Last week I found out that Target was sponsoring a free movie in the park, and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take the kids downtown for a fun little adventure. Plus, do you know how much a movie ticket costs? To take six kids to the theater is a big investment, especially when they’re running around or crying! This way, they could move around and make noise and no one would care.
To make the occasion even more fun, I thought a picnic was in order. Do you ever get these ideas in your head that look way better in your imagination than they do in reality?! I’m not saying that the picnic wasn’t a success, but sometimes I underestimate the work involved in the whole production. There was construction downtown which made parking kind of a pain, it was super hot, and sometimes other people’s children annoy me (which is odd, because my own children are never annoying!). On top of all that, we left once Charlie Bucket found the golden ticket because, by that time, the baby needed to eat and the two year old was on a downward spiral. So, we just went home and rented Willy Wonka on Amazon (Netflix, you let me down here!).
Here’s the thing though, my kids had a blast. They loved eating dinner on a blanket and getting free Powerade from the giant Target shopping cart. They thought a huge inflatable screen in the park was the coolest thing ever. Kids don’t notice things like being situated right next to a busy street! Also, making a picnic lunch is a pretty cost effective adventure for a young family. We didn’t feel bad about leaving crumbs behind, and picking up the trash is a good lesson for my kids!
I’m still a little torn over whether it was worth it to go downtown when we could have done the whole thing in the backyard, but it’s definitely something the kids will remember, so maybe that makes it worth it! If your city doesn’t do movies in the park, you should set up a fun picnic in the backyard. Your kids will love it, and you won’t have to clean off the kitchen table!
In case you’re curious, I made chicken salad paninis, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, mango slices, cheese and sausage, plus some lemonade (Target gave us Powerades and fruit snacks!).