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Walking in a Winter Wonderland: MLB Edition

Christmas Enchant Globe Life Park

It’s that time of year again and many Major League Baseball teams are decking the halls with holiday events at their ballparks. Several teams have events planned, and we are taking a look at some of the more unique this holiday season.

Last year, the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park in Arlington became the first United States location to host Enchant Christmas, which included a light maze, ice-skating trail, and a Christmas market. The event is back at Globe Life Park this winter and runs from November 23 to December 30. In addition, the event has been expanded another MLB ballpark, as Enchant is also being hosted at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. That event also runs from November 23 to December 30.

Spring training facilities are also getting in on all the fun. Tempe Diablo Stadium, spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels, is the second location for “Illumination, Symphony of Light”, a drive-thru light show that premiered last year in North Phoenix. The show will feature more than 1.5 million RBG LED lights spread along a mile-long route that is set to holiday music. The Tempe location will run from November 16 to December 31.

Goodyear Ballpark, spring training home of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians is hosting a drive-thru light show as well. This show called “Christmas In Color” also features over a million lights and runs until December 31st.

The San Francisco Giants will be hosting the Holiday Heroes event at AT&T Park on December 4. The event is put on by the Wender Weis Foundation for Children that helps underserved families and children in the Bay Area. Proceeds from the event will benefit several programs, including Family House Inc, Giants Community Fund, No Kid Hungry, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Warriors Community Fund, 49ers Foundation, Team IMPACT, and Generation Alive. There will be a VIP reception on the field, as well as a main reception on the club level. Event activities include photo opportunities with former and current players from the Giants, 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, and the San Jose Earthquakes, access to the batting tunnels and dugouts, kids run the bases, holiday arts and crafts, cookie decorating, and a silent auction.

The Houston Astros will host their third annual Home Plate for the Holidays event at Minute Maid Park on December 2. Several activities will be featured during the event, including an Orbit book signing, caricature artists, a manual scoreboard photo opportunity, holiday movie on the videoboard, and photos with Orbit Clause and the World Series Trophy.

In a few cases, there will be events in areas immediately surrounding the ballpark. Gallagher Way—a gathering space outside the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field—will be home to Winterland at Gallagher Way. The Winterland will feature an ice rink along with several other offerings, including skating exhibitions and curling lessons.

The Atlanta Braves are making The Battery Atlanta—a mixed-use development adjacent to SunTrust Park—a hub for holiday events. That will include a Christmas tree lighting on November 30, with several Braves players on hand and a showing of The Polar Express. Santa will make appearances throughout December at The Battery Atlanta, with special nights including several low-sensory Santa experiences for families with special needs and Santa Paws Night for pets.

The Washington Nationals will host Winterfest presented by Stubhub on December 1 and 2 at Nationals Park. Events include a curling station, clubhouse tours, hitting in the Nationals batting cages, pitching in the Nationals bullpen, race the Racing Presidents, a Bullpen Cart photo opportunity, s’mores and adult hot chocolate, autograph stations with Nationals players and coaches, photo opportunities with mascots and Santa, Q&A sessions with coaches and players, kids press conference and story time, baseball clinics, and snow fort building.

Another event to note will take place after the holidays, but still provides a good example of a wintertime festivity at the ballpark. The Toronto Blue Jays will host Winter Fest January 19-20, 2019 at Rogers Centre. Several offerings will be featured at the event, including autograph sessions, a winter wonderland, winter tubing slide, skating rink, and more. The 2019 edition will be the second annual version of this event.

Image courtesy Texas Rangers. 

This article first appeared in the Ballpark Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? It’s free, and you’ll see features like this before they appear on the Web. Go here to subscribe to the Ballpark Digest newsletter.

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