By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
The Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove was transformed into an overnight Harry Potter-themed camp land Friday night. As families filed in to the grounds, the parents pulled along camping gear while smaller children sprinted after rabbits that have taken up residence at the park.
“This is really one of our best events,” said Xavier Medina, recreation coordinator, “It’s more relaxing than most of our events and is just really enjoyable. I mean, when you see the kids out there and how happy they are to be doing this, it’s just really good.”
Medina said that this year there were 75 people signed up, although the number could be more as groups brought in friends and family members.
For the Ro family, this is their second year at the camp out.
The kids love it,” said Queena Ro, mother to Ashlyn, 6, Kalyssa, 4, and Saydee, 2.
According to Saydee, getting her Harry Potter sticker as she walked in was very important.
However, for Ashlyn and Kalyssa, seeing their cousins and getting to camp with their family was the best part. Oh, and watching the movie on the inflatable drive-in movie screen.
For Darcy, 12, Russell,6, Emily, 9, Kevin, 4, David, 43, and Nora Brown, 38, this was their fourth time at the camp out. Emily, Darcy and their friend Brianne Vieres, 13, put up their own tent, well away from the rest of the family to have their own space.
Kevin and his friend Jay Robinson, 6, were intent on hunting the rabbits in the play center, a very important mission.
“I don’t know if I can catch the rabbit or not, because he’s fast,” said Jay.
On the far side of the park, Annika, 8, and Tiernan, 2, worked on their tent with their family.
“So, yeah, we’re pretty excited for this,” said Annika, “Last year it was Star Wars, but this year, it’s Harry Potter and that’s cool.”
As Annika did some heavy lifting on putting the tent together, Tiernan helped by carrying tent poles that were twice his size, an impressive feat for someone so small.
“This really is our favorite event,” said Medina, “This park, the families, the fun that we have. You get to be outside and really have a good time.”