Minute Maid Park vs SunTrust Park
The Turners had a planned vacation, but an unscheduled road trip that led us from Maryland to Houston and all parts in between. During our travels on the road we experienced some interesting and fun things, including some good old fashion baseball at Minute Maid Park and SunTrust Park. We had positive experiences at both parks and I definitely wouldn't mind spending another nine innings at both stadiums, but there are some differences that gave one park an edge over the other.
As Nationals fans we got a treat because the Houston Astros hosted the Washington Nationals while we were in Houston, but the real treat was escaping that Houston heat for nine innings. We opted for club level seats in foul territory of left field which provided great perspective of the entire park, but it also provided us with a dead spot in left field which was a bummer. There were decent food options through out the park with refillable drinks, but I was a little disappointed in the food options on the club level. I ordered chicken tacos which were very good, but my sister was extremely disappointed in her club level burger. I tried to sell her on Shake Shack, but she wasn't feeling the lines (I told her it was worth the wait). I am not a big fan of having a Chik-Fil-A stand at ballparks and my boys agree, as they quickly bypassed it for Shake Shack (where my sister should have ate at).
The Big Juice Box is very kid friendly as my oldest son was able to test his fastball in the pitching cage and both boys really enjoyed the Kid's Zone. They even have a train that runs when an Astros player hits a homerun. Being that the Nats won 4-3 and there wasn't any homeruns, I will chalk that up as an urban myth.
We watched the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, but seeing the game at SunTrust Park was like night and day. Building the stadium outside of Atlanta might keep down attendance, but it is a tremendous upgrade over it's predecessor. SunTrust Park did a great job of recognizing their former players; in particular Hank Aaron as they memorialized him with a fantastic statue. My youngest son referred to the area as an outdoor museum. The park has a great area for the kids, including a batting cage, a zip line and a climbing tower. SunTrust Park has outstanding food options including a Yard House and a Wahlburger just outside the stadium and a Chik-Fil-A restaurant (where my kids ate and I should have joined them) along with an assortment of good eats inside of SunTrust Park. I opted for the pizza which was just okay. The only negatives I have is the price of those damn fidget spinners and there aren't any refills on drinks.
I would give SunTrust a slight edge; however, Minute Maid Park was more cost effective as their team store items were cheaper (e.g. fidget spinners which were only $5 compared to $15 at SunTrust) and the park had refillable beverages. Both parks were kid friendly. Even though SunTrust Park had more things to offer kids, my boys showed more interest in the Kid's Zone at Minute Maid Park. There seemed to be more food options inside of Minute Maid Park, but the options outside the park were extremely limited when compared to SunTrust Park.
The retractable roof gives Minute Maid Park a lot of flexibility as you never have to worry about rain outs and/or delays. That being said I'd rather be outdoors. Both parks did a great job of honoring their former players, but Atlanta took it to another level with their "outdoor museum". And I can't forget the legendary tomahawk chop. Even as Nationals fans, my kids and I found ourselves joining in. But no matter the park, we're still reppin' the Nationals!