Kid for a Day at
Pan Pacific Park
Remember as a kid how you used to have play dates at the park? I miss those! Now you have to ‘grab coffee’ with someone or ‘do lunch’ instead of just meeting up in the park for some Pirates and Indians, swing jumping, and running around hitting each other for no other reason than the adrenalin rush. Attending a rowdy Happy Hour seems to be the closest equivalent in adulthood.
But some friends of mine from my UCB Improv (click for review) class decided to reclaim the Park Play Date and frolic carefree one Sunday through the Pan Pacific Park in West LA. Ok, we actually met to drill improv scenes in the rarely used outdoor amphitheater, but we did a little frolicking afterwards.
When you visit the park, feel free to be creative in your use of the space. There are more fun things to do than just stroll around and stare at people. If one of your playmates is late, take the opportunity for some sunbathing. Reenact Antigone or put on an impromptu musical in the outdoor amphitheater.
Don’t worry if there are people chilling in the audience, they’ll enjoy it. Just don’t tell anyone you’re performing in advance or I think you have to pay.
If you don’t look too much like a miscreant, you might be able to get away with romping around the kids’ playground. Things have changed a lot since you and I went to the park. In my day, most of the playgrounds were made of splintery wood and half the equipment was somehow life threatening.
Now the parks are all handicap accessible, made of plastic & rubber, and full of intellectually stimulating mind-puzzles. Some of the new fangled play equipment may be challenging for you, but keep at it, you’ll figure it out.
One concept that was a little too confusing for us was why this slide was covered in three dimensional frog and leaf statues. Makes for rather a bumpy ride down. Oww.
Casey Kringlen, our fellow improviser, runs personal training sessions in the park, and there are plenty of other entrepreneurial types selling balloons, ice cream, methamphetamines, etc. This could be you! There are also basketball courts, two kids’ playgrounds, a baseball field, and an indoor theater. For more structured play, there is an online activity guide with lists of classes, hours for the pool, gym, & indoor courts, and a list of therapy meetings. Al-Anon anyone?
Ok, so maybe going to the park can’t be as carefree as it was when we were kids, but it’s good to know the Great Outdoors is still there if you ever want to meet your friends for a game of tag, improv rehearsal, or a 12-step program.
No matter what it’s a Park Date, and you should feel good for embracing once again those days of childhood reverie. Go Park Dates!
NOTE: After class I headed over to Insomnia Café (review tomorrow). And if you want to take a cheap awesome group work-out class from Casey, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit his website www.MyTrainerCasey.com