We finally got to experience the Red Sox Winter Weekend after being hosted for a couple of days down at the Foxwoods Resort where the event takes place. The weekend happens every January and is designed for fans, friends and followers of Red Sox baseball. I would best characterize our family as casual observers of baseball. We watch some games on TV and maybe attend a game or two a year. My kids are also on the younger side at 5 and 7, with the oldest just starting Little League. While the Sox Winter Weekend is totally for baseball fanatics, here is what you need to know if you're more follower than fan.
If you want a full review of the entire weekend, check out this post too.
Red Sox Winter Weekend Review
What are the best ages for kids to attend Winter Weekend?
The kid activities are really geared to 5+ based on my observations. For cost and time, you’ll get the most out of your trip if everyone is over 5 years of age. However, that does not mean younger kids are not welcome. There is complimentary face painting and balloon animals (please bring small change to tip for the service!) that little ones would especially enjoy.
Do I have to stay overnight?
It is not necessary. While the event is from Friday night to Sunday morning, you can experience the bulk of the weekend on just Saturday. Considering it’s about a 90 minute drive from Metrowest MA, you can leave early to arrive around 8:30 a.m. and then leave around 6:30 p.m. The day will be long, but you can save on costs without having to spend money on a hotel.
Are there family friendly places to eat while we are there?
The Red Sox Winter Weekend is at Foxwoods Resort. There are a lot of restaurants, but only a few are kid friendly. Many of the restaurants do not have a kids menu. Your best bet is to hit up Dunkin Donuts, the Food Court and California Pizza Kitchen where the main menus are more family accessible.
Is there enough to do for kids at the Red Sox Winter Weekend?
The big draw of the weekend are the photo opportunities and autograph signings with current and former Red Sox players. That is the bulk of the weekend. However, there is a kid area where you can experience Virtual Reality, batting cages, running the bases, etc. There is the ability to sign up for kids clinics too.
Do I need a stroller?
If your children are six and under, I would recommend bringing a stroller. There is a lot of standing and walking. (Even just to get back to your car.) For little legs, kids can get tired quickly. However, there are a lot of benches in the complex and a social media lounge for a place to recoup.
What time of day should I go? Is morning or afternoon best?
I suggest going in the morning. As the day goes along, more and more Foxwoods Resort guests arrive (or awaken) and fill the complex. So it gets very crowded with the addition of those folks to the Red Sox crowd. Morning is best as you are minimizing the other groups’ presence. Plus, with kiddos, they often have more energy in the morning and you can call it an early day if you need to.
What should I bring with me?
I would bring nut-free snacks, and things to do when waiting in autograph lines. Coloring books, electronic tablets and books will keep the kids occupied when waiting in lines. Make sure to also bring items for players to sign. While they have postcards that can be used for autographs, it is more fun if you bring an object.
I’m not a baseball or Red Sox fanatic. Will I still enjoy it?
I think there is enough fun and educational opportunities to enjoy for all levels of baseball enthusiasts. We enjoyed just walking around and taking in the sights. It was fun watching the live NESN broadcasts, seeing the kids run around, watching other attendees chase after players for autographs, and attending the Kids Press Conference session. While you may not be interested in signing up for every photo/autograph opportunity that other attendees make a priority, it was also fun getting at least one player interaction. Our kids were now exposed to baseball and they started asking a lot of questions about the game. So we thought it an educational opportunity and exposure to America's favorite pastime!
Where should I stay if I want a hotel room?
If you want to stay at the resort, I suggest staying in the Grand Piquot Tower. It is the closest to the action. While the Two Trees Resort (part of Foxwoods) is nearby, it requires a shuttle. The shuttle can take up to 30 minutes to get from one site to another. (It comes every 20 minutes and there are several stops.) Having a hotel room within the building will enable families to go up to their rooms for down time.
Do you have to walk by a lot of the Casinos?
We were a bit concerned about having to walk by casinos and smoking areas with our kids. However, the Red Sox Winter Weekend activities are in one end of the Foxwoods complex. So while you are engaging in those activities, you almost forget you are at Foxwoods! You don't see the Casinos or have to encounter second hand smoke directly. Once you leave the designated area, and head to the Food Court for example, you will see more Foxwoods related activities and impacts.
Have any other questions about #SoxWinterWeekend? Leave me a comment and I'll be happy to answer based on our experience!
Image Credit: Thumbnail by philipjaurji from Getty Images via Canva.com. Other images author's own.