Two homerun playgrounds at Great American Ball Park
9 innings can seem like a really long time with little kids. But thanks to not one, but two, play areas at Great American Ball Park, a day at the Reds game can feel like a walk in the (ball) park.
Playgrounds at Great American Ball Park
GABP Playground Highlights
- Fan Zone playset features 3-stories of fun, complete with artificial turf ground
- Family Zone playground features a climbable clubhouse, large bridge, and two slides
- The Family Zone also includes a sensory room, reading room, and nursing suite
- Both areas were supervised by an attendant
A day at the Reds baseball game looks a lot different today than it did when we were kids. Great American Ball Park, the stadium for the Cincinnati Reds, now features two separate areas for kids to enjoy in between innings. The 3-story Fan Zone play set is located the Terrace Level and the large Family Zone located up in the View Level. Access to these play areas is included in the ticket price to a baseball game.
Fan Zone Playground
You can find the Fan Zone at Great American Ball Park along the right field side of the stadium at the Terrace Level. The Kids Playset presented by Recreations Outlet is nestled along the outside of the stadium seats near sections 34-35. Outfitted in red and white (of course), this 3-story playset features custom baseball features throughout. The ground is fittingly covered in artificial turf, and the play area is fully fenced with a large opening to the side. A women’s restroom is also conveniently located next to the playset.
The Fan Zone playset features 3 levels of tunnels, ladders, and interactive toys. There are 4 slides; 2 from the second story, and 2 from the top story. There are many baseball-themed features for kids to enjoy on this playset.
This playground is best for toddlers and older kids. There are features on the ground level of the playset that could be enjoyed by a crawler, such as a little store, a baseball-themed spinner, and a tunnel. However, crawling around on artificial turf is only fun for a short period of time. Not to mention, this area is not covered, and could potentially be hot in late afternoon.
New for 2021, the TriHealth Family Zone at Great American Ball Park features an outdoor playground, sensory room, reading room, nursing room, family bathroom, lounge area, and porch swings overlooking the Ohio River. There’s a lot in this space for all families to enjoy. The Family Zone is located on the upper level of the stadium (the “View Level”), along the right field side by sections 434/534 and 435/535. This space also features an amazing view of the riverfront and Roebling Bridge. And if you came for the game, don’t worry – there are several TVs throughout the Family Zone.
The Family Zone playground looks like a scene from a magical backyard. Look up to see a large bridge, which can be accessed by a ladder nestled within a cute, red clubhouse. Outside of the clubhouse is a little mailbox to submit letters to Gapper. There are two slides, one of which goes outside the stadium (don’t worry, it’s fully enclosed!).
This playground features a few interactive features at ground level, such as musical toys and stepping stones. The ground is all solid surface rubber. These features are is great when you have a child who is still crawling or not steady on their feet, but there are few features to keep a child under age 2 entertained for very long. A bit of coordination and strength is needed to scale the clubhouse ladder, so this spot is best for kids ages 3 and older.
Next to the playground are the two batting cases. A stadium attendant is on hand to make baseball dreams come true. The equipment is plastic and geared towards younger kids (my 3 year old participated without an issue). The wait-to-play ratio wasn’t bad – the line moves very quickly.
Beyond the batting cases is a large lounge area for families to enjoy. Around the corner from the lounge area are several porch swings with a view of the river and the baseball game below.
Indoor amenities in the Family Zone include a sensory room, nursing suite, and family restroom. We spent some time in the reading room, and found that it was a good spot to cool down. While there are not any books out currently, there are toys to play with, including two play cubes and a magnetic tabletop toy. There are also two reading nooks where kids can lounge, and a large chalk board.
The not so greats
The biggest negative about the two playgrounds at Great American Ball Park is that neither space is fully covered. The Fan Zone playset has zero coverage, and while most of the Family Zone is covered or indoors, the actual playground structure is not covered. The lack of cover means these playground spaces could heat up on a very sunny day and they were not available during a rain delay.
Also, there are not any swings for the youngest ones to enjoy in either play area, besides the porch swings in the Family Zone. And lastly, this space is only available to paying fans during game time. This isn’t a spot you can pop by on a whim.
Overall, I love how Great American Ball Park has two play areas for kids within the stadium. It really adds to the magic of attending a Reds game. My kiddo did not stop smiling the entire time we were at the game, and the Fan Zone playset and Family Zone playground are two big reasons why.
Great American Ball Park is located at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202