2014 Ballpark Road Trip (Any Suggestions?)

The wife and I just finalized our 2014 ballpark trip.  We are flying from Kansas City and flying into Indianapolis.  We only have 4 nights from May 9th-13th.  From there, our itinerary is...

Day 1:  Drive from Indianapolis to Louisville.  Go to Churchill Downs for live horse racing.  Then, finish off the night by going to a Louisville Bats game.

Day 2:  Visit the Louisville Slugger museum/factory and take the tour.  From there, drive to Cincinnati and watch the Reds take on the Rockies.

Day 3: Tour the Reds Hall of Fame museum. Then, watch the Reds play the Rockies again.

Day 4: drive back to Indianapolis and watch an Indians game.

We have quite a bit crammed in there. Any thoughts? Anything I'm missing? Still toying with the idea of skipping the 2nd Reds game and driving to Detroit, but I'm thinking that might be too much for one trip.

Any ideas on this trip would be appreciated!

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Comment by Eric Frohriep (16) on March 30, 2014 at 9:26am

Having been to both Detroit and Cincinnati, I would take in 2 Reds games.  I like that stadium much better.  When we were there George Foster was just sitting at a booth in the concourse selling stuff for charity.  I bought an autographed bobble head from him.  If you bought anything from him, he would also take a photo with you.

Comment by Michael Testa (14) on March 29, 2014 at 1:16pm

I did the factory and the Reds last season... drove in from St. Louis. You will need about 1/2 day at the factory to see everything. I highly recommend bringing home a personalized bat... if you order one in the gift shop as soon as you get there, it will be ready well before you leave. Mine was about $49, well worth it for a trip you will probably only do once. Also, don't miss the batting cages... I got a huge thrill by taking 10 swings (for only $1) with David Wright's bat. The factory itself is exactly that... pretty neat to see, but the Museum was better and well worth the stop.

Not sure if you bought your seats yet for Cincinnati... if you haven't, avoid the first few rows of the upper deck down the line.  You lose a lot of the outfield corner and all of foul territory.  Either sit further up (where the sightlines are actually better) or on a lower level.

Comment by Michael J. Torson on March 26, 2014 at 4:52am

Thanks Lisa.  

If I have to cut it close on the Bats game, I'll do that.  My wife wants to go to Churchill Downs, so we will be fitting that in for sure.  She seems to think about 3 hours there will be fine.  Hopefully, it will be.

Thanks for the heads up on the discounts to the Reds Hall of Fame.

We are still deciding on the Tigers game.  I think it's probably out.  My wife would rather do the game in Columbus that Sunday.  I'm still thinking about it though.

Comment by Lisa (16) on March 25, 2014 at 11:35am

I live around all these areas and I've been to them all.  Here's my suggestion:

Day 1: Indy to Lville, horse racing, Bats game.  Perfect day. Only issue, live racing won't start til 3ish, and the bats usually start around 6 or 6:30.  So you may not have much time for horse racing. 

Day 2: Slugger opens at 9 am, be there then, you'll be thru there and on the road to cincy by noon.  Arrive in cincy by 3, plenty of time to take in the Reds Hall of Fame and even catch a quick nap or swim in your hotel.  The Reds hall of fame, has quite a few interactive options, such as buying 10 pitches in a batting cage, buying a ticket to watch BP of the Reds, or even putting on catching gear and throwing your best fast ball.  That's free.  Anyway, the museum is well worth your stop but unless you do the other options, like batting practice, it will only take you an hour, 90 min tops to work your way thru it.  Also show your game day ticket for a $5 charge instead of $9. In May the HOF museum is also giving out bobbleheads, it's Sparky Anderson. May 10th happens to be Homer Bailey Dual Bobblehead giveaway at the Reds vs Rockies game, so if you are interested in one of those be at the park 2 hours before game time.  They will go fast! And stand in line at the main entrance.  Not all the gates will have bobbleheads.  So if you play your cards right you can score 2 bobbleheads per ticket on that day.  :)

Day 3: You'll have to get up early but drive the 5 hours to Detroit and catch the Tigers game at 1pm. The good thing is being a day game you can either relax the rest of the day and catch up on sleep or head to Indy that night.

Day 4: Spent at Indians game.  You should see if Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts) has tours that day. I've done the tour and it's great.  Brand new, beautiful facility. 

I just think it would be silly not to go to Detroit since you'll be that close.  When else do you plan on being within 5 hours of the ballpark and them be in town???  Detroit in my opinion isn't a place to spend a day 3 weekend anyway, but it's perfect for driving in a for day game and leaving. :D

Comment by Michael J. Torson on March 21, 2014 at 7:21pm

Thanks for the thoughts on Huntington Park.  We are leaning towards doing that on the Sunday.  That will give us 4 parks in 4 days on this trip.  I think it'll be busy, but worth it!

Comment by Dave (16+5) on March 21, 2014 at 5:36pm

From the looks of your map, this is probably your last really good chance to fit in Comerica Park without making a dedicated trip. To me, that would be enough to clinch it.

One thing worth considering if you think Detroit is too far would be Columbus and see a Clippers game at Huntington Park. Regardless of level, Huntington is probably the best park in Ohio (Fifth-Third Field in Toledo is top notch as well, but too far if you think Detroit isn't worth it). The Clippers will be home from 5/9-12 with the 12th being a 10:30am start.

For something completely different, check out a Wright State/Valparaiso NCAA game that weekend in Dayton. Nischwitz Stadium is small, but very nice. As an added bonus, you could check out the Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB. It's free to the public and possibly the best tourist attraction in Ohio...a must see if you've never been.

Comment by David Lasdon on March 21, 2014 at 11:25am

I did Detroit on a Sunday, drove to Cleveland, did that on Monday, and drove to Cincinnati for a Tuesday game. Neither drive was that big a deal, but driving Detroit to Cincinnati direct is a bit more of a haul. I'd do it if my goal was to be at more major league stadiums and if you're okay driving.

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