Hit these local favorites to bookend your baseball-going experience

Image by Erica Loeks

By Aubrey Schield

“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd…” You know how it goes. It’s always fun to join in with your fellow fans in everyone’s favorite baseball tune at a Twins game at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. Even those who don’t consider themselves die hard fans of the great American pastime will enjoy an afternoon or evening watching the Twins with a refreshing drink and hot dog (or Cracker Jacks if you adhere to the rest of the song) in hand.

A Twin Cities resident for most of my life, I’ve gotten Twins game days down to a science. With a few key ingredients, as well as tips, you’ll be attending one of our team’s games like a local, and enjoying a few of my favorite watering holes along the way.

Getting to the Game

Transportation to Target Field is as easy and breezy as a Minnesota summer day. If you don’t mind paying for parking, head to ABC Ramps, located on the northwest edge of downtown Minneapolis. Event parking ranges from $9 to $15, and Ramp A is connected to Target Field via skyway—talk about convenience.

I recommend saving a buck (and doing the ozone a kindness) by using one of Metro Transit’s bus or light rail routes. Catch the Blue and Green line light rails for a quick and painless trip right up to the field’s entrance. Metro Transit’s Northstar also connects northern suburbs to Target Field. You can also use Metro Transit’s Park & Ride lots where you can park your vehicle for free and catch a bus into the city.

A group of people standing outside on a restaurant's patio with drinks on a sunny day

Image by Jeremy Nelson

Pre-Gaming Spot

Located a few steps from Target Field, Kieran’s Irish Pub is the unofficial pre-game libations partner of the Twins. With a happy hour that runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, you can hit this pub before any game, whether an afternoon or evening slot. And in true Irish pub fashion, they boast a laundry list of draft beer that includes the Irish giants of Guiness and Harp alongside local craft brews. And there’s no shortage of whiskey either.

While I suggest saving your appetite for the mouthwatering concessions available at Target Field, Kieran’s menu might be too enticing to resist. In this case, order a round of Wee Burgers, the signature Chicken Shots (with your choice of honey whiskey glaze, buffalo sauce, dill pickle rub, curry seasoning or scorpion spice for an extra bite) or a couple plates of the corned beef poutine.

Game Time

It’s always a good idea to buy your tickets ahead of time so that you can reserve specific seats, but you can also roll the dice and purchase standing room tickets when you arrive at the stadium. Oftentimes they are much cheaper, and you can still find a good view of the action. I recommend buying standing room tickets on game days you know won’t be as busy, such as weekday afternoon games.

After finding your seats or the spot you’ll be camping out, check out the myriad food and drink options throughout the stadium. And don’t worry about missing the game while you venture for a bite to eat—Target Field has high definition screens throughout the concourse so that you won’t miss a beat. With hundreds of options, it’s a little overwhelming to decide what to get at first. While the traditional hot dog with mustard is my standby, several newbies to the concessions menu are standing out: Try the shrimp boil from 4 Bells’ stand; or check out Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, which features chicken, beef or pork skewers and a standout sloppy joe; and Murray’s is churning out a smoked beef sandwich that’s to die for.

Two glasses full of beer in front of a brewery logo and man wearing a baseball jersey

Image by Allen Brisson-Smith

Rounding Third

No matter what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, there’s always reason to continue the celebration. Head over to Fulton Brewery, located just a few steps away from Target Field in the North Loop. Fulton is a brewery staple for Twins fans, and the crowd gathers quickly after the game, so get there as quick as you can to nab a table and order a round of locally brewed pints. If you have room for more food, Fulton hosts a rotation of food trucks right outside its front door.

After enjoying some beer at Fulton, head to its neighbor, Modist Brewing Co. for a miniature brewery crawl in the North Loop. Rated one of the best new breweries in the country by Beer Advocate in 2016, you’ll love Modist’s unique take on craft beer—their taps tout a salted caramel lager called “Smoove”, a dark rye IPA that goes by “Wasteland” and “First Call”, which is a cold pressed coffee lager. (I didn’t even know a coffee lager was possible.)

Tweet us your favorite Twins game day traditions @visittwincities!

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