Love it or not, Pokemon Go is a very real thing. So real estimates are that as many as 30 million of us in the US have the game on our phones right now. This thing has spread faster than a virus through the daycare ranks, and to not at least be in-the-know is tantamount to talking “Must See TV” to your friends who are binge-watching Netflix.
For the unschooled, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game for your mobile phone based on the decades-old Nintendo game, trading card game, and still-running television series. It’s free to download, easy to get the hang of, and you don’t need any Pokemon background or skill to play. It is at once, nostalgic, competitive, and very social. We’ve struck up conversations with complete strangers when we’ve heard the in-game notifications on neighboring phones! Bonus, it encourages getting outside, walking around, and it’s fun to play with the kids, too.
Part of the aim of the game, of course, is to “catch ‘em all,” and we’ve found no better place to play than Freedom Park. Comfortably tucked in between Charlotte’s historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods, Freedom Park is easy to get to, provides plenty of parking, and its “just right” size make it the ultimate family-friendly place to play for newbies or gym leaders well on their way to becoming Pokemon Masters. Here’s why:
Since Pokemon Go requires no real starting point, anyplace you open the app will suffice. Freedom Park’s offers up nearly 100 acres of opportunity to bag the “pocket monsters,” more than a dozen PokeStops to add to your arsenal of Poke Balls, potions, Razz Berries, and more – and that’s just the good stuff around the park’s 7-acre pond. Follow the rest of the park’s paved paths that wind around the ballfields, or take the Little Sugar Creek Greenway that parallels the property and you’ll easily log those precious kilometers needed to incubate your eggs, gaining power and experience as a Pokemon Trainer!
What really makes Freedom Park practically perfect is the network of loops that allow you to revisit those Poke Stops, add monsters to your PokeDex over and over again, and call it quits just steps from your ride home. Double bonus: the loop around the pond is roughly a kilometer, so can easily rack up the steps with the kids or the dog. Or make a day of it! Freedom Park has reservable pavilions that would make an excellent “home base” for any group wanting to split up for more individual hunting, plus playgrounds and plenty of space to spread out a lunch. Props to the young ladies we met a few weekends back and their “grown-up” Pokemon picnic. Happy hunting!