Cooperstown All Star Village: Everything You Need To Know

cooperstown all star village

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

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

Hampton Inn Oneonta

  • Convenient 
  • 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. 

Holiday Inn Express Oneonta

  • 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. 

Courtyard by Marriott Oneonta Cooperstown

  • 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?

  • Bring a rolling suitcase. It will help when navigating all of the hills on the property. Otherwise, if you have a giant baseball bag like my son’s Boombah, you could probably fit everything in there. 
  • Make sure to pack toiletries for your son in a toiletry bag. They have to walk to the communal showers from their bunkhouse so it makes it easy.
  • They will be in their uniform most of the time, even off-campus, so pack 3-7 outfits and a set of pajamas. 
  • Get some hooks for over the bed or bring some hangers to hang your uniform.
  • Bring some activities for the kids to keep themselves busy. Over-the-door basketball was a huge hit in the bunks. We brought our SKLZ Pro Mini Hoop from home. A Wiffle Ball set is a must as well as Uno.
  • Pack a small laundry bag for your child to put their dirty clothes in.
  • Twin sheets regular for boys, full-size sheets for the coaches. Bring your pillow, blanket, and sheets.
  • Some bunkhouses don’t have storage room under the bed to put your suitcases, so they end up everywhere. There is a tiny drawer, but your child will likely just live out of a suitcase. 
  • Be sure to mark your stuff with a sharpie before arrival as many kids will have the same gear.
  • Bring a power strip and chargers for any electronics. Everyone will be fighting over the same 2 outlets in the bunkhouse otherwise.
  • If you send the kids in with beverages like Gatorade, hide it at the bottom of your wagon and not in your cooler.
  • If a female is on your team, they will stay in a separate female-only room in the infirmary. This room also has a private bath and shower.  

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.


Cooperstown Restaurants

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

Pioneer Patio

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.

Sloan’s New York Grill

The food was fabulous, and they’ve mastered serving large groups. 

Pizza 23

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.

Maskots Pizza And Grill

The owner was extremely accommodating, fitting in a massive group at the last minute. Great food, excellent service, and a fantastic experience!! 

Brooks BBQ

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 Brewing

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.

Ommegang Brewery

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.

Cooperstown BBQ Company

These guys are great and will bring the food to your rental house and set it up. Very reasonable prices too!

Upstate Bar And Grill

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.

The Yellow Deli

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. 


On-Site Dining

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.


Trading Pins

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. 

Some of our favorite places to order pins from were First Place Pins and GS-JJ.


General Tips

  • If your son has turf shoes, bring those in addition to your cleats. Our son wore his most of the time. 
  • Unless there is lightning, the kids will keep playing in the rain.
  • If your son has turf shoes, bring those in addition to your cleats.
  • Make sure you have enough trading pins for the week
  • There isn’t a lot of shade for spectators, so it can get hot.  
  • Bring nothing to the games but a backpack cooler. No chairs at all. The parent dugouts are spacious and covered. 
  • First-day spirit wear is everything. Go all out but understand that this day is just utterly exhausting.
  • If there are any home runs during the game, the ball goes to the player that hit it. If you get a foul ball, you can keep it or turn it in at the concession stand. If you turn in 5 balls, you are given a pin from CASV. With the cost of baseballs these days, I’d probably keep them and make something cool at home to commemorate the experience. 
  • If your child hits a home run, CASV offers ball engraving on-site for $25 without the ball and $15 if you provide the ball.
  • Before I attended, I read about teams whose games got pushed back to 1 am. To me, that sounded miserable, but it was the most enjoyable and comfortable weather-wise.  
  • Bring a baseball hat, sunglasses, an umbrella, and a sweatshirt.

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

  • National Baseball Hall Of Fame
  • Barnyard Swing – Barnyard Swing is steps away from Cooperstown Dreams Park. Great for team parties. Has mini-golf, gem mining, laser tag, an animal farm, cold beers, and ice cream.
  • Cooperstown Candlelight Ghost Tours  – offers ghost tours that highlight ghost stories and the history of Cooperstown. 
  • Cooperstown Escape Room – Adventure game where players have to use whatever is in the room to solve different puzzles is an excellent activity for teams.
  • Gilbert Lake State Park– Offers picnic areas, a beautiful lake with a beach for swimming, and boats for rent. A needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of All-Star Village.
  • Glimmerglass State Park– Perfect for a day of swimming. There’s a great picnic area with grills, a few playgrounds, a snack bar, and clean bathrooms & changing rooms.

Cooperstown All Star Village Complaints

  • You’d think they’d have more seating options with shade to watch the games. Each field had high fencing so you can’t really watch from outside the family dugout.
  • The shared bathrooms could be cleaner.
  • Make sure you download plenty of movies and charge that Nintendo Switch because there is absolutely nothing for younger kids to do.
  • There was very little pool time for our team. In a week, they only got to swim once. 
  • Be prepared for basic accommodations when renting a room at CASV. The rooms are outdated, so expect flat pillows, small beds, and sheets that feel like they’re designed to be peed on.
  • Be ready for extra fees; outside food and drinks aren’t allowed, and personal photography is limited, pushing you towards their costly photo and video services.
  • There is a big difference between AAU teams vs Rec league teams that are looking for a fun experience. Imagine traveling from out of state to be mercy-ruled by the second inning.
  • A lot of parents thought some of the balls were juiced. Kids that never hit home runs all season are suddenly hitting it over the fence?
  • This isn’t MLB or the MLB Futures event. Celebrate your child’s achievements, but be mindful that they might be playing against less experienced pitchers due to the numerous games and strict pitch counts.
  • The Tavern food gets the job done, but it comes at the expense of your taste buds.
  • Some in our group considered the field to be very average and somewhat dingy.
  • One day, we had a game at 8 am, and the bathrooms were already clogged. 
  • Our team missed their scheduled dinner due to a rescheduled game and received a basic ‘sack lunch’ as a replacement, reminiscent of the infamous Fyre Festival’s offerings.

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

When Is Check-In At Cooperstown All Star Village?

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.

Do The Parents Have To Pay An Entrance Fee?

Parents do not pay an entrance fee, but that might be the only thing you won’t spend money on during the week. 

What If I Have To Work While I am There?

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.

Are There Golf Carts That Offer Rides Up The Hill? 

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.

Can You Bring Dogs To Cooperstown All Star Village?

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.

Was Cooperstown All Star Village Sold?

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.

How Many Teams Go To All Star Village Cooperstown?

Up to 700 teams and over 11,000 players are expecting to visit CASV in 2023.

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.
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