Minute Maid Park

mmp-1Minute Maid Park, located in the heart of Downtown, is home to the Houston Astros. Much like its predecessor, the Astrodome, this ballpark is an engineering marvel and it has the awards to prove it. Built on the site of Houston’s old Union Station, the park’s design pays tribute to its heritage with a restored concourse serving as the main entrance.  It has everything from a retractable roof to a real grass field. But its finest and most enjoyable feature is that it’s air-conditioned.

While the park serves as a venue for a wide array of events and entertainment, we decided to check it out the old fashioned way – a ball game. We started our day with a casual lunch at Larry’s Big Bamboo with Larry Dierker himself. A few of us baseball fanatics reverted to the excited age of 12 when in the legend’s presence. After lunch, we slowly wandered to our seats, passing other gourmet food options, the kids’ Squeeze Play Zone and St. Arnold’s beer carts that are dotted throughout the park. Walking through Minute Maid with Larry Dierker at your side will make you feel like a celeb by association. People stopped him left and right to shake his hand and take a quick pic. This didn’t let up the entire game, and not once did he show the slightest annoyance.  As if having lunch and watching an Astros game with an Astros Great wasn’t exciting enough, the Astros won in extra innings with a walk-off homerun.

As we all jumped to our feet to celebrate and watch the train full of oranges chug along the track above left field, there was an overwhelming sense of camaraderie. We know the Astros haven’t exactly been the most exciting team to watch lately, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are a living part of Houston’s history. Houston rallies around its teams no matter what. You can always count on that one fan to be there to pump you up with his makeshift popcorn box megaphone when the going gets tough. It’s just something about the people here.mmp-2 mmp-3 mmp-4 mmp-5 mmp-7 mmp-6Insider’s Guide

• Remember to check the Roof Report (http://astros.mlblogs.com/) before the game to dress accordingly!
• Parking is usually cash only so collect cash before heading out.
• Every Sunday home games have specials, whether it’s for the family, buying group tickets, or purchasing AYCE seats (All You Can Eat tickets) you need to check it out! http://mlb.mlb.com/hou/ticketing/sundays.jsp

Address
 501 Crawford St, Houston, TX 77002

Hours
See the full 2013 Astros schedule here!  http://houston.astros.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=hou#y=2013&m=6&calendar=DEFAULT

Parking
There are tons of places to park around every entrance of the stadium.

Family Friendly
Of course!