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Promotions Watch: Winter Wonderlands at the Ballpark

Christmas at FirstEnergy Stadium

‘Tis the season to be jolly and teams are ready to start spreading holiday cheer with winter-themed events popping up at ballparks around the country. Here’s a quick look at what teams have planned.

There are at least four major league teams planning to host events. The Chicago Cubs have all sorts of holiday fun planned at the Park at Wrigley, including an ice skating rink that will open on November 24th. Admission is $5 for people 13 years old and up while admission is free for anyone 12 and under. You can also rent skates for $10. There will be winter programming at The Rink from November 24 to February 25. In addition to the skating rink, the park will transform into one of three Christkindlmarket Chicago locations around Chicago. This winter market will be open from November 17 to December 24 and has multiple winter programs including a Christmas tree lighting on November 28, Santa’s Workshop on various dates, a wreath-making class on December 3, and performers on various dates.

At Globe Life Park, the Texas Rangers are hosting Enchant from November 24-December 31. The event will combine the annual Texas Christkindl Market with Enchant, which includes the world’s largest light maze, a skating pond, Santa’s palace, and a kid’s mini maze. The event will also host a great hall for dining, 21 food trucks, and a main stage with nightly entertainment. This will be the first time Enchant has debuted in the United States and is based on a book called The Adventures of Enchant: The Great Search by Leanne Johnston. The event is put on by Shine Lighting Group, Inc. out of Vancouver, Canada.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are hosting a Halo Holiday Photo event on December 1 and 2. According to the team’s online community calendar, guests can bring new, unwrapped toys valued at $10 or more to donate. The toys benefit the Angels Baseball Foundation Kids Holiday Party. They can then take a photo in the Angels Clubhouse with Santa and Angels Strike Force members. The Angels are also hosting a Children’s Holiday Party on December 13. The team invites more than 250 underprivileged kids to the ESPN Zone in Anaheim to play games, have dinner, and they receive a pair of pajamas as well as a gift.

The Washington Nationals are combining elements of the holidays and Fanfest for their Winterfest event on December 16 and 17 at the Washington Convention Center. According to the Nationals’ website, activities will include clinics with players and coaches, a home run derby with the Nationals mascots, the opportunity to make snow forts, take batting practice, and the steal home challenge, hear winter or baseball-themed stories read by a Nationals player, participate in kids press conferences, ride down the slider which is a giant slide like a sledding hill, and Video Pitch where fans can give virtual batters their best pitch.

Major league teams aren’t the only ones getting in on all the fun. Minor league teams are also starting to kick off the holiday season.

The Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League) will host Christmas At FirstEnergy Stadium from November 24 to December 23. There will be holiday lights and displays with a multimedia field light show at the top and bottom of every hour. Santa will also be there and be recording personalized greetings each night that will air on the videoboard, according to the team website.

In another elaborate event, the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are getting ready to host Lifeshare Winterfest at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark from November 24 to January 1. According to the Dodgers website, there will be two different sized snow slides for snow tubing, special holiday lighting and décor, Santa’s Workshop where kids can write letters to Santa, and there will be holiday-themed food and beverage items for sale at the concession stands.

The Augusta GreenJackets (Low A; Sally League) will be holding their 4th Annual Auggie’s Holiday Buzzar on December 9. According to the GreenJackets website, there will be a Toys for Tots Drive, a holiday vendor market, free pictures and meet and greet with Santa and Mrs Claus, a Mistletoe 5K Fun Run, Inflatables For Kids, and a Touch-A-Truck event.

The Staten Island Yankees (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) are hosting Winter Wonderland from November 25 to December 23. According to the team website, events will include a snowtube slide, life-sized snowglobe, gingerbread decorating, reindeer run, facepainting, a snowball pit, bowling, an ice maze, light show, skating rink, santa’s workshop, and minigolf.

The Reno Aces (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will be opening their ice rink on November 22, with the rink open on various dates until January 15.  More information on times, dates, and prices can be found on the team’s website.

Reno Ice Rink

Another holiday offering to watch comes from the Jackson Generals (Class AA; Southern League). The area surrounding The Ballpark at Jackson will become a Winter Wonderland, complete with an elaborate light display. In addition, the Generals will offer a Santa’s village inside the ballpark on weekend nights and for every night during the period of December 15-23.

The Frederick Keys (High A; Carolina League) will be hosting their holiday event on December 9 as well. The team store will be open and ticket plans will be available for purchase. Keyote Claus will also be there, there will be a Toys for Tots drive, and a holiday cooKey contest. The winner of the cooKey contest will receive a special prize.

The Portland Sea Dogs (Class AA; Eastern League) are preparing for Holiday at Hadlock on December 2. According to the Sea Dogs website, the event will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be highlighted by Santa’s arrival by helicopter from the North Pole. Other activities include the arts and craft room, free hot chocolate and cookies, make you own s’mores station, Toys for Tots drop off, baseball equipment drive to benefit Baseball Miracles, holiday music, face painters, balloon twister, costumed holiday characters, and games.

The South Bend Cubs (Low A; Midwest League) will host its Holiday Extravaganza on December 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to the team website, events will include the Reindog Parade, an adoption station highlighting pets to adopt, a cookie decorating station, a Christmas movie on the videoboard, and Mrs. Claus will be there to tell stories.

The West Virginia Black Bears (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) are hosting a holiday event on December 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be games, movies, and a Toys for Tots toy drive.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A; Midwest League) have two holiday events coming up. The first one is The Big Band Christmas on November 25. It includes dinner and an evening of Christmas music performed by Paul Evansen and the Blue Diamond Orchestra. Tickets are currently on sale. Then Fang’s Holiday Extravaganza will be on November 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities include pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, hot chocolate, and a Hat And Mitten drive.

Image of Christmas at FirstEnergy Stadium courtest Reading Fightin Phils.

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