There’s a funny thing people do when they are away from home and on vacation. They go out. They explore. They stay out past the usual bedtimes. They try new things. They carry on annual summer traditions. The thing is, you don’t actually have to travel far or travel at all to do those things. Summer in the city is a thing to celebrate. You don’t have to have a beach house or a family weekend on the Cape to be on vacation. Because your home is someone else’s vacation spot and there is nothing stopping you from being on vacation right here in the city.
When I was a teenager, I used to work at a summer camp and every spare moment that wasn’t spent working, I spent at the movies. There is something about movies that are a vacation in themselves. Watching a movie is a journey into someone else’s life, a step away from the day to day of your life, and a little escape from reality. We could all use that a little once in a while.
The Prudential Center hosts, and invited my family to check out, their Family Film Fest. The Family Film Fest at the Prudential is free and open to the public. I had heard about the outdoor films the past few years, but couldn’t quite picture what it was like until we headed down to the Prudential Center’s South Garden and experienced it for ourselves. It was not too different from experiences we’ve had on the Cape except for the fact that we were in an urban setting nestled between the high rise buildings watching the sun set instead of on the town green. There is something so summery about watching a movie outside on the big screen. After a hot day, there is a little chill in the air (bring blankets to cozy up with). The setting of the South Garden is nice because it is somewhat enclosed and there are security staff on the premises too to help with logistics, wandering children, respectful use of the space, etc.
- There are no bugs. Well I’m sure there are some bugs but we didn’t see or more importantly feel any and we went home mosquito bite free.
- Dining options. Of course, if you want to pack a picnic you can, but if you didn’t have time to put something together after work, the Prudential has more options than any family could need. We had 5 Napkins Burgers. I saw families with takeout from California Pizza Kitchen and Cheesecake Factory. Others, had perhaps dined at home and were enjoying some Pinkberry frozen yoghurt for dessert. Some, stopped in the nearby Star Market to pick up popcorn and treats for the movie as well as dinner.
- Bathrooms. The mall has plenty of bathrooms. Real, running water, lounge seating (in some locations), clean, sparkly bathrooms. The movie may end after the mall bathrooms close for the evening so plan accordingly.
- Multitasking opportunities. My husband does not like going to the mall, but on occasion he needs to pick up or return an item. While the kids are busy dancing, one parent can head into the mall to do a quick errand, return an item, shop, pick up a new book at Barnes & Nobles.
- Dance party. Everyone had a chance to get up and dance. From the tiniest tots to the grandest grandparents, the “dance floor” on the lawn was a party in itself.
- Great giveaways. From museum passes to concert tickets and movie theatre passes to dinner gift certificates, the giveaways were impressive and plentiful.
Speaking of giveaways, I have a little one here to offer you as well. Enter here to win a gift card for 5 Napkin Burger and a Prudential picnic blanket for your own Family Film Fest experience (valued at $60).
July 11: The Boxtrolls
July 18: Frozen
July 25: Big Hero 6
August 1: UP
August 8: Paddington
August 15: Ratatouille
August 22: Toy Story
August 29: Despicable Me