It wouldn’t be called travel baseball if you didn’t travel, right? And boy let me tell you, did the Funderburks travel a LOT this past season!
One of the places our team had the pleasure of playing and staying was the Bullpen Global World Series at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana (side note, our 9U team also walked away with the title, so that was an added bonus for sure!)
If you’ve never been to the Grand Park Athletic Complex your sports-loving self and family are in for a treat. The place is massive and really nice, and the Westfield area is really up and coming with a lot of dining options nearby. So if your kiddo or team has an upcoming tournament at Grand Park, here are some things that would be helpful to know and plan before you get there.
Grand Park Baseball Tournaments: Here’s What You Need to Know
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Bleachers or Tall Chairs: You Pick
From what I saw during our stay there, there are a couple different areas for baseball diamonds, and our team played exclusively in one area. But, every single field I saw in this area had the same issue: tall walls. Made of brick. Which means if you’re a mom who, like me, likes to take my chair and sit right behind or to the side of the home plate umpire, then you’re not going to be able to see a dang thing.
There are TALL brick walls that extend from the ground all the way to the dugouts on both sides. You can opt to sit along the first or third base line or in the outfield area, but if you like to be up close and personal then you will want to either sit in the stands (they’re covered, by the way – which is great because there’s not a lot of shade elsewhere), or purchase taller chairs for the occasion.
Something like this tall folding chair you can get quickly on Amazon Prime.
- 25.8″ W x 29.7″L x 49.0″ H, off ground seat height is 30.7″, and folding size is 50″ H x 11.4″ L x 8.7″ W; holds up to 300 lbs.
Get a Grand Park Map
The place is massive – get a map. Seriously. You know how sometimes when you show up for a tournament you park a mile away and then have to throw everything into your wagon and lug it to the opposite side of the complex because your team drew the card for the field furthest away? But you grumble and do it anyway?
Yeah, that won’t work at Westfield Park. The place is ginormous. If you have the time to go early or even the day before your first game, definitely do so. Pick a random parking lot, park, and go for a walk. But I counted at least 6 full football fields before we finally turned around and headed back to our car, and that was just a fraction of the complex.
Grand Park is also home to the Colts Training Center, the Pacers Athletic Center, and Pro X Athlete Development (an indoor training facility specializing in baseball, softball, golf, and football – with training space, simulators, and a full weight/workout room, physical therapists, and trainers on staff). – We actually rented cage space one of the days we were there for an indoor hitting session. The space was actually pretty cool and the guys who ran the front desk were really nice.
If you don’t have a map, there will be some at Grand Park. Definitely find out where your fields are and park in that designated parking lot. It will save you a lot of time, hassle, and foot traffic in doing so.
Turf Infields, Grass Outfields
Every field we saw in our area was the same for this as well: turf infields and grass outfields. It’s always a pain when you have to pack more than one shoe for your 9 year old, but I feel like we pack so many things anyway, what’s one more set of cleats, turf shoes, sliders, etc?
Some Fun Things to do in Westfield, Indiana:
Birdies Westfield, Indiana
Birdies Bar and Grill in Westfield, Indiana is a nice place to take your team or family because a) it’s right down the road from Grand Park, and b) they have full mini golf along with outdoor dining right on the premises. We ended up eating there twice: once just our family, and then again with the team. Food was decent pub-style food (burgers, wings, salads) and the boys had a blast.
Cabos Mexican Restaurant
Another place to eat is Cabos Mexican Restaurant, which is also close to Grand Park (it’s in an area that has a TON of fast food, gas stations, and a Starbucks. fyi).
I opted for the tacos al pastor which did not disappoint, and a classic margarita. Also, did not disappoint.
NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis
I want to say that Indianapolis was about a 20 minute drive from our hotel? (But keep in mind, we stayed about 30 minutes away from Grand Park – so if you’re wanting to drive to Indianapolis, give yourself an hour just to be safe because frankly, I’m bad at that kind of thing).
We had a full day where we didn’t have any games, so a few of us wandered into Indianapolis to see what we could find. We had already visited the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on a different trip (that one is deserving of its own post!) so we opted for the NCAA Hall of Champions this time around.
It was a lot smaller than I anticipated, and honestly, I’m not a huge fan of museums anyway, so I could have done without this experience. But it kept us busy for maybe 45 minutes and the boys seemed to enjoy it.
There are two floors of various interactive trivia, exhibits, and simulators. The kids loved the simulators the most (of course), and the basketball court.
Big Woods Speedway, Indianapolis, IN
To be quite honest, the staff at Big Woods Speedway was horrendous. We were treated so poorly, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were all having a bad day. On the plus side, this was the best dairy-free cauliflower crust pizza I’ve EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. So because of that, Big Woods is getting a shout out in this post.
And yes. I ate the whole thing. And the fries.
If you’ve been to Grand Park or the Westfield Area I’d love to know where you stayed, what you ate, and any advice you might have! I’m sure our team will be heading back hopefully sometime soon in the neat future!