7 Tips to Attend US Open Tennis in NYC with Kids
The US Open is always played in Flushing Meadows, NY. The tournament this year will take place from August 28 to September 10, 2017.
Best Tips for Going to the US Open in NYC
1. Attend Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day
Arthur Ashe was a great tennis player. He won singles titles at the US Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open, and to this day is the only black man to ever win these grand slam titles.
Ashe was also a transformative athlete in his fight against racism in the world of tennis. After being denied a visa multiple times by the country of South Africa to play tennis there, he successfully petitioned the International Lawn Tennis Federation to ban South Africa from Davis Cup play.
He continued to fight these social injustices through protests, boycotts, and public demonstrations for two decades on and off the court. In his honor, the main stadium at the US Open, which is also the largest tennis stadium in the world, is named after him. The Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billy Jean King National Tennis Center is where the featured event takes place on any given day for both men and women.
For families with kids, the USTA will again be hosting the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. It will take place on Saturday, August 26, two days before the start of the US Open. The day features a ticketed Stadium Show inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, as well as a free Grounds Festival at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY.
Grounds Festival activities include games, music, and tennis activities for all ages. This year’s stadium performers will include Jack and Jack, Sofia Carson, Alex Aiono, and Why Don’t We. In attendance will be Open champions Venus Williams and Roger Federer.
It’s a fun day for kids and families, and the event helps fund the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network which Arthur Ashe created in 1969. The NJTL provides low cost tennis and life instruction to over 225,000 kids each year.
2. US Open Tennis Tickets: Buy Grounds Admission
Many people wonder if bringing children to this event is possible or appropriate. The answer to both is YES! Seeing professionals play and being around this electrifying event was one of the most inspiring things I have ever experienced as a young person. If you are concerned about age appropriateness, you know best if your child can sit through a professional sporting event.
For those with younger children or impatient adult companions, I highly recommend purchasing Grounds Admission passes. These Grounds Passes allow you to come and go on a first come, first served basis at the Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, and field courts. These tickets are only sold on the first eight days of the tournament.
It’s a great way to watch tennis all day long without paying the higher prices for single events at Arthur Ashe Stadium. For official ticket purchase and further explanation of the types of tickets sold at the US Open, see here.
3. Keep Cool
The New York summer sun gets pretty hot during the day. Keep your family hydrated and cool. Bring your own soft water bottles and snacks. It will mean standing in the longer security line but your kids will be happy later when you pull out those frozen juice packs.
While backpacks are prohibited, other bags with shoulder straps are okay. For a full list of prohibited items, see here.
Also, buy tickets where you will be more likely to sit in the shade. Choose sections 304-337 in Arthur Ashe and 109-111 in Louis Armstrong Stadium. And don’t forget the obvious: sunblock, hats, and sunglasses. Also, pack a few compact umbrellas for those short bursts of summer rain. They are pretty useful for blocking the sun too.
4. Get in Faster
You will most likely take the subway to watch the tournament. Well, everyone else will be doing the same and entering the East Gate off the subway. Avoid the East Gate. Head over to the South Gate where you see the big globe.
5. Half-Price Lunch
Remember the tip to buy Grounds Admission tickets? Make your way slowly to the field courts on the far west and south side of the complex. You may not see Roger Federer or the Williams sisters there, but you will get really close to some of the best players in the world. Watch events toward the South Gate.
When you get hungry, get your hand stamped for re-entry at the South Gate and check out the vendors outside the USTA center and toward the park. Everything will be at “half price.”
6. US Open Media Events in NYC
If you are staying in Manhattan, chances are the top players will be doing media events at Nike Town on E. 57th or the Adidas store on 5th Avenue. Follow those brands or your favorite players on Twitter to get a chance to see them.
7. How to Get to the US Open
The easiest way to get to the US Open is to take subway line #7 for the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center stop. For those staying at New York Hilton Midtown, it’s about 50 minutes by subway or about 35 minutes by taxi. Hilton New York JFK Airport is only 25 minutes by taxi. Remember to enter the South Gate where the lines are shorter.
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Know Before You Go
- Opt for walking tours instead of bus tours if you want to eliminate the issue of traffic – just make sure to pack comfortable shoes!
- If you bring your own ice skates, Bryant Park allows you to ice skate for free in the winter.
- The Bronx Zoo is pay-what-you-wish on Wednesdays.
- Utilize the New York Subway to travel like a local – it’s also a great way to avoid traffic!