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Cooperstown Dreams Park Tips – A Parents Guide to the Popular Cooperstown Baseball Tournament

If you are in need of Cooperstown Dreams Park tips, we have just what you’re looking for! Read our parents guide to this popular summer Cooperstown baseball tournament for everything you need to know before you go.

Coopertown Dreams Park tips - Things to know before you go

Cooperstown Dreams Park Tips – A Guide for Parents

We recently returned from a wonderful week in Cooperstown, NY. My son participated in the Cooperstown Dreams Park 12u baseball tournament during week 12 in 2019 (did you go in week 12 of 2019? Tell us below, say hello!).

We travel often and couldn’t wait to experience the extremely popular Cooperstown baseball tournament, which draws hundreds of thousands of youth players and their families every summer for some good old-fashioned baseball!

Entrance to Cooperstown Dreams Park on a rainy day

The Dreams Park Cooperstown experience

It would be an understatement to say that the kid had a blast! He went with his San Diego All-Star team of amazing kids that he has been playing with for many years. By the second day, some of the kids learned that they were under the birthday cutoff of May 1 and they had already planned to come back next year!

Tecolote Rippers 12u team in Cooperstown, 2019 week 12

Of the 104 teams that we played with during our week, we came the farthest, from San Diego, CA. It was a huge, amazing experience that took a lot of planning and, yes, cash.

If you’re considering making the trip, we highly recommend that you go for it. Here are our top Cooperstown Dreams Park tips and things to know from a family who has been there!

About Cooperstown Dreams Park

This information comes directly from the CDP page:

  • Dreams Park was founded and constructed in 1996 on State Route 28 by the Presutti family.
  • Over 1,000 Little League, travel, Pony, and independent teams come from across the nation to play in Cooperstown each year, the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • There are 22 fields and 104 barracks on the 165-acre Baseball Village.
  • Players must be 12 years old or younger on May 1st of the year of attendance.
  • Skills competitions include “King of Swat”, “Road Runner”, “Around the Horn Plus”, and “Golden Arm.”
  • Teams are guaranteed 7 games (weather permitting) and 24-hour security, medical staff, game balls, lodging, uniform laundry service, 3 meals per day, and some uniform pieces are provided.
  • All players, coaches, and umpires are inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kid pitching in Cooperstown Dreams Park fields

Dreams Park tournament costs and how to register

Registering for a Cooperstown baseball tournament should be easy, but unfortunately, it’s not. Its popularity means that most, if not all weeks during the summer end up sold out far in advance.

Cooperstown logo

This year in 2019, the player tournament fee was $995 each, for players and coaches. The Cooperstown Dreams Park tournament costs $1,295 per player in 2024, 2025, and 2026. This rate is all-inclusive and includes food, lodging, partial uniforms, warm-up gear, all games, and so much more!

To register, you fill out a Dreams Park registration form a year in advance indicating your top 3 preferred weeks of attendance along with a $1,000 deposit. They’ll have you mail in a paper copy and a money order or cashier’s check. By October 1, they will indicate in writing which week your team will play, if any are available, and the next $3,000 is due November 1. The full remaining balance must be paid by March 1 of the tournament year.

Currently, Cooperstown Dreams Park is accepting registrations for 2024, 2025, and 2026 tournaments. I highly suggest you apply as soon as you know you have a team that wants to go. You must have a minimum of 11 players and 2 coaches per team. You will also have to provide an umpire who stays in the barracks for free. Click here for more information.

On-site map of Cooperstown Dreams park baseball village

Cooperstown Dreams Park tips – fields and facilities

Ahhh… Baseball Village, where it all happens! This large, beautifully landscaped field is home to the players and coaches for 7 days and 6 nights, and all games happen right here.

  • Cooperstown Dreams Park has 22 fields spread across 165 acres of land. All fields have a 50-foot mound distance, 70-foot base paths, and 200-foot fences. Home run city!

    Dreams Park fields in Cooperstown, NY

  • Your team’s game schedule and barracks number will be given to you when your team checks in on Saturday morning.
  • The barracks are located in the center of the property in between all of the fields. No matter where they play that day, they will be close by.
  • There are batting cages and large grass areas for teams to hit and warm up. With so many teams, it can be hard to find a cage for your team. Our coaches advise getting there as early as you can. We saw teams practicing in a small grassy area behind a restaurant across the street!

    Players only batting cages at Dreams Park

  • Parking and admission are free, every day, every game.
  • There are 3 parking lots, A, B, and C, and they serve different parts of the village. Lot A is closest to fields 1-10, Lot B is near fields 11-14, and Lot C is best to access fields 15-22. Here’s the map of the facility.
  • There is a free transportation system that takes you from the parking lots to the field of your choice. There are benches and golf carts marked “transport” and they can be used by anyone.
  • The Retail Center has every Cooperstown-branded baseball gear souvenir and item you’ll ever need.

    Dreams Park Retail shop, Cooperstown, NY

  • The Photo Center is great for ordering game shots of your kid and their team. Expect a professional photographer at most day games and sign up for an account to view all photos of your team. They are wonderful!
  • Homerun ball – You can get a Cooperstown baseball engraved with the wording of your choice in the Photo Center.
  • Here’s what the spectator areas look like in each field. They have plastic green lawn chairs, probably because it always rains. Half of the area is shaded, half is open, and there are no risers for easy viewing for the people sitting behind. Get there early for your preferred seat.

    Seating area for families at Dreams Park Cooperstown

  • There is a tented Family Village near the Retail Center with tables, seating, and shelter from the elements.
  • There are plenty of snack bars located throughout the Baseball Village. No matter where your team is playing, there will be a concession stand nearby. Prices are extremely affordable as well.

    Click the image below to zoom in on the snack bar menu (2019 pricing).
    Cooperstown Dreams Park tips - 2019 snack bar menu

  • Restrooms are generally located near all concession stands. There are plenty.
  • There are family-style BBQs on Saturdays and Thursdays.
  • Opening ceremonies and the final championship game happen at Little Majors Stadium, field #3.
  • Fields are well-manicured and maintained. Rain is efficiently and immediately removed from fields following a storm.
  • Note: This is not Cooperstown All-Star Village. That is a separate facility about 20 miles away.
Custom Cooperstown Dreams Park baseball

General Dreams Park schedule of events

Outside of any weather delays or any other rarity, the Dreams Park schedule for the week is pretty much set. Here is a general snapshot of what your week will look like:

  • Friday – Arrive in Cooperstown, take advantage of early check-in at 6PM (must be pre-arranged)
  • Saturday – Teams check-in with Dreams Park, generally 8:30AM – 11AM
  • Family BBQ available
    Player and coach orientations
    First team Dinner
    Opening Day Ceremonies take place
    Skills competitions happen after ceremony ends
  • Sunday – Pool play games
  • Monday – Pool play games
  • Tuesday – Pool play games
  • Wednesday – Bracket begins, single elimination
  • Thursday – Final bracket play
    Family BBQ available
    Closing ceremonies
  • Friday – Move out of barracks by 9AM
Barracks at Cooperstown Dreams Park

Cooperstown Dreams Park barracks – the food, showers & restrooms

Here is some feedback from our players and coaches about the Cooperstown Dreams Park barracks. Our team stayed in barrack 48A.

  • The Cooperstown Dreams Park barracks are a single room lined with about 6 bunk beds on each side of the room. There are a couple of windows on each side of the building, there is NO air conditioning, and power outlets are scarce. Pack a clip-on portable fan and a power strip for your player.
  • Parents are allowed to help move their players into their barracks on Saturday morning at 8:30 AM. Everyone who is not a player or coach must exit the village by 11:00 AM sharp or the team risks forfeiting a game. See the items on the packing list below so you don’t forget anything for their dorm.

    Cooperstown Dreams park - Moving into the barracks at Dreams Park

  • There are two large foot lockers at the base of each bunk bed for storage. You can bring 2 combination locks to store any valuables.
  • There is no place to hang anything – towels, clothing, uniforms, etc. Rolling luggage can be placed under the lower bed, plus we recommend some sort of clips or hangers so their shower towels dry and don’t get moldy. Our coaches brought a line and tied it to the rear two bunks against the back wall as a clothesline. These over-the-door hangers work well on the metal bars of the bunk beds.

    Bunk beds in Cooperstown Dreams Park barracks number 48

  • All baseball gear stays outside in a storage container that stays in front of your barrack. It is covered, locked, and protected from inclement weather.
  • The Baseball Village at Cooperstown Dreams Park has an arcade, a dining pavilion, and a concession stand for players and coaches only.
  • Players can be checked in and out by their parents with their coach’s permission. A blue slip is filled out, signed by a coach, and left with the security guards. When you come back, they return the slip to you, ensuring that all players have returned safely. They must re-enter with their coach to get back into the Baseball Village.
  • Some of the players and coaches say that the food served is not very good. We heard that the french toast was ok, as well as the sandwich at lunch, and the baked ziti. Otherwise, they disliked most of the meals and were happy to come out to eat with us when their games were over!
  • The restrooms and showers at Dreams Park get quite disgusting because lots of boys = YUCK. Restrooms are full of bodily fluids, vomit being one of them, and the showers are basically one large room where players will shower with their whole team and about 40 other players at the same time. We definitely recommend flip-flop sandals and swim shorts to wear during all showers, plus body wash as opposed to bar soap. Could you imagine dropping it on the floor? I am disgusted!
  • There is a strict 10:30 PM curfew every night. Security guards check each and every one of the barracks at night to make sure each player is in bed. Our coaches made sure everyone was back by 10 PM to avoid consequences, which they heard was a game suspension.
  • There is nothing but beds, footlockers, and walls in the barracks, so my son suggests that you make sure you bring some activities and games. He says they played with a football and Wiffle ball/bat outside and playing cards and other games for evenings indoors. He also suggested bringing a small power strip for charging, a mini portable fan, and earplugs for sleep talkers and loud snoring coaches!
Cooperstown Dreams Park Barrack 48A aisle E

Pin trading at Cooperstown Dreams Park tips

Trading pins at Cooperstown Dreams Park is SERIOUS BUSINESS. We didn’t realize how serious it was until we got there and saw the players, coaches, parents, and even siblings in a trading frenzy!

Pin trading in the barracks at Dreams Park Cooperstown

Collecting the biggest, best pins was the ultimate goal. Some of them lit up, had spinning parts, shined in all gold, and some were huge – 3x as big as the others. These pins are custom-made for each team and pre-ordered months in advance, prices range from $2 to $20+ per pin.

I will tell you that our pin was pretty small, about the $2-$3 range and the kids were not thrilled. It has been said that the staff members and even the umpires get in on the pin trading and some of them, even the rumored “wicked witch,” have amazing pins. They said that some of them will trade pins from teams from previous weeks, making those pins special because you can’t get them anywhere else!

This is what they were looking for, they call it the Big Chungus…

Big Chungus pin for trading at Cooperstown Dreams Park

Other Cooperstown Dreams Park tips for parents and things they don’t tell you

  • Your player needs a physical, which requires an office visit. The form has to be signed by a licensed physician, so don’t miss this important detail. It is in the Cooperstown parent camper kit, but there is a lot to read and it can be easily overlooked. We almost missed it!
  • The website says that a twin fitted sheet is provided, but it’s really more of a plastic, slippery protective cover. Bring your own twin sheet set, it will be guaranteed clean and you’ll have a top sheet, too. The kids said that the beds were ok comfort-wise, but feel free to bring a twin-sized mattress pad.
  • If you’re flying into New York, you will need a bag large enough to check your baseball bats, helmets, catcher’s gear, and other large items. They cannot be carried on the plane into the main cabin. This long rolling baseball bat bag zips up and is perfect for checking at the airport.
  • Most people assume that upstate New York is crazy hot all summer long, but this is not always true. Some evenings in the barracks are warm, and some end up pretty cold, so make sure your player brings sweatpants and a blanket. See, here’s a rainy day…

    Cooperstown Dreams Park Retail center

  • Each team will provide its own umpire. Ok, so they do tell you about bringing an umpire. But some teams are surprised when they hear that they will have to pay an umpire fee if they don’t have one. They stay at the barracks for free, but teams are responsible for getting them to Cooperstown. Umpires do not work any of their team’s games.
  • It will rain. Bet on it. Storms come from almost out of nowhere and boy does the rain come down hard! Umbrellas suck at stadiums, so we believe that ponchos are the way to go. You can grab a few ponchos here, or buy some at the Dreams Park retail shop. Careful – they sold out pretty quickly when we were there!

    Cooperstown Dreams Park tips - bring ponchos or buy them early in the store

  • There are a few nice grocery stores in town, but you’ll need to travel pretty far for other needs. Both Walmart (bedding, linens, pillows, blankets, etc.) and Home Depot (our team’s parents bought large industrial fans for the barracks) are about 45 min to 1 hour away, so we suggest that you stop somewhere before you get into Cooperstown.
  • Both the teams and the parents will walk a ton each day, so make sure you have comfortable shoes that are good for this!
  • Go to the opening ceremony early. The stadium gets packed!

    This is Little Majors Stadium during the opening ceremonies
    Opening ceremonies parade in Cooperstown Dreams park, Little Majors field

  • You can receive text alerts from the Dreams Park staff for any updates and delay information. It’s free and it was very helpful. When you get there, text the word “baseball” to 25827.
  • Laundry tip for coaches – take your team’s laundry as early as possible within your time slot to avoid waiting behind the other teams. One of our coaches was an early riser, so he took our team’s laundry over around 6AM with no wait.
  • Laundry tip for players and parents – All of the players and coaches wash every single piece of their uniform together in one large load. That means there will be tons of red socks, blue socks, Cooperstown warm-ups, and white baseball pants that all look alike! Get these ez-kids write-on labels, they stick well onto clothing items and the writing doesn’t fade between washes.

How to get to Cooperstown Dreams Park

Cooperstown Dreams Park is located in upstate New York, which is about 1 hour and 45 minutes east of Syracuse, NY, and 1 hour and 30 minutes west of Albany, NY.

We recommend that you rent a car in whatever city you choose to fly into, Cooperstown is very rural and all lodging, activities, restaurants, grocery stores, and airports are quite far from each other, and far from Dreams Park. You will have to drive to the field each day. In such a small town, there is no public transit and almost no rideshare companies are in the area unless you get a lucky Uber that happens to be passing through.

We flew in through Buffalo, NY to check out Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, rented a car from the airport, and drove it to Cooperstown. Our departure airport was Albany, we chose car rental company Hertz which allowed us to drop the car off in a different city so we could maximize our time.

Beautiful grounds at Cooperstown Dreams Park

Cooperstown Dreams Park address:

Cooperstown Dreams Park
4550 State Hwy 28
Milford, NY 13807

Book your travel to Cooperstown as early as possible!

This is one of our top Cooperstown Dream Park tips to save you some cash. Flights, accommodations, rental cars, and other activities in Cooperstown book up extremely fast over the summer, and prices rise along with it. Your team will receive one of the 13 tournament weeks available, and you’d better believe that ALL 104 teams will be in attendance.

An estimated 12 families of 4 per team x 104 teams = 4,992 people will travel to Cooperstown during your week. Almost FIVE THOUSAND. Per week. This doesn’t even include other tourists.

This is a TON of people for an extremely small town! We saw extended family, in-laws, aunts, uncles, and additional friends and family members attend as well, so this number is likely to be larger.

Little Majors field at Cooperstown Dreams Park

Book your travel to Cooperstown as soon as your tournament week is confirmed. Here is what we recommend:

  • Flights: Albany, NY is the closest large airport to Cooperstown Dreams Park and the one we recommend at about an hour and a half drive away. Syracuse is the next closest, the drive is an hour and 45 minutes. Southwest is the airline we chose because they’re pretty awesome. You can check 2 bags for free (you can’t take baseball bats onto the plane), plus they accommodate families as well with special family boarding. Check Priceline and first for the most affordable flight prices, then see more options on Google flights and 
  • Accommodations: Cooperstown does not have many fancy hotels, in fact, they are more of a motel, inn, and bed and breakfast lodging city. There are a couple of brand-name hotels, like the Holiday Inn and Best Western, and one really nice lake hotel, The Otesaga Resort (a pricey option). We recommend renting a home in the area and sharing it with other families, we did this and it was so much fun! Check Orbitz (try using Orbitz code BOOKNOW at checkout for 10% off), Flipkey,, and VRBO for available Cooperstown properties asap!
  • Rental car: As mentioned above, a car is simply required to get around in Cooperstown. We rented one at the airport in Buffalo and dropped it off in Albany at the end of the trip through Hertz. Their rates are good and they are at pretty much every airport, so no problem with dropoffs!

What other questions about Cooperstown Dreams Park do you have?

We hope these are some good Cooperstown Dreams Park tips and that you learned a little bit about what to expect when you get there. Are we missing anything? If you have any specific questions, ask in the comments below and we will answer them as soon as we can. Have a blast on your trip to Cooperstown, New York!

Also, if you happened to come to Cooperstown in 2019 for week 12, leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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  • great post! i’m worried about the dugouts being shaded or not? shd we bring a tarp?

    and for spectators is there shade over the seating?


  • This was very helpful. We leave next weekend for Cooperstown. Looking forward to a fun week. Thanks for all the pics and tips. It makes it easier to visualize.

  • Hi,
    Did you give your child cash for food and the games? Also did they bring their cells phones into the bunks?
    Thank you.

  • Any tips on what siblings can do while in attendance? Are there playground or gaming areas for kiddos not playing baseball at the fields? Anything else to do at the fields (other than eat!) for kids not in a game?
    Thanks for all the info!!

  • This blog post is so helpful. Do you know if there was a designated area at Dreams Park where teams and families from the week before left their equipment/coolers/etc. they didn’t want to bring home?

  • I saw you mention the packing list but I do not see the actual list. I know I’m missing it but can you tell me where it is on the page?

  • This may be a strange question, but are the players in their uniforms all day? Do we need to pack other clothes as well?

    • Haha, no question is too “strange.” You absolutely DO need to have your player pack additional clothes.

      Think of it as a regular baseball game day at home. Do they change out of their dirty uniforms after a game? Do they sleep in their uniforms? Same concept. Think about what they’ll do with their downtime – going out to eat, hanging out at the barracks with friends, watching other games, pin trading, if you intend to go into town to visit the Cooperstown HOF museum, etc.

      There are days that the teams will wear their uniforms as a unit, such as opening day festivities, to the dining hall at times, obviously at games, etc. Your coaches will be informed of this and you as a parent will not have control over what they wear at any given time because you are not allowed on the premises after they move in on the first day.

      Plus, there is a team laundry day, so all uniforms will be washed together and you definitely want to make sure your player has clothes to wear when that happens!

  • We are going in June this year and wondering if we should bring chairs and a tent for shade ?

    • There is not really any place to put your own chairs and tent to watch games. Look at the images of the field above, large green walls surround the fields. If you have a very small pop-up, it might work at the end of the spectator area (where the green chairs already are sitting) but there is not a ton of space.

  • Hi, thanks for all the great tips! We are going this summer. I was wondering if the parents do anything fun in terms of dressing up for the opening ceremonies?

    • I did not see any parents “dress up,” but there were definitely matching team shirts and fun stuff like that worn throughout the week!

  • Thanks for all of the great tips…we are going this summer to watch our grandson play. I’m assuming the spectator area with the plastic green chairs is behind home plate and is covered. It looks like there are plenty of metal bleachers for spectators and perhaps a nice comfy stadium seat would be ideal? Do you know what the rules are for taking in a backpack, tote bag, or purse? Do they need to be clear? Thanks in advance!

    • The spectator section with the green chairs is NOT behind home plate. This is the standard viewing section on almost all fields and is located to the left/right of each dugout on each side. The photo in this article is on the left field side. Half of each seating area is covered.

      There are NOT metal bleachers on any field, except for Little Majors, which is only used for opening ceremonies and championship games. You will most likely not get a game on this field. All other fields have the seating with the green plastic chairs.

      There were no backpack/bag/purse size rules (2019), but please double-check with the venue as things may have changed since then.

  • Thank you so much for all these wonderful tips! We’re headed there this year and have never attended!

  • So, they provide the green plastic chairs. Do people bring chairs? I am not sure I not sure I want to sit in that chair for that long.

    • I did not see anyone bring chairs. There is a wall, so if your chair is too low, you may not be able to see anything. We flew in from California, so we did not have our personal chairs handy.

      There is also a lot of walking dependent upon which field your games are scheduled, so you will be carrying it around quite a bit. Totally up to you!

  • You need to understand the level of competition. We saw a number of little league all star teams getting crushed. Some teams lost all 8 games they played. You have AA, AAA and Majors travel ball teams from California, Texas, Florida, Georgia where they play year round.

    Our team is a majors level travel ball club from northern california. We are not elite or highly ranked back home, but 5 of our 9 wins were shortened mercy rule games. Of the 11 games we played that week we outscored our opponents 308 – 37 even though we would shut down the running game after a large lead. I’m sure kids enjoyed their experience but I would not want to pay thousands of dollars for the week to lose every game by mercy rule.

  • We just returned from CDP, very different during Covid as there are only 16 teams per week. A few additional tips: is where you can view and purchase photos. The photos are professional quality, really great shots.
    During our week, every game was photographed, anywhere from 200 – 400 photos of each game. I strongly recommend you create an account right away, and after every game go through those hundreds of photos (organized by game) and add the ones of your child to your “favorites” You dont want to wait until the end of the tournament and have to go through over 1000 photos to find the ones you like.

    Photos are not available to browse online after your week ends. Your favorites are still there but you can browse the game photos. I’m told that browsing will be available again after all the tournaments are complete.

    Our team made it to the championship game but lost 3-1. I thought we would be able to browse and buy some of the thousands of photos from the championship game but they have not been made available yet. I’m told they will be soon.

    • We received the socks along with our uniforms from Dreams Park. They did NOT give us belts or game pants. We attended in 2019, I say check with them to see if they are still giving out the same uniform package!

  • Just wondering, how much “down time” should parents and families expect? Trying to decide if renting a home on the water would be useful for any down time or if a bed in a hotel room will suffice because you stay pretty busy and out and about. We will have a younger sibling with us so we want to be prepared for keeping them occupied when our athlete isn’t playing and if off with his team.


    • I would say that there is quite a bit of downtime. Your team will play about twice a day on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, so you still have a good 8-10 waking hours left each day. Once you get to play-offs, your team will play once if you lose right away, up to 3-4 games per day if you keep winning. If you lose quickly, you have the remainder of your time in Cooperstown to do whatever you want.

      We did lots of fun things – went to a couple of breweries between games, ate at the pizza place across the street as a team, went for ice cream a few times, visited the Hall of Fame, explored the Main Street area, spent time at the lake, visited an underground cave, picked up the kids from the barracks and hung out at the house until their curfew, etc.

      Also to note: Once you move your kid into the barracks, they will not be staying with you again until their team loses and they are forced to move out. It will be you and your other family members staying together each night without your player from Saturday night until about Wednesday or Thursday. I hope this helps!

      • Can the players be signed out to sleep with their families for a night or two if they are not sleeping well in the barracks?

  • Do you have an insight into the best weeks to go? we are a local community travel team and would like to go when there is the most similiar competition. I realize that this is not guaranteed, but I’ve been told there are better weeks to go then some. Any insight would be appreciated,

    • I do not know what the best weeks to go would be. What is best for you might not be best for others, so I am not really sure how to make that judgment.

      I do know that you generally cannot pick the week you attend. You send your top 3 choices when you sign up – you might get one of them, none of them/a different week, or your team might not get accepted at all. I was told that it is easier to be accepted into the tournament on the last few weeks of the summer because many of the schools have already gone back, leaving space for kids who start school around Labor Day. Hope this helps, have so much fun!

  • Hi there ! this blog post is so informative and thank you!! We are planning for this August 2021 for my son.
    Do you think renting a home 25 minutes away from the park is too long of a ride?

    • Hi Kristine! I personally don’t think so. The home we rented was about 15-20 minutes down the road in Milford, which was not a problem for us. Some people want to roll out of bed and be around the corner from the fields, so I really think this is a personal preference.

      Keep in mind, most of the roads are pretty rural, they are paved, but single lanes each way. No highways or double lanes to change into, so if you get stuck behind a slow car or the road is closed/limited, you may be stuck there going slow for a little bit. As long as you leave sooner and have enough time to get to where you need to go, you should be fine! Have fun!

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