Summer. We often associate it with swimming, road trips, lemonade stands and the beach. My summer bucket list includes baseball, and here in Bellingham we have the Bellingham Bells to make summer complete.
As a smaller city, we are lucky to have a local baseball club, so we don’t have to drive to Seattle or Everett to catch the boys of summer.
The Bells team is part of the collegiate West Coast League. Many of the players have dreams of making it to Major League Baseball, so you’ll see plenty of hustle on the field and some top-notch ball.
And as with other small-town baseball teams, the management knows coming to a game is as much about the fans’ experience off the field as it is watching the action on the field.
The team caters especially to kids and families on Sundays when kids activities – a bouncy house, face painting and balloon art – are included in the price of admission. An early start time of 3:05 p.m. (instead of the usual 7:05 start) ensures the little ones make it home before bedtime.
Games throughout the week are family-friendly as well. A highlight for kids is the opportunity to “Run with Dinger,” the Bells’ mascot, across the infield during the middle of the fifth inning. (My son loves this.) Select kids are also included in between-inning games on the field.
Throughout the season, fun promotional nights, like the Dinger bobblehead giveaway on Aug. 1, will appeal to kids. Saturday, Aug. 8, stick around for the post-game fireworks (weather permitting). Check out the full game schedule here.
$2 Tuesday is a great way to keep your summer entertainment budget in check. For each full-price admission, receive a second ticket for $2. You’ll also find $2 food and drink specials, including Boundary Bay brews.
If you’d rather pass on the beer, and don’t especially want to be around that one fan in every crowd who’s had too much to drink, there is a special family-friendly, alcohol-free seating area in the bleachers.
After the last Bells’ game my 8-year-old son attended, I asked him what he liked best about going to the games. I thought he’d say running on the field or the bouncy house. What he told me was a bit of a surprise.
“I like the fans,” he said. “They always tell the team good job even when something doesn’t go right.”
How cool is that? Not only are our kids getting to see quality baseball, they’re learning important lessons about sportsmanship. (Way to go, Bells’ fans!)
The Bells’ season is short, staring in June and ending mid-August. Don’t wait to catch this little slice of summer.
Games take place at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, 1221 Potter St., near Civic Field and the Sportsplex.
Tickets are $7 for general admission for metal bleachers and lawn seating (bring your lawn chair or blanket). Covered grandstand seating is $9. Kids under the age of 3 are free, provided they sit on a lap. You can buy tickets online or at the box office.
Remember, evenings can be breezy. Bring a light jacket or sweatshirt. Most nights you’ll be glad you did.