By Heather Imoehl
For the last few years, my family has been participating in the Iowa Cubs Knothole Gang, and it’s been a great experience for us. The Knothole Gang is a kids’ club program run by the Iowa Cubs. This year, membership includes 10 games and costs $12 a child. It’s open to kids 13 and under.
If you’re new to the area, the Iowa Cubs are the AAA minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The team plays downtown at Principal Park, a beautiful stadium that will have a brand-new LED videoboard this season. Before kids, my husband and I enjoyed getting some mini-season tickets with friends and always looked forward to getting together to take in a game.
Once kids were in the picture, getting to a game became more work and less fun: hauling small children (and all of their accoutrements) to the ballpark became a hassle and so we went a few years without heading to the ballpark.
Going to baseball games with friends joined other pre-children activities as a distant memory (along with sleeping in, having a social life, and fitting into my jeans). As our children got older, the prospect of going to a game seemed more fun, less work, but expensive. That’s where the Knothole Gang comes in.
In addition to entrance to the games, the Knothole Gang also includes a few other perks, including a T-shirt, a membership card, treats at each included game (a small soft drink and a popsicle or other frozen item), and a baseball clinic with the Iowa Cubs players. Admittedly, though, the biggest draw for our family has been the low cost.
It allows us to take in a few games and not feel guilty about leaving before the seventh inning stretch because someone was “too hot,” “too cold,” “bored,” or covered in sticky sweet syrup that was meant for the snowcone but somehow ended up in our daughter’s lap.
I’ll also admit to joining the Iowa Cubs Mug Club one year because many of the Knothole Gang games coincided with the Thursday night Mug Club games, allowing us to take in some games with the kids AND get our free beer at the same time – it was a great combination! While this year’s games are all on Sundays, it won’t allow us to get that free Thursday beer BUT it will definitely make it easier for us to hit the games and not have to balance early season school night games.
While the Knothole Gang only covers tickets for the kids, we’ve been able to purchase Groupons the last few years to get General Admission tickets – allowing us to have a great affordable family adventure (notwithstanding any in-park purchases: beverages, hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, cotton candy, the aforementioned snowcones, foam Cub claws, or the always-enjoyable boxing baseball player puppet).
See you at the game! Go Cubs Go!
Here are the dates and times for the 2015 Knothole Gang games:
- Sunday, April 19, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, May 3, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, May 10, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, May 24, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, June 7, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, June 14, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, June 28, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, July 19, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, August 9, 1:08 p.m.
- Sunday, August 30, 1:08 p.m
For more information on the Knothole Gang, you can call the Iowa Cubs at 515.243.6111 or email Knothole Gang.
Would you like to join the Knothole Gang? Let us know in the comments below.
Heather Imoehl lives in Urbandale with her husband, two kids and dog. She enjoys summer in Des Moines and can often be found at Principal Park cheering on the I-Cubs during baseball season.