Fenway Park, known as America’s Most Beloved Ballpark, is also the oldest Major League Baseball ballpark. Opened April 20, 1912, Fenway Park is one of the best places to visit in Boston with kids, especially if you have sports fans.
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While many families will want to catch a game at Fenway Park, that may not always be an option. Sometimes, your visit won’t correspond with a home game, or it may be out of season. Don’t worry though – you can still visit Fenway. Tours of Fenway Park are offered on a daily basis, year round, regardless of weather. Any Massachusetts vacation should include a trip to Fenway.
If you do want to see a game, you’ll want to look at the schedule in advance and purchase your tickets as early as possible. Fenway is a small ballpark and the reigning World Series champions are very popular in the city.
Visiting Fenway Park on Vacation
Location of Fenway Park
Fenway Park is located right in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. It’s in the city of Boston, near the Longwood Hospital area, Kenmore Square, and Boston University.
It’s a convenient location, right in the center of the city, with many restaurants and hotels nearby. Because of the location, the energy in the city on game days is upbeat and exciting. Even if you aren’t seeing the game at the park, you’ll feel the energy as your walk through the area.
Parking at Fenway Park/Getting to Fenway
Because of the location in the city, parking at Fenway Park can be a challenge. While there are a number of garages and paid lots in the area, prices tend to be high on game day. Parking meters are typically only valid for a few hours, making it tough to park at them for a game.
I highly recommend taking a cab, ride share service, or public transportation to Fenway on game days. There are special Uber zone areas that can make it easy to find your ride when the game is over.
Getting to Fenway Park on public transportation is easy. It’s located on the MBTA Green Line (the Kenmore stop), as well as the commuter rail line and the bus line. Public transportation does get busy on game days, but it’s definitely the most affordable option.
If you are going for a tour, and it isn’t a game day, you probably will have some luck finding a metered spot. Another option is SpotHero or ParkWhiz, which may help you find a smaller nearby parking lot with lower price.
The Red Sox does offer a bike valet program on game days. It’s free, and is located near Gate D. If you are visiting the city and don’t have your bike with you, the city offers the rental of Bluebikes.
Tours of Fenway Park
Tours of Fenway Park are a fantastic way to see the park without having to attend a game. While a game is truly the best way to see this historic major league ballpark in action, a tour can be more affordable and convenient.
Public tours of the baseball park are offered every day, regardless of the weather. Tickets can be booked up to 30 days in advance, and a limited number of tickets may be available at the ticket window by Gate D.
Tours run hourly from 9am to 5pm daily (10am-5pm from November 1-March 31st). On game days, the last tour leaves three hours prior to the start of the game.
The most popular tour at the park is the standard public tour, which runs for an hour. During this tour, you’ll learn about Red Sox and Fenway Park history, and will see much of the ballpark. An hour is the perfect length of time to learn about the team and see the park.
There are other tours available as well. The Fenway in Fifteen tour is a shortened version of the tour, running just 15 minute long. It’s offered May-September on game days from 12p.m. – 3p.m. (ending four hours before game time).
If you are traveling with a larger group, you may consider booking a Take Me to Fenway private tour. They are offered for groups of 2-20 people, and you’ll get the choice of locations to focus on.
Games at Fenway Park
I’ve been to games at a number of ballparks throughout the United States, but there really is something special about Fenway Park. The size of the park means that you’ll be closer to the action.
Upon arriving at Fenway, you’ll first go through security. There are metal detectors as well as bag checks as you enter the park. It’s a good idea to look at the prohibited items before you leave for the park – there are restrictions including the size of the bags that you can bring. Outside food isn’t allowed, except for one 16 oz sealed bottle of water.
On game days, Jersey Street (formerly known as Yawkey Way), along the side of the park, is closed off to cars and is open exclusively to ticket holders. On the street, you’ll find some food and drink vendors, and can enjoy some time outside the park before heading in to your seats.
When you choose your tickets, you’ll want to know about a few specific areas of the park. In the outfield, you’ll find bleacher seats which can be the best bargain of the park. These seats aren’t the most comfortable, but the bleachers can be so much fun.
There are also some really special seats along the famous Green Monster. These tickets have a great view, but can be extremely difficult to get. My favorite place to sit is the grandstand area. These seats are a little further up from the field but still have great views.
Fenway also offers the Dell EMC club as well as private suites located around the park.
If you are planning to attend a game with your kids, you may want to sign up for the Red Sox Kid Nation program. There are several membership optio that include a free kids ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket (per membership). You can find out about the program at redsox.com/kidnation.
Amenities at Fenway Park
When traveling anywhere with kids, the amenities are extremely important. This is definitely also the case for baseball parks. We started bringing our kids to Fenway when they were pretty young, and always had a great time.
Once you pass through the doors into the ballpark, you’ll find lots of fun amenities for kids in the Kids Concourse and the unofficial Gate K (k for kids). These include various statues like the Lego David Ortiz, a Mickey Mouse in Red Sox gear, and a bench where you can sit with Wally the Green Monster.
As a parent, you are probably wondering about the restrooms at Fenway. Of course, during games, you are likely to encounter lines (especially the ladies room, as usual). However, there are also several family restrooms, which can be extremely helpful.
There are also lots of different food options at Fenway Park. You’ll find standard ballpark food, including ice cream, peanuts, lemonade, Fenway Franks, and pizza. There are other, more local choices as well, like Dunkin Donuts coffee, lobster rolls, and New England Clam Chowder (one of my favorites during those chilly night games in the early spring).
Other food at Fenway Park includes chicken tenders, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, fish, and Mexican food. Some of the food is sold along Jersey Street when you enter the park, while other booths are right in the ballpark.
Once of the really fun and unique amenities at Fenway Park is Wally’s Clubhouse. It’s open in the Champion’s Clubhouse from the third through seventh innings for most home games.
At Wally’s Clubhouse, you’ll find activities for kids, including character appearances by Wally, kid-friendly entertainment (like caricature artists, face painting, and magicians – these vary by game). There are also Wii games, bean bag toss games, and a toddler play area.
While I like to watch most of the game from our seats, it’s always good to have Wally’s Clubhouse as an option. Kids, especially younger kids, may not want to sit in their seats for the whole game. It’s nice to have a space to spread out and get out some energy.
Typically, when we bring out kids, we try to visit during the day, rather than for a night game. The afternoon is a great time to explore Fenway, and the night games can often run too late for little ones. Set yourself up for success by planning your visit for a time where your kids are likely to enjoy themselves more.
Restaurants Near Fenway Park
While Fenway does have some great food options (including kid-friendly options), you may consider eating before or after a game. Some of my favorites include:
- Sweet Cheeks (a BBQ restaurant from Top Chef runner up Tiffani Faison)
- The new Time Out Boston food hall
- Tasty Burger
- Taberna de Haro (tapas restaurant more appropriate for older kids)
- Blaze Pizza (fast, custom pizzas)
There’s also the Bleacher Bar, a new bar located under the bleachers at Fenway. Game tickets aren’t required to enter the bar. However, there’s no kids’ menu, and I would recommend this place only for adults.
There are lots of other really great restaurants near Fenway Park, but I haven’t eaten at them. The area has gotten even more popular over the past few years, and more and more restaurants are opening up regularly.
Hotels Near Fenway Park
Wondering where to stay in Boston when visiting Fenway Park for a game or tour? The park is definitely easily accessible regardless of where you are planning to stay. You don’t need to stay in the Fenway area, unless you want to.
However, there are some hotels that are right near the park. Here are some options: