right in the heart of town. While you are there, be sure to also visit the Newport Mansions.
My kids really loved the children’s audio tour of the Breakers mansion. If you are a sailing fan, you can also take one of the many different sailing excursions from the Wharf area of town. Newport is best visited in the summer when you can enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Fort Myers, FL
If you love both the beach and baseball, consider traveling to the Fort Myers area for the Grapefruit League spring training in March. Teams are a little more spread out than in the Cactus League, so you’ll need to travel a bit more if you want to see multiple teams.
But, the proximity to the beach and other great Florida attractions makes it a fabulous family vacation destination. While Grapefruit League teams used to play as far as Walt Disney World, they’ve recently moved to be a little closer together.
Walt Disney World
Speaking of Walt Disney World, it can be a great destination for sports fans. In Disney Springs, the new NBA Experience is lots of fun for basketball fans. Start on the first floor, where you can compare your hand size and shoe size with those of basketball legends.
The basketball activities at the NBA Experience are located across the two floors. These include areas for 2 and 3 point basketball shooting practice (similar to the arcade game), a slingshot basketball competition, a trivia competition, a dunk experience, and a dribbling tutorial.