So what makes for a good family night out? Dinner? A movie? A game of laser tag?

Let’s recast the question. What makes for a good family sports night out?

University of the Pacific comes to mind. The men’s and women’s basketball teams play at the NCAA Division I level. And with the teams competing in the West Coast Conference, schools such as Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and BYU come to town.

But there are even more choices as Stockton now has three professional sports teams calling the city home.

The Stockton Ports, Stockton Heat and the newest member, which will begin play next month, the Stockton Kings.

The Ports, the Oakland A’s single A minor league affiliate, are a familiar name to many, calling Stockton home for many years. The team’s season ended last month in the first round of the playoffs.

For level of play, the Ports are in the developmental stages of Major League Baseball; many of the players coming through won’t see time in “The Show.” But there are some who do — look no further than the 209’s own Dallas Braden, a Stagg High grad.

And there is even more to it than player development. These games are as much about entertainment as they are about competition.

Music, giveaways coupled with affordable — by sports standards — prices for admission, food and beverages.

The Heat, which replaced the ECHL Stockton Thunder, began its season just over a week ago. Some 5,200 fans attended the Oct. 6 home opener, a wild 6-5 overtime loss to the Ontario Reign. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to see the team this season; it has more than 30 home games remaining on its schedule.

Dress warmly because Stockton Arena can be cold, a result of making the ice.

But for hardcore fans such as Damon Witt of Turlock and Susan Lipelt of Lockeford, the arena is warm and cozy. I met them both during a preseason game. I literally walked by Witt again at the home opener. It would be understated to call him effusive. He bubbled about a soccer team he coached — the players got to participate in the pregame flag ceremony, another was selected to ride the Zamboni (the machine that cleans and smooths the ice during periods) and a few others were selected to play a game of on-ice musical chairs.

The Heat could not have a better spokesman than Witt.

I specifically looked for Lipelt and found her in her seat. She was ready for the game to begin, stating that her husband was disappointed with the team’s preseason game loss that previous week.

The Heat is an AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, the players just one step away from making it to the NHL. Mark Jankowski played for the team last season; he’s now with the Flames.

Goalie Jon Gillies and Andrew Mangiapane also played with the Flames last season.

And then there are the Stockton Kings, the Sacramento Kings’ G-League affiliate. The franchise relocated from Reno this offseason and will be stocked with players chasing their NBA dreams.

So sports fans, we’re fortunate to have three local pro teams to choose from. Although the Ports are in their offseason, you have plenty of time to check out the Heat or Kings. Even if you do not consider yourself a hockey fan or basketball fan, both teams offer plenty of fun.

Contact Editor Donald W. Blount at (209) 546-8251 or dblount@recordnet.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/editorblog and on Twitter @donblount.