When it comes to Arlington, Texas, sports fans have the best of both worlds to enjoy: Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys call the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex home, playing out of separate — but neighboring — arenas in Arlington. Either venue offers fun, food, and lasting memories for you and your family.
We may be biased, but we feel that Globe Life Park in Arlington is the very best park for a family to enjoy a game. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip.
Parking. The many parking options ensure that, no matter where you’re headed after the game, you’re sure to find a lot favorable to your route. Dallas-bound attendees will find Lots C, D, F, and G have the easiest access to eastbound I-30. Lots A, M, and N have the easiest access to head west to Fort Worth after the game. Lots B, C, and D have the easiest exit route to SH 360. General parking costs $20.
Consider parking in lot M. It might be a bit of a hike from the stadium, but it’s the easiest lot to exit from when the game is over and when your kiddos are tired out. The rickshaw drivers usually hang around there to offer rides — and the nearby port-a-potties are a great amenity for the kid who didn’t have to go when you left the house but suddenly needs to go RIGHT NOW OR ELSE!
Keep in mind that, with ongoing construction of the Rangers’ new home (more on that below), some lot closures and disruptions may occur. Be sure to check out the latest parking tips on the website.
Entrance/Security. The park is super family-friendly — especially when it comes to what you’re allowed to bring in with you, including soft-sided, collapsible coolers and plastic bottles for drinking water (NOT optional in the Texas summer heat). No hard coolers, glass containers, or alcoholic beverages can be carried in, and all bags and purses (which are subject to search by ballpark staff) must measure 16 x 16 x 8 inches or smaller.
You can save a lot of money on concessions if you bring along your own snacks and simple meals like sandwiches. Be sure to use the season ticket holders’ entrances if you purchased your tickets from a third party or a season ticket holder. These entrances often see much less traffic than the main entrances.
Park staff suggest placing a ticket stub inside your child’s pocket or sock to assist in locating your group, should you become separated. Seriously, they’ve thought of EVERYTHING.
What to Expect. Wednesdays and Sundays tend to be popular days for the dollar hot dog and dollar ice cream promotions, respectively. Be advised that the ice cream deal is for kids 13 and younger — who also qualify for reduced-price tickets in the Upper Reserved seating area (every day, not just on Sundays). Plus, children under 36 inches tall are free of charge if they occupy a the lap of a ticket holder. Aside, perhaps, from opening day, crowds never seem to be a concern here, because there are just so many places within the park to explore and watch the game.
Game days can be HOT. The Kid’s Zone play area is a cool place (literally) for the kids to enjoy on hot days. We recommend visiting as soon as the park opens to get your money’s worth and if you want to see the whole game, as young kiddos can’t be left unattended. If you want to avoid the sun or sit where it will set first during those day games, sit along the first base line and behind home plate. This applies to all levels. The sun never leaves the outfield and third base line until it sets for the day, meaning even during some 7:00 p.m. summer night games you’ll need sunscreen until the moon comes out. If you find that your seats are in the sun, you can move near the top of the stadium in the 300 level where there is a breeze. If there are open seats out of the sun, you can usually reseat yourself if the attendants are understanding. (Of course, we don’t advise taking anyone else’s seats!)
Dining Inside the Park. The variety of food offerings in the park means there is something for everyone — including fruits, vegetables, and a whole cart of options for vegans. For carnivores, The Chipper has served the best brisket-covered warm potato chips in the past (but keep that between us; we don’t want a huge line). If you have little ones, you could bring your own food and eat at a picnic table on the 100 level. Check out this article for some of the crazy new concessions rolling out in the new season. (Prepare to split the chicken sandwich the size of home plate.) Overall, the food prices are not too bad compared to other sporting venues — and it tastes really good, too. Some of the best bites are in the outfield (hello, street nachos and tacos). Also, check out the indoor dining options for when you want to still watch the game but beat the heat.
Jr. Rangers Club. Okay, forget overpriced peanuts and souvenir plastic baseball hats. This is by far the best money you’ll spend on your kids here. Between the cute swag bags (filled with ticket vouchers and invitations to Junior Rangers events) and other prizes the kids get, this amazing experience allows them to run the bases after the end of select games. You won’t forget the memories made chasing your littles down the baseline!
Kid’s Zone. On the first floor of the office building in left center field, behind Vandergriff Plaza, you’ll find an air-conditioned play area for kids of all ages. Kids’ concessions, kid-sized Rangers merchandise, interactive fun, and family restrooms — the Kid’s Zone has it all. Rent it out on non-game days for a birthday party your little sports fan won’t soon forget. Oh, and did we mention AIR CONDITIONING?
Other Attractions. Don’t forget Friday night fireworks and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame (free and open until the eight inning). Also coming soon is Globe Life Field, the $1.1 billion retractable roof ballpark set to open for the 2020 season. It will be the Rangers’ new home and will seat up to 40,000 fans!
Visiting AT&T Stadium is like going to a backyard barbecue (if you’re the tailgating type), a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, an upscale mall, and the hippest new gastropub all at once. Compared with the Rangers, a Cowboys fan may find the overall price steep. But you and your family will be mesmerized by all the stadium has to offer. Read up and plan ahead, because your options are virtually limitless.
Parking. Fifteen numbered lots here accommodate around 12,000 cars — and can be complemented by Globe Life Park’s lettered lots on game days. Parking costs from $30 to $75 and can be purchased ahead of time online. Tailgating is allowed only in lots four through seven, and 10 through 15. Please be aware that, while you can bring a gas or charcoal grill, deep fryers and open flames of any kind are not permitted!
Entrance/Security. Restrictions on bags are pretty severe, and lugging gear for a baby can be challenging but not impossible. Purses or bags larger than a small clutch (8.5 x 5.5 inches) are prohibited, so leave the diaper bag at home. Only NFL-approved clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags — or one-gallon zip-style freezer bags — measuring 12 x 6 x 12 inches are allowed. Pack your diapers and wipes as efficiently as you can. You’ll find a baby changing station in family restrooms on all concourses and on each club and suite level.
What to Expect. The average ticket costs $110. Seating is arranged in an oval around the field and increases in price along with proximity to the field. Consider saving some green and opting for a standing room ticket for as little as $30.
Dining Inside the Stadium. There is something for literally any palate inside the stadium. You can find everything from popcorn to peanuts, and from Frito pie to sushi. Check out this cool article about some of the wilder dining options.
Kid Zone. Located in the AT&T East Plaza, this interactive play area opens three hours prior to kickoff and is free for all ticket holders!
Your Stay in Arlington
Whether you’re here for baseball or football, take advantage of family-friendly places to eat, sleep, and play while you’re in town.
Dining Outside the Venues. You’ll find everything from Tex-Mex to Japanese to Vietnamese cuisine, from subs to salads to fried chicken fingers in Lincoln Square. Or grab a seat across the street from AT&T Stadium at one of the local fixtures: Candlelite Inn Restaurant, Fishbone Grill & Sports Bar, and Marquez Restaurant. A short drive away, Gyros House, Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, Mellow Mushroom, and the popular J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill line Division Street and intersecting roads between Cooper and Collins streets. Refer to our exhaustive guide to kid-friendly restaurants in and around Fort Worth for many, many more options.
Lodging. For affordable options, we’ve relied on La Quinta Inn & Suites, Sleep Inn, and Ranger Inn & Suites. Check out this handy guide to numerous family-friendly hotels nearby. If you’re traveling from afar to cheer your favorite team, browse our trusty guide on where to stay in Fort Worth, or consider staying in the Stockyards for the full Cowtown experience!
Other Attractions. Be sure to plan time to visit Six Flags over Texas for rollercoasters and more, Hurricane Harbor for plenty of water fun, and Alley Cats Entertainment for bowling, arcade games, laser tag, rock climbing, miniature golf, and a batting cage. The recently added Texas Live! entertainment complex includes a 5,000-person capacity outdoor venue, a multi-level indoor sports bar with a 100-foot LED HD television, a Lockhart Smokehouse, and a new restaurant concept by Guy Fieri called Taco Joint. A 300-room hotel — also part of Texas Live! — is set to open in August 2019.