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MLB All-Star Fanfest 2013: Five things for families to check out

The annual baseball-centric festival will bring a lineup of family-friendly activities to the Javits Center from July 12 to 16.

  • Photograph: MLB Photos/Kyle Rivas

    MLB All-Star Fanfest and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday

  • Photograph: MLB Photos/Robert Binder

    MLB All-Star Fanfest and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday

  • Photograph: MLB Photos/Robert Binder

    MLB All-Star Fanfest and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday

  • Photograph: MLB Photos/Robert Binder

    MLB All-Star Fanfest and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday

  • Photograph: MLB Photos/Kyle Rivas

    MLB All-Star Fanfest and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday

Photograph: MLB Photos/Kyle Rivas

MLB All-Star Fanfest and Taco Bell All-Star Sunday


From July 12 to 16, baseball enthusiasts will flock to the Javits Center for the annual MLB All-Star Fanfest, which celebrates America’s pastime by bringing fans together with some of the Major League’s biggest players, coaches and managers. Whether your little slugger aspires to become the next Mariano Rivera or prefers to just watch from the sidelines, the week of baseball-themed events and activities has something for everyone. Here are some of the highlights.

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Practice your swing

There’s no shortage of opportunities to get active at this fest—kids can visit the mini diamond to participate in a baseball clinic or practice specific skills at the base running station or vertical leap challenge. Or step up to the batting cages for batting and fielding practice, where you can try your hand at fielding fly balls and ground balls. Then young athletes can make their way to the Fanfest Tire Tryout, where they’ll practice bunting and throwing balls at targets made from Firestone tires. More comfortable with a joystick or remote control than a bulky glove or baseball bat? Fans of all ages can show off their skills in a virtual ballgame with new MLB 2K Sports video games on the latest Sony consoles.


Mingle with your favorite players

Meet baseball legends at the All-Star Clubhouse, where former Mets players like Bud Harrelson, John Franco and Mookie Wilson will drop by for Q&A sessions. Families can also watch interviews with current and former MLB players, coaches, managers, and executives on the stage, then hang around afterward to get autographs. Coaches and managers will also host baseball clinics throughout the week.


Catch an all-star game

Head to Citi Field on Sunday, July 14 to watch two exhibition games for Taco Bell All-Star Sunday. The doubleheader includes the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, in which U.S. Minor League prospects face off against international prospects, and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, featuring a lineup of MLB legends like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, and John Franco, as well as some celebs (think Chris Rock and Kevin James). Stay put for a fireworks show after the games. Tickets for All-Star Sunday range from $65–$108 and include entrance to the games as well as admission to Fanfest on Monday or Tuesday. All-Star week goes out with a bang on Tuesday, July 16, with the 84th MLB All-Star Game. Only season ticket holders and game pack holders can attend the game live at Citi Field, but you can catch the TV broadcast at home—it's the Mets’ first time hosting the Midsummer Classic.

Brush up on baseball history
Fanfest features lots of cool exhibits about the history of the sport. Take a look at the display of historic photos and artifacts from the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. We're especially excited for the Hometown Heroes exhibit which gives fans an up-close-and-personal look at memorabilia from throughout the Mets’ illustrious history—kids can also pose in a life-size Mets team photo. History buffs will also want to check out the fest’s tribute to the Negro Leagues and its most famous player, Jackie Robinson. And at the World Baseball Classic display, you’ll see photos and information about international baseball stars who competed in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.


Take a break from baseball

If you need a breather from baseball-related activities, stop by the entertainment area for an awesome lineup of bands, DJs, dance performances and other acts. Little ones can also enjoy face painting and balloon animals at the Rookie League station. When you get peckish, make a beeline for the food court for delicious ballpark favorites like hot dogs and jumbo pretzels.

The MLB All-Star Fanfest at the Javits Center takes place from Friday, July 12 to Tuesday, July 16. $35, $30 children 12 and under.


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