How many city people play around outdoors these days?

How many city families play in a group, especially outdoors?

Enter KaBOOM! Play Together Tour “powered by Disney Parks”. Despite the name, there are no explosions involved, and nothing scary, unless seeing your spouse hopscotch would be a little frightening.

1BDCE5A4-D509-4848-986F-D1B2637CBB51

This past weekend, Anaheim’s Center Street Promenade was filled with this KaBOOM! Tour. The experience will be making its way to other locations soon (see below).

If you don’t know what KaBOOM! is, and I didn’t, here’s some official info:
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold new goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. KaBOOM! has been a powerful champion for play since its founding in 1996, working with partners to build, improve and open more than 15,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1,000,000 volunteers and serve more than 6,600,000 children. KaBOOM! creates and catalyzes great places to play, inspires, empowers and leads play advocates, and educates and elevates the societal conversation about the importance of play in children’s lives. For more information, visit kaboom.org/act or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

We parked for free and arrived on the scene:

  • a middle-aged father who sits in an office much of the time
  • a beautiful, slim mother whose body has been toned by dystonia (involuntary contractions of voluntary muscles) but was using a walker
  • a strong-willed 7-year-old daughter
  • a strong-willed almost-5-year-old son

IMG-20140817-00157

The place was well-staffed with lots of friendly people wearing Disney VoluntEARS shirts. Radio Disney provided music, sponsorship info, and commentary.

Commentary? Why yes, commentary. KaBOOM! in general and this experience are designed to “encourage meaningful connections between children and the influential adults in their lives” and  it “underscores value of quality family time in child’s success”.

So if you do make it to this traveling experience, you are encouraged, if you’re so inclined, to dress as a team, but dress to be active.

We arrived with the free tickets we printed out at home (you can also carry them in digital form), signed in, and signed wavers (there is photography involved). We each got a free Disneyfied water bottle. We got wristbands. Somewhere along the way we even got a card with what amounts to parenting advice for dummies (“Be warm by smiling and laughing with your child.” – Uh, OK. Maybe it sounds better in a fortune cookie).

IMG-20140817-00161