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Sports Cities That Hit It Out of the Park for Families

by Carley Wade

Mar 2, 2018

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Whether it was feats of strength or the athletes and camaraderie themselves, did your family find the Olympics captivating? You don’t have to head to PyeongChang to re-create the magic of the games live and in living color with your own at-home team on the road when you hit up great sports cities.


Celebrate America’s pastime in Cooperstown, N.Y. The charming village looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and there are plenty of affordable lodges, resorts, and inns — many of which offer Otsego Lake views — for relaxation after visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame (open year-round). The museum anchors Main Street, and is within walking distance of ice cream and baseball card shops, along with sporting gear and caps for all of your favorite teams; Cooperstown Bat Company offers up collectibles signed by all the legends. For a little seventh inning stretch, check out the Farmers’ Museum re-enactments of 19th-century village life, or pet some farm animals.


Louisville Slugger Museum

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In Louisville, go batty for indoor cages at the Slugger Museum, a highlight of Museum Row. This working factory is hard to miss with its 120-foot-tall bat and 17-ton Big Glove, handcrafted from Kentucky limestone. Put up a fist — or two — at the Muhammad Ali Center here, where the hometown boxer’s life as an athlete and activist is chronicled with interactive exhibits and galleries. It’s fast times at Churchill Downs’ family days, where kids will want to jockey for position in line for face painting, pony rides, racing and more at this legendary home of the Kentucky Derby. Basketball is also huge here, and Louisvillians are passionate about their “Cards” — or NCAA Division I Cardinals. The college team gets as much love as any NBA squad, especially former longtime coach Rick Pitino, who used to lead the Boston Celtics.


That green squad — with several rookie players in this rebuilding season — is having a bit of freshmen magic, and New England’s got plenty to celebrate besides. Catching a game at TD Garden (also connected to one of the city’s massive transit systems) is pretty easy in this walkable historic hub, also the case for the Boston Bruins hockey team that shares the same arena. The Red Sox bring on the joy at America’s oldest baseball stadium in the heart of the city. And as for football and the Super Bowl runner-up Patriots, Gillette Stadium is a bit further afield but totally worth renting a car if you’re lucky enough to score tickets for the fortuitous marriage that is TB12 and Belichick.


TD Boston Garden

© Carley Wade


Philadelphia is feeling the brotherly love with the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win, and it’s even easier to get around this East Coast hub. Lincoln Financial Field is still in Philadelphia proper but has easy highway access; nearby Wells Fargo Center hosts both pro basketball’s 76ers and hockey’s Flyers. The Phillies bring on the summer love not even a hop, skip and a jump away at Citizens Bank Park.


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