the marquee one of the things to see on a baseball road trip to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

Guide to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

A bucket list of baseball parks to visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

There are many reasons why this iconic field has such a strong draw.

For one thing, Wrigley Field, built in 1914, is the second oldest ballpark in the major leagues. Only Fenway Park in Boston is older (built in 1912).

The Chicago Cubs stadium, with its authentic, vintage vibe is a special place to watch a baseball game.

Many of the ballpark’s features and traditions are the same today as they were decades ago.

They include the original Wrigley Field marquee over the main entrance and the stadium’s green iron structure and red bricks.

There’s the one-of-a-kind ivy that covers the outfield wall and the rooftop seating on the buildings beyond the outfield wall.

The atmosphere at a baseball game at Wrigley Field is electric. You can feel the energy and passion the hometown faithful have for their beloved Cubs.

And everyone can’t wait for the 7th inning stretch and the opportunity to sing along to “Take Me Out to the Ballpark”.

A visit to Wrigley Field is definitely a baseball excursion that every fan of the game should plan to make at least once in their lifetime.

Quick facts about the Chicago Cubs stadium

  • 1060 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613, USA.
  • Built in 1914; it’s the second oldest ballpark in the major leagues.
  • Wrigley Field has a seating capacity of 41,649.
  • The outfield walls are covered in a combination of Boston ivy and Japanese bittersweet.
  • The manual scoreboard in center field is over 80 years old and takes three people to operate it.
  • Lights for night games were just installed in 1988. Prior to that baseball games at Wrigley Field were only played during the day.
  • Wrigley Field is where, during the 1932 World Series, Babe Ruth’s famous “Called Shot” took place i.e., he stood at the plate, pointed to the center field bleachers, and then hit a home run to that spot.
  • Chicago Cubs schedule and tickets.

Where to sit for your Cubs game at Wrigley Field

  • Most affordable ticket: Upper Deck Outfield seats.
  • Catch-a-home-run ticket: The Right or Left Field Bleachers, home of the “Bleacher Bums”.
  • Avoid the sun ticket: Terrace Reserved Outfield or Upper Deck Infield.
  • Most unique ticket: Wrigley Rooftops, located outside of the Chicago Cubs ballpark on the tops of buildings located across the street from the outfield. Licensed by the Cubs, these seats come with all-inclusive food and beverages.
  • Splurge: Dug Out or Bullpen Boxes. You’ll be close to the action and come with premium amenities and services.

When to buy tickets for your visit to Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is one of the most popular ballparks to visit in the world. It doesn’t matter whether the Chicago Cubs are having a good or bad season…fans and tourists alike love watching a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

So what’s the best plan?

Purchase your tickets well in advance.

Tickets can be bought by visiting the Chicago Cubs website or a reseller like Stubhub.

A tour of Wrigley Field is a must when visiting

Going to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field wouldn’t be complete without taking the Public Tour of the Chicago Cubs stadium.

Public Tours are available on both game days and non-game days. Do yourself a favor though and book your tour for a non-game day. The reason why is you’ll get to see and do way more cool stuff.

Like what?

Well, you’ll sit in the Chicago Cubs dugout, get up close and personal with the outfield ivy, check out the press box and go inside the visitors’ clubhouse (you’ll be shocked how basic it is!).

In addition you’ll be taken to the seating bowl, bleachers, upper deck and out onto the field (these stops are included with the game day public tour as well).

The guides who lead the tour are fantastic. They are entertaining and informative as they delve into some of the history of Wrigley Field and share humorous stories about the Chicago Cubs stadium and the players that have played there.

This 75-90 minute tour really is awesome.

Tour sizes are limited so when you’re organizing your outing to Wrigley Field make sure you plan to purchase your Public Tour tickets well in advance.

Hotels close to Wrigley Field

Then neighborhood around Wrigley Field is known as Wrigleyville. The area includes bars, restaurants, shops and accommodations. Here are some hotels located in the area as well as a few that are within a short walk or cab ride of the Chicago Cubs stadium.

Directly across the street. Hotel Zachary (4.5/5 on TripAdvisor): You can’t get accommodations any closer to Wrigley Field than this. This is a boutique hotel with modern amenities. If your room is on the stadium side, you’ll have a floor-to-ceiling window view of Wrigley.

Just a walk away. Majestic Hotel Chicago (4.5/5 on TripAdvisor): A charming and historic hotel located in the Lakeview neighborhood, a short walk from Chicago Cubs stadium. It offers a cozy and comfortable atmosphere with various design cues that pay tribute to the game of baseball.

5-minute walk. The Chicago Guest House (5/5 on TripAdvisor): Vacation rental property located right in Wrigleyville. Fully furnished and equipped with everything you need for your stay. Suitable whether it’s a few friends or a larger group visiting Chicago to take in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

Clean, comfortable and cozy. Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace (4.5/5 on TripAdvisor): Located in Lakeview, this hotel is a short distance from Wrigley Field. This boutique-style hotel has nicely appointed rooms. Your stay includes a complimentary breakfast. Guests rave about the insanely good cinnamon rolls.

Boutique hotel with vintage charm. The Willows Hotel (4.5/5 on TripAdvisor): Located in a great neighborhood and close to a nice mix of bars and restaurants.

Plan to arrive a few hours before a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

The gates at Wrigley Field open 1.5 hours before first pitch, except on Saturdays and Opening Day when they open 2 hrs. before first pitch.

There are a few reasons why you should arrive at the Chicago Cubs stadium early.

To avoid the traffic: Wrigley Field is located in a neighborhood i.e., Wrigleyville. On game days it can get quite congested. Give yourself plenty of time to leave your hotel and head down to the ballpark so you can avoid the traffic and congestion.

To walk around the ballpark: By arriving at Wrigley Field when the gates open, you’ll have lots of time to walk about the concourse of the ballpark and take in the view of the field from various vantage points.

To get a pic with the 2016 World Series Trophy: In 2023, Wrigley Field added the C.D. Peacock Trophy Room. Here is where the Cubs 2016 World Series trophy, won after they defeated the Cleveland Guardians baseball club, resides. Get down to your Cubs game at Wrigley Field early to ensure you will have time to take your picture with it.

To reserve your seat if you’re sitting in the Budweiser Bleachers: If you have a ticket to sit in the Budweiser Bleachers you’ll definitely want to be at Wrigley Field when it opens.

Tickets for this section of the stands are general admission only, which means you’re not giving an assigned seat.

Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have a specific place you want to sit in the Budweiser Bleachers you’ll need to get there early to give yourself the best shot at getting it.

To get your First-Timer’s Certificate: If it’s your first time visiting Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs have a special memento to remember the occasion by.

It’s a personalized First Timer’s Certificate.

To pick yours up visit the First Timer’s Booth located on the main concourse inside of the Marquee Gate directly behind home plate.

To get a giveaway: If the Chicago Cubs are having a game day promotion like a bobblehead or baseball cap giveaway, be there when the gates open. The earlier you’re at Wrigley Field the more likely you’ll snag one of the getaway items before they run out.

Watch batting practice: More on this below in the next section.

What time is batting practice?

Being the home team, the Chicago Cubs take batting practice first, in the early afternoon before the gates to Wrigley Field open for fans to enter. In other words, if you do manage to enter the ballpark right when the gates open, you will only catch the end of batting practice for the visiting team, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals.

Best selfie spots to hit at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

Anyone who loves sports will want to know if you’re going to a Cubs games at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Share the news by taking a pic with some of these iconic elements of the Chicago Cubs storied stadium in the background.

Wrigley Field marquee: The marquee located at the corner of Addison and Clark streets is one of the most iconic symbols of Wrigley Field. It has been welcoming baseball fans for almost 90 years and is the most popular background for selfies.

Beside a Cubs statue: A team as old at the Chicago Cubs has had many memorable players play for it. Some of the greatest are memorialized in statues located outside the ballpark. These make for super photo opportunities.

Statues of Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo and Billy Williams can be found on the north side of Gallagher Way. A statue of legendary Cubs’ broadcaster Harry Caray is located outside the Budweiser Bleacher Gate.

In front of the ivy-covered outfield wall: No other ballpark in the major leagues boasts ivy on its outfield wall. It’s one of Wrigley Field’s truly defining, distinctive details.

Pose in front of it if you go on the Public Tour of the ballpark. Or make your way down to a field level seating area and snap a pic with it in the background.

In the Cubs dugout: If you go on the Public Tour of Wrigley Field on a non-game day the tour will take you to the Cubs dugout where you can have a seat. Now that makes for an awesome selfie.

With the manual scoreboard: The 3-person operated scoreboard at Wrigley Field is another icon that represents the history and charm of Wrigley Field. Stand anywhere in the stadium and take a pic with it behind you.

Best places for autographs

There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get an autograph from a Chicago Cubs or visiting team player.

Your best bet is to get down to your Cubs game at Wrigley Field as soon as the gates open.

Make your way to the field level seats, on either side, located between the dugout and the outfield.

As players exit the dugout for the field to warm up, they may stop and sign an autograph.

4 ballpark foods you gotta try at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

  • Chicago-style Hot Dog: A classic Chicago hot dog is a must-try. It’s a beef hot dog topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, vibrant green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt, all served in a poppy seed bun.
  • Chicago-style Deep-Dish Pizza: Another mainstay of the Chicago restaurant scene. If you haven’t experienced Chicago-style deep-dish pizza prior to your visit to Wrigley Field, the ballpark can serve some up for you.
  • Chicago Mix Popcorn: Another Chicago original. This delectable ballpark treat combines cheddar cheese popcorn and caramel corn. It’s impossible to have just one handful.
  • Old Style Beer: A classic Chicago beer that has long been associated with Cubs games. If you’re going to have a beer at Wrigley Field, this is the one.

Where to get Chicago Cubs souvenirs

When you’re visiting Wrigley Field there are a few places within the stadium where you can purchase Chicago Cubs merchandise.

The Cubs Team Store is the largest location with the biggest selection. You’ll find it behind home plate on the main concourse.

The store carries all kinds of Cubs jerseys, shirts, hats, and bobbleheads.

At the front of the store there’s a display case that contains Gold Glove Awards and Silver Slugger Awards, so definitely check that out.

If you don’t make it to the store during your Cubs game, no worries. It’s open seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

In addition to the Cubs Team Store there are also Cubs Gear stores and kiosks, as well as New Era Team stores and kiosks scattered throughout the stadium.

If it’s game-worn or game-used memorabilia you’re after the team has a different store for that. It’s called Cubs Authentics. It’s located on the concourse at Wrigley Field too.

This is the the place for MLB authenticated game-used and autographed Cubs memorabilia.

From time-to-time they also sell items from the Wrigley Field Collection. Examples of items include authenticated bleacher benches, flags, scoreboard tiles, and signage.

Let’s just say you could pick up some cool stuff here for the man cave.

Restaurant recommends near Wrigley Field

Since Wrigley Field is nestled in an actual neighborhood, there are a variety of restaurant and dining options close to the Chicago Cubs stadium. Here are a few to consider when planning your day:

DMK Burger Bar: Hot spot for burgers, including beef, bison, and turkey burgers. Awarded Best Fries in Chicago by Chicago Magazine. Oh, and they do shakes too, plus, beers and cocktails.

Big Star Wrigleyville: This popular taco joint offers delicious tacos, nachos, margaritas, and a fun outdoor patio. It’s a short walk from the ballpark.

Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden: Great spot for craft beers and authentic smoked BBQ. Voted one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best 100 Bars in America” and ranked one of “Americas Best Beer Gardens” by Food and Wine magazine.

Lucky’s Sandwich Co.: Known for its massive sandwiches. If you’re hungry you won’t be after chowing down here.

Smoke Daddy: Barbecue, beer, and the blues. Need we say more?

Uncommon Ground: Known for its farm-to-table menu, organic brews, and live music.

Sports bars to try after your Cubs game at Wrigley Field

Sluggers World Class Sports Bar: A sports bar on steroids. One of the biggest sports bars in Chicago. Main level features tons of screens and memorabilia. Upstairs there’s batting cages and arcade games.

Murphy’s Bleachers: For over 80 years this sports bar has been almost as legendary at the Cubs and Wrigley Field. Local craft beers, hearty bar food, and lots of baseball memorabilia.

The Cubby Bear: Located right across from Wrigley Field. Lively sports bar with a rooftop deck and live music.

Rizzo’s Bar & Inn: Named after former Cubs player Anthony Rizzo. This sports bar has a patio with a retractable roof, heated floors, three bars, 28 LED TVs and a 13-foot LED screen. And the food and craft beers aren’t bad either.

Other things to include when visiting Wrigley Field

Chicago is a major sports town and tourist destination.

When planning your excursion to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, you will not run short of other things to see and do during your stay in the city.

In fact you will wish you had more time!

Attend another major league sports game: In addition to the Cubs, Chicago is also home to the Chicago White Sox baseball team. While you’re in town you may also be able to catch a Chicago Bears NFL game, a Chicago Bulls NBA game and/or a Chicago Black Hawks NHL game. Tickets can be purchased on Stubhub.

Visit the Chicago Sports Museum: Located within Water Tower Place on the Magnificent Mile, the Chicago Sports Museum offers interactive exhibits and memorabilia celebrating Chicago’s sports history.

Have some laughs at The Second City: A famous comedy club and improv theater that has launched the careers of many comedy legends.

Go on a Chicago River Architecture Tour: Take a boat tour along the Chicago River to learn about the city’s stunning architectural history.

Walk the Lakefront Trail along Lake Michigan: Enjoy people watching, scenic views of the lake and the city skyline.

Check out “The Bean” in Millennium Park: Explore Millennium Park, home to iconic attractions like “The Bean” (Cloud Gate sculpture), Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and the Crown Fountain.

See a show in Chicago’s Theater District: Attend a musical or a play at one of Chicago’s renowned theaters.

Hear some Live Music: Check out performances at iconic venues like the House of Blues, the Chicago Symphony Center, and numerous jazz and blues clubs.

Enjoy planning and going to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in Chicago!

Photo credit: Blake Guidry on Unsplash