It’s not summer without baseball, and New Jersey is lucky enough to have its own hometown Minor League team ringing in summer for us Jersey-style.

I can’t even tell you how many wonderful family nights I have spent at the BlueClaws stadium in Lakewood with my kids when they were younger. And guess what? It’s not like we were huge baseball fans. But it’s so much more than baseball at ShoreTown Ballpark. It’s a family night of festivities and togetherness.

This year the 66-game home schedule kicks off on April 8. Opening night at the Jersey shore will be presented by Jenkinson's Boardwalk. It’s the 21st opening night in BlueClaws history and this year, post-pandemic, it’ll be more like a normal opening of the past.

Don’t forget to hang around for the post-game fireworks! They also have fireworks on July 4 and on Fridays beginning in June.

Here’s what’s new in BlueClaws universe: The BlueClaws celebrate the debut of their brand new upstairs Blue Wave Bar. It’s a full-service bar and restaurant open for every fan at every game, with a Jersey Shore-themed décor and great family fare and drinks.

Then of course you have all the features you’re used to at ShoreTown Ballpark, like mini-golf and “the boardwalk” section with all of its fun boardwalk games that the kids — and you — love to play.

One of the highlights of going to a BlueClaws game is the variety of theme nights you can attend.

The theme night calendar at ShoreTown Ballpark is always packed with fun evenings, and this year is no different. For instance, May 7 is “Bark in the Park,” June 19 is Father’s Day at the ballpark, Military Appreciation night is July 7, and Irish Heritage Night is July 9.

“BruceClaws Night,” AKA Bruce Springsteen Appreciation Night is July 23 and Star Wars Night is August 5. Soon, they’ll be announcing some cool new theme nights — like Marvel night and more. Sundays are really special for kids at the ballpark. They are kids club days where members get to eat free and kids get to run the bases after every game.

For more information about the BlueClaws and the schedule, click here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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