The Major League Baseball All-Star Game isn’t until Tuesday, but baseball fans have left their home stadiums behind and flooded the District.
It has been nearly 50 years since D.C. hosted the game, and there are ways to get in on the action all across the city. From home run contests and player meetups to bar specials for bandwagon fans, here’s a roundup of the fanfare during the All-Star Game weekend.
Tickets for Tuesday’s game are sold out, but there are still plenty of ways to take a swing at the celebrations.
MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
Entertainers and athletes will face off Sunday in the MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. Baseball Hall-of-Famers like Andre Dawson and Tim Raines will duke it out with sports experts like ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza. Playing alongside the professionals are celebrities like Bill Nye, HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky, “Hamilton” actor Chris Jackson and actor Jamie Foxx.
Sunday at 5 p.m. Nationals Park, 1500 S. Capitol St. SE. Tickets range from $60 to $380.
Home Run Derby
This year’s home run derby will bring baseball stars like Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves and Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros to the plate. Eight MLB players will compete in a three-round bracket for the title of home run champion. But this year, two winners will be crowned as the MLB debuts a virtual reality home run derby. Fans can put their batting skills to the test playing a virtual reality game at All Star weekend events over the weekend, and the top finishers will also compete in a bracket-style competition Monday. If you can’t make it to Nationals Park for the action, log onto MLB’s website to watch the best online hitters.
Monday at 5 p.m. Nationals Park, 1500 S. Capitol St. SE. Tickets range from $150 to $260.
Official events beyond the ballpark
Over the weekend, there are two hubs baseball fans need to take note of beyond Nationals Park.
MLB Assembly is the weekend-long party at The Wharf in honor of Tuesday’s game. Each day offers baseball-themed art, fashion and music with DJ sets. Food vendors will be set up on site and “goodie drops” will offer treats like ice cream sandwiches and donuts. Free general admission tickets can be reserved online.
If you’re a baseball fanatic, visit the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for All-Star Fanfest. Arrive early and score a piece of memorabilia given to the first 3,000 fans each day or stick around for a chance to see batting practice or your favorite player host a Q&A or autograph signing session. Tickets are available online for $35 to secure your entrance to the daylong baseball celebration.
Bar and restaurant specials
Cracker Jacks and other ballpark food may not be on the menu at these restaurants, but plenty of D.C. establishments have specials through Tuesday. Whether you want classic comfort food or something more sophisticated, food and drink specials around D.C will cater to your All-Star-sized cravings.
Trade in a beer at the ballpark for a wine tasting at District Winery’s “upscale tailgate.” Located just beyond the stadium at 385 Water St. SE., the winery will offer hot dogs and hamburgers and a discounted All-Star wine flight with a tasting of five wines for $14.
If you’d prefer to crack open a cold one, you can grab a seat at the bar at one of Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s locations around the District. For each full-size beer you buy at any of the five restaurants, you’ll earn a chance to win an All-Star jersey.
To celebrate America’s favorite pastime, chow down on classic game day food.
All weekend, Declaration is grilling up ballpark franks with premium toppings at the Nationals Park location at 1237 First St. SE. For $8, try one of the hotdogs dressed with flavors from cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis. The restaurant’s ode to the District is a Maryland crab corn dog piled high with remoulade sauce and Old Bay mustard.
Penn Commons will also have a special hot dog menu ahead of the All-Star Game with a different team honored each day. The bar and restaurant at 700 6th St. NW will represent each of the MLB’s divisions with their own dog for a day. On Tuesday, the restaurant will reference the Washington Nationals with a classic D.C. half-smoke, a homemade version of Cracker Jacks and D.C. Brau beer brewed right in the District.
Finish the night with a trip to Ice Cream Jubilee. Known for its original flavors, its shops at Navy Yard and U Street will sell baseball-themed ice cream sundaes in a helmet for the game. Try two scoops of Nats Red Velvet Cake in your sundae for $8.