There’s a lot to love about living in St. Louis, but at this precise moment in history, it’s the St. Louis Cardinals who probably top the list. Fresh off their victory over the L.A. Dodgers, our city’s beloved baseball franchise is once again headed to baseball's ultimate championship: yes, the Cardinals are going to the World Series.
Now, I’ll admit to being a fair weather baseball fan. My favorite part of a trip to Busch Stadium is indulging in beer and hot dogs, and the playoffs last week reminded me once again that I really don’t like watching the actual game. But even I can’t help getting caught up in the whirlwind of World Series excitement that has taken over our fair city, and like every good St. Louisan, I plan to cheer the Cardinals on to victory in any way that I can.
Of course, as a parent, I have to celebrate a little differently than I would have in my pre-kid era. As festive as red Jell-O shots may be, they aren’t exactly appropriate on a school night. So how can moms and dads cheer on the Cardinals AND involve our kids in this awesome opportunity to celebrate St. Louis’ hometown team? Here are a few ideas:
1. Host a Tailgate Party
Tailgating isn’t just for football season. And with game time starting just as bedtime approaches in many households, hosting a tailgate party beforehand can be a great way to involve the kids in the celebration earlier in the day.
Whip up (or buy) some Cardinals-themed cupcakes, and serve classic ballpark fare like hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn and peanuts. Decorate with red streamers and balloons, and let your kids make a handmade “Let’s Go Cards” banner to hang on the mantel. If you’re feeling particularly motivated, search “baseball parties” on Pinterest to find lots of inspiration.
2. Set Your DVR
As much as we complain about technology, this is one of those moments where it really comes in handy. Record the game, and watch it with your kids at a time during the day when they’re actually awake. Depending on their age and attention span, you may want to watch only the highlights, or the final inning. And of course, this strategy doesn’t prevent you from watching the game live too – hopefully undisturbed while the kids are fast asleep.
3. Cheer for the Cards, Halloween-Style
Who needs to carve a traditional Halloween jack-o-lantern when you can opt for one of these Cardinals Pumpkin Carving Templates from MLB.com instead. Kids will get a big kick out of seeing their pumpkins light up in the shape of a Redbird, or the St. Louis Cards logo. Even better, if the series actually concludes with a Game 7 on Halloween night, your front porch will be ready to go.
4. Play Ball
Who says the Cardinals players get to have all the fun? Bring the family together and get everybody moving by hosting a "World Series" of your own! Divide into teams, review the rules, and head to the backyard for a fun and friendly family game. Opt for T-ball if your kids are still little, and no matter their age, use this opportunity to teach the importance of good sportsmanship.
5. Dress Your Best
Some kids may not even be interested in watching the game, but they’ll love showing their Cardinals spirit by wearing red on game day. Even infants can get in on this action. I can't help but love this newborn onesie, which reads “I’ve been told I love the Cardinals.”
In our house, we're making red and white Rainbow Loom bracelets for everyone to wear, because nothing says Go Cards – and also yes, a 4th grade girl lives here – like thousands of tiny rubber bands strewn all across my living room floor.
6. Learn Something New
My daughter has informed me that the World Series is supposed to be fun, and that “not everything has to be educational, Mom.” Okay, point taken, but you can’t deny that this is definitely a teachable moment. Research the history of the Cardinals franchise, use printable baseball worksheets to help kids practice reading and math skills, or even conduct a science experiment to determine why baseballs don’t like to bounce. Remember, educational doesn’t have to equal boring.
7. Make a Memory
There’s no better way to celebrate the World Series than at the game itself, and no doubt that Busch Stadium is the place to be in St. Louis this weekend. Tickets aren't cheap (or easy to come by), but if you happen to get your hands on some, don't count your kids out of the equation. Win or lose, a trip to a World Series game is pretty amazing memory to have. And even if you just cancel bedtime and let your kids stay up late to watch the game at home, it's likely to be an evening that they – and you – will never forget.
How are you celebrating the World Series with your kids? Will you let them stay up late to cheer the Cardinals on to victory?
Alyssa Chirco is a freelance writer, mother and margarita lover, not necessarily in that order. In addition to writing for STL Parent, she is Contributing Editor at Parenting Squad, and covers parenting, health and lifestyle topics for publications across the country. She recently moved from the suburbs of St. Louis to a small town in rural Jefferson County, where she is learning to survive with no Target or Starbucks in sight. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaChirco
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