Oklahoma City family fun stands out. What's going on in our city changes every day and that variety helps put the area on the map. The dead center of the map is the thought behind the huge film-as-art focus taking place this week at deadCENTER Film Festival. As a family with kids, we too want to be right in the middle of it.
The fact that MovieMaker Magazine named deadCENTER one of the "Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" lends credence to what we already know to be true: Oklahoma City has some terrific events that draw a crowd and get national attention. As a marketer, I love that my city gets good press and is known for the arts. As a mom, I want to be front and center in the cheering section at local events with my three sons experiencing all that they can.
This Saturday's free kidsFEST at the deadCENTER Film Festival is where you'll find us, with Sam, 8, Isaac, 3, and Gabriel, 5 months.
Taking three small children to a movie isn't always easy on the logistics side of things but here's what I love about just-for-kids events: you're not disturbing anyone. Fellow patrons know that, within reason, there might be some behavior that wouldn't otherwise be appropriate for, say, an event open to the general public.
I'm the strict parent in our household. You know the one: the "no ice cream in the living room, eat-your-vegetables, the napkin goes on your lap, go to your room because I said so" mom. Also known as the mom who cringes a little at what's really very normal behavior at restaurants or in movie theaters. I am familiar with the locations of the restrooms and exits at the venues we frequent because those are our staging areas; diapers are changed, faces are wiped and children are reminded about their manners in hushed tones. I'm not the fun parent.
The finer points of social decorum aren't lost on my husband; he's just more realistic than I am when it comes to kids being kids. I appreciate his perspective (read I know he's right and hesitate to admit it) because children learn through hands-on experience and they need a chance to practice how to behave in public. So we take them places that may or may not have other children present.
I wrote recently about the to-bring-your-kids or not-to-bring-your-kids dilemma and I have come to this conclusion: it's worth a try. Be brave and put your best high heels on, even if you're carrying a toddler all night. Smile at the usher, thank her for working the event and assure anyone who asks that you've got this. I can put the baby in a sling and he'll sleep through most of what his brothers and experiencing and enjoying. If he doesn't, I'll take him outside. And more than likely, it'll be just fine.
Art is for everyone. Film is for everyone. The amazing staff behind deadCENTER recognize that.
We'll enjoy the event as a family, maybe trade-off to step into some different short feature films that aren’t for kids. I'm glad to have the chance and so are children, which is all the more important to art continuing to flourish here in our city. More events specifically for children let me relax and be the parent I want to be because Sam and Isaac can still learn, Gabriel doesn't have to be with a sitter and no one is going to feel upset at the end of the evening.
I know a lot of other families will enjoy the festival too. Movies, whether they're outdoors at a park or featured at community-centered events like this one, always rank well in Weekend Picks, our Thursday newsletter with 10 events for the weekend plus five for the next week. Film festivals make that experience all the more visceral and quality is assured.
Oklahoma City’s events give families so many ways to have fun and I’m proud that our city is hosting this one.