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, hall of fames, 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 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. 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.
Springfield is also a quick drive from Boston, MA. Even if you can’t catch a game at Fenway Park, you should definitely consider taking a tour. They are offered regularly. 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. 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. There’s also 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.
Newport 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. If you are a sailing fan, you can also take one of the many different sailing excursions from the Wharf area of town.
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. Teams play as far as Walt Disney World, so it can be a fun road trip in the area if you are looking to experience multiple games.