Long weekends filled with baseball tournaments and long travel days can take their toll on the entire family. However, Cooperstown All-Star Village offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young ballplayers and their families to create amazing vacation memories that will be treasured far beyond their childhood.
Made up of twelve Little League fields situated in a valley just a short drive from the Baseball Hall of Fame, this is a can’t-miss ultimate youth baseball experience. A place where baseball for a few months every summer brings families together for an experience they will never forget.
To get you and your players ready, we’ve compiled a list of the top tips to make your Cooperstown All-Star Village trip a success.
- Planning Your Trip To Cooperstown All-Star Village
- All-Star Village Accommodations
- Final Thoughts On CASV
Planning Your Trip To Cooperstown All-Star Village
Embarking on the Cooperstown Experience: Planning a trip to the Cooperstown All-Star Village is an exciting venture that requires careful preparation and early organization. To ensure a spot in this highly sought-after tournament, it’s crucial to start planning about a year in advance. The popularity of the event means that spaces fill up quickly, so early booking is key to securing your participation.
Budgeting for Your Journey: When budgeting for the trip, anticipate an average cost of around $1,200 per player. This cost not only covers participation in the Cooperstown All Star Village games but also includes items like trading pins and pin bags. However, remember to account for additional travel expenses. Depending on your starting point, these could include airfare, car rentals, gas, lodging, and food, which will vary based on your location and needs.
Tournament Timing and Scheduling: The tournament runs from just after Memorial Day through the end of August, with each session lasting one week. Given the high demand, registration for the tournament opens over a year in advance.
After registering, All Star Village will provide three different week options for your trip, which you can rank based on your preference and schedule. For families with children in Little League, consider requesting dates in late August to minimize scheduling conflicts.
Additional Considerations for a Smooth Experience: A useful tip to save on costs is to bring a local umpire with your team, which can save approximately $1,000. Also, it’s important to note that for the 2023 season, Cooperstown All Star Village will be using USSSA bat rules. This change may influence the game, potentially leading to more home runs.
All-Star Village Accommodations
There are many options, but to make things easier on everyone, try to decide on a team hotel or figure out if other families want to share the cost of a rental home.
Since game schedules are often up in the air or changed at the last minute because of the weather, we recommend staying as close to the park as possible so you can go back and forth all day between games.
One thing to note is that players, coaches, and umpires stay at the All-Star Village in the assigned bunkhouse. Most teams arrive Friday, and check-in begins Saturday morning.
Hotels Near Cooperstown All Star Village
- Indoor pool
- Daily breakfast
- Free High-Speed Internet (WiFi)
- Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
- Minutes from Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebees, Walmart, Liquor Barn, Brewery Ommegang, and Cooperstown Brewery.
- Located 10 minutes from the CASV the Holiday Inn Express Oneonta is another excellent option. Oh, and did we mention they offer daily cookies at 3:30?
- Convenient location to All-Star Village
- Clean rooms
- updated bathrooms
- High-speed internet
- Indoor pool
- Lots of shopping and restaurants nearby
- There is also an outdoor fire pit where you can unwind with a drink after a long day of baseball.
- This hotel looks brand new despite being over four years old.
- It is conveniently located across the street from All Star Village and is about 30 mins from Cooperstown.
- A great outdoor area that includes a firepit.
- Indoor pool and hot tub
- In addition to being located near the park, the hotel is also near many restaurants (Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebees, Panera, Tim Hortons.
- Breakfast was not included, which was a little annoying.
- Clean and updated rooms
- Free High-Speed Internet (WiFi)
- Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room
- Restaurant on site
Cooperstown Area House Rentals
If you want a different experience and don’t want to stay at a hotel, check out Cooper Townstay’s website. This site specializes in rental homes and lodging accommodations for baseball families and their teams. They have a vast selection of different options near Cooperstown, NY.
Best Campgrounds Near Cooperstown All Star Village
Deer Haven Campground and Cabins: Directly across from Cooperstown All Star Village, Deer Haven offers a great lodging alternative on 75 acres. It features 40 RV sites with full hook-ups, 15 cabins, RV rentals, and spacious tent sites. Amenities include a pool, playground, pavilion, laundry facilities, fishing, and trails.
Hartwick Highlands Campground: A bit further from All Star Village, Hartwick Highlands provides a blend of open fields and wooded campsites, complete with full hook-ups and log cabin options. Its facilities include a heated pool, WIFI, arcade, pavilion, playground, horseshoes, basketball, tetherball, and a Wiffle ball field, offering plenty of activities when not at the park.
Bunks And What To Pack
The bunks at Cooperstown All-Star Village were fine the first time we went, but we’ve heard some absolute horror stories. Think about how gross your son is in terms of cleanliness. Now multiply that by dozens of other equally disgusting boys.
Being forced to share toilets and showers in a big building is a recipe for horrific conditions. Our friends who recently attended All-Star Village said that the bathrooms had backed up by the first day, and poop was floating around in the communal shower room. (Hopefully, they had their flip-flops on).
While the bunks often looked like a tornado went through them, they were fine for the most part. The kids are responsible for how clean/dirty the bunks are. The AC worked well but be sure to bring a box fan and some Febreeze, and don’t forget to open some windows in the morning. Sweaty boys and smelly cleats add up to some interesting odors.
The bathrooms and showers are communal and are not located inside the bunk. Boys must wear bathing suits while showering. If you keep reading, you will hear a store about feces making its way from a backed-up toilet to the shower room. Bring a pair of cheap flip-flops for the shower.
The bunkhouses do not have locks because it is against the New York State Fire Code. CASV does provide locking storage bins outside each bunkhouse, but someone needs to bring a padlock.
What Are Players Allowed To Bring Into The Bunks?
Cooperstown All-Star Village Uniforms
Jerseys and Jackets: Each player receives a white home jersey, a navy blue away jersey, a navy blue warm-up jacket, and two pairs of navy blue socks. Stirrup socks are also an option.
Pants: Players need to bring their own pants. We recommend bringing two pairs of white pants because bleach is used in the laundry process. Any style of pants is acceptable, whether short knickers or long-style, and the color of the piping is not a concern.
Jersey Numbers: Jersey numbers are assigned based on size. For instance, numbers 1-10 correspond to youth XL, 11-22 to adult small, etc. Coaches will distribute uniforms, including numbers, upon check-in.
The following restaurant list is based on our experience and the recommendations from other baseball parents. We would go back to any of these if they are still around when/if our middle child’s team makes the trip.
Best Team Dinner Options In Cooperstown
The Pioneer Patio was one of our absolute favorites for team dinners. Their ability to easily accommodate large groups and great food make this a fan favorite. This restaurant specializes in team parties and is within walking distance of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The food was fabulous, and they’ve mastered serving large groups.
Pizza 23 is phenomenal. They have an incredible atmosphere as well as great food. We ordered it for the All Star Village a few times and ate there once. The best pizza we had in Oneonta.
The owner was extremely accommodating, fitting in a massive group at the last minute. Great food, excellent service, and a fantastic experience!!
Amazing BBQ that also offers catering. We had it brought directly to Cooperstown All Star Village. Everyone could order their meal and then sit at the tables at the park entrance.
Some other notable restaurants include:
Red Shed Brewery is an incredible place to enjoy local craft beer and food made with fresh, local ingredients. They have live music, yard games, and a wide variety of events.
A must if you are a beer fan like me. They are a craft brewery that specializes in Belgian-style beer. They have great food, live music, and camping on-site.
These guys are great and will bring the food to your rental house and set it up. Very reasonable prices too!
One of the best meals we had during our trip. They can accommodate huge groups, has excellent service, and a menu filled with delicious options.
We only ate here once for breakfast, but I guess it’s open 24 hours a day five days a week. I can honestly say that I had the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had here.
The Tavern: Offers convenient on-site dining with adequate food options, ideal for watching ceremonies. It’s a covered area with reasonably fair prices. Note that they do not split tabs, so group payments might require coordination.
Bunkhouse Special: An option for teams, like ordering pizzas and sodas delivered directly to the bunkhouses. Orders come with necessary plates and cups. Ensure a coach is present for accepting the delivery. This option is convenient after events like the skills competition.
Day one is one of the highlights of the trip. We got there by 9:30 am and spent a few hours before check-in with the team trading pins. It is when the kids get most of their pins.
Try to take your trading pins wherever you go, even into town. Many stores love to collect pins from the visiting teams. Some even have pinboards. We wore our team jerseys everywhere as it was a great way to leave a lasting memory and show off our team spirit.
Have some sort of bag to carry your pins around in, and get ready to begin trading as soon as you arrive at the park on day one. Trading pins are HUGE amongst the players and one of their favorite activities during the week. Pin trading honestly starts the second you get to Cooperstown All Star Village. Sibling pins were also a big hit, as well as the “rare” pins.
Packing List for Cooperstown All-Star Village
- Soft Bag Coolers: Ideal for carrying drinks and snacks. They’re not checked, offering a way to avoid overpriced items.
- Wagon: Useful for navigating the hilly terrain, especially if you have younger children or lots of gear.
- Stadium Seats: Foam stadium seats are recommended for comfort, as bleacher seating can be uncomfortable.
- Backpack: A lightweight backpack is essential, particularly for families with young children, to carry snacks, toys, and other necessities.
- Picnic Blanket – For the opening ceremonies and when seating is scarce, bring a waterproof picnic blanket.
- Cash: Necessary for most concession stands and local eateries that only accept cash.
- Hats and Sun Protection: Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect from sun exposure.
- Hydration: Electrolyte powder packets are crucial for staying hydrated, especially in hot weather.
- Cooling Towels: Helpful for staying cool during games and while sitting in the stands.
- Additional Items: Bug spray, instant ice packs, car paint for team spirit, ponchos, umbrellas, and a discreet camera with a long range lens.
How To Watch The Games
When watching games at Cooperstown All-Star Village, families have the option to sit in designated dugouts on the field, which offer a close view of the action. These dugouts are equipped with two rows of metal bleachers, making cushioned stadium chairs a good investment for comfort.
While there’s space for strollers and blankets, especially for young children, the dugouts don’t have enough room for folding camping chairs, so it’s best to leave those at home. For a broader view of the field, hillside seating is also available. Some fields feature additional bleachers outside the ballpark. It’s advisable to keep younger children within the dugout for safety, as multiple games mean frequent foul balls from various directions.
For those unable to attend in person, the games are typically available to watch via the Cooperstown All-Star Village live stream feed.
Opening Day Ceremony Tips
The Opening Day ceremonies at Cooperstown All-Star Village, starting at 6:15 pm on field 28 (the Championship Field), are a significant event.
Following the ceremonies, the skills competition, including events like the fastest player, fastest double play, team relay, and home run derby, begins immediately. Be prepared for a long day with potentially sweltering temperatures and high humidity.
It’s crucial to bring plenty of water and drinks, as shade is limited, and the best viewing spots are often in right field. Embrace the team spirit competition with enthusiasm, using big head cutouts, matching apparel, and other spirited items like pom poms and confetti cannons. Stay attentive to follow your team through each event of the skills competition, as it progresses quickly.
Winners are announced post-competition. The home run contest, a favorite among kids, typically starts around 9 pm and marks the end of the day’s events. Remember, no dinner is served on opening day, so plan accordingly to avoid hungry moments. Confetti cannons add to the excitement, especially during team announcements and parades.
Things To Do Near Cooperstown All Star Village
Cooperstown All Star Village Complaints
Final Thoughts On CASV
Despite all the complaints, we’d probably make the trip to Cooperstown All Star Village again if asked. There were a lot of lessons learned that would hopefully change our experience if we were to come back again. It’s all about the kids, so if they told you they had a fabulous time, it was well worth it. The memories will certainly last a lifetime, so try to savor every moment of the trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any team playing in the tournament must check in on Opening Day. The players do not check in individually. The Head Coach can check the group in between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Parents do not pay an entrance fee, but that might be the only thing you won’t spend money on during the week.
It can be challenging due to spotty service. AT&T hotspots work better than Verizon. For a quieter environment, consider working from your car or using free WIFI at nearby cafes like Dunkin Donuts.
Usually. There were a few times when carts or tractors weren’t available. Go up the back hill if you have to since it isn’t as steep as the one near the Tavern.
Dogs are not allowed at Cooperstown All Star Village, so it’s best to arrange for a sitter or boarding for your pet during your visit.
Yes, Cooperstown All Star Village was recently acquired by The Ripken Baseball Experience, who plan to invest in and upgrade the facilities while continuing its mission of providing a premier baseball experience.
Up to 700 teams and over 11,000 players are expecting to visit CASV in 2023.