Are you free on 24th July (tonight)? Head over to Stanley Park at 9:00 PM to see The Lion King. Just do it, don’t question it. It’s free and you’re alive – there’s nothing to lose. If work is an excuse, it’s not. You can view all the other movies playing at Stanley Park here, all through the summer.
Here’s a list in particular order, to make sure nothing could possibly ruin your night. I wish I would have taken my own advice last week.
1. Invite people you actually like. This is probably the easiest and hardest thing to do. Find people you can laugh with and later cry in front of. They should be relatively sentimental folks who should be willing and delighted to watch a kid’s movie. Make sure they do not talk a lot during the movie (unless you’re a talker yourself). Make sure they know how to have a good time.
2. Things to sit on – Blankets, mats. Something to sit on, preferably comfy. Not too high maintenance. Sure, there is grass – but it gets cold at night. However, if you’re willing to ask strangers for a spot, move on to the next requirement.
3. Thing to cover yourself with – Blankets, hoodies. As mentioned, it gets cold. Besides, there’s nothing comfier and cozier than huddling in warm layers and pretending it’s the middle of the winter in the middle of the summer. Do not underestimate this step.
4. Food. If you’re going to skip this step, please – don’t even go. You need the proper ratio of salty and sweet. Salty includes chips, popcorn, nuts, crackers, pretzels, carrots, sandwiches, anything! Sweet includes chocolate, gummy bears, lots of sour candy, marshmallows, lots of candy, did we mention chocolate?
5. Drinks. This isn’t the biggest step in the world, but it’s pretty important. Some prefer hot teas, some cold lattes, some just plain water or plain open alcohol (at your own risk) – your call.
6. Get there on/before time. No, get there before time. Do you really want your view to get covered with people’s heads? No. Go early, set out your area, spread out, get comfy. There is nothing worse than being late, sitting in the last row/patch of grass next to the bathrooms, barely able to see Simba’s head.
7. Go to the bathroom beforehand. This is a pretty straightforward and obvious step. But really, do you want to be that one annoying person that blocks everyone’s view? Then, you have to line up and miss the movie, and use a smelly public bathroom. Really, it’s not worth it.
8. Wear comfortable clothing. This is a lying on the park type of event. Think of Stanley Park as your own home, what would you be wearing? No, pajamas or onesies are not allowed – we’re not getting that comfortable. But, anything that you can stretch and lie in for long periods of times. Girls, probably not the best event for short skirts or dresses. Actually, no – your call.
9. Leave your phones in your pocket. It really is super tempting to text and facebook and tweet the whole way through the movie. Just remember, everyone in the back can see your bright white screen. (Yes, even if you change the settings!) Unless you’re on foursquare, you have no legit reason to be social networking. I’m sure your work can wait for a few hours on a Tuesday night.
10. Take a second to note the fireflies. Living in the city, you probably won’t notice these little insects. But at Stanley Park, they join you for the ultimate movie experience. Share your food, whisper sweet nothings in their ears – but really, just admire them for one second. Don’t worry, they’re everywhere if you just look up. Besides, they’re pretty and light up! But no really, how often do you get to experience something like this? Perfect place, great movie, good company, and some animal friends.
Photo Credits: Map Magazine (featured image); Jim Richardson (second image)