Maybe the worst thing about being a grownup: not being able to go to summer camp anymore. The best thing about being a grownup in this crazy town we call home: people getting together to hold full-out summer-camp style parties, in magical fairy-themed amusement parks, for adults only.
That’s right — on Saturday, August 16, the digital detox gurus of Camp Grounded are holding an epic gathering at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland. The rules: you check all phones, tablets, devices, etc. at the door. You can’t talk about work, or even think about networking. You use nicknames. And you remember what it’s like to have some straight-up fun, without the help of booze, drugs, or Instagram.
Camp Grounded has held events like this in the past, but the summer camp theme, and Fairyland location, make this one stand out to us. First, Fairyland — it’s a storybook theme park, complete with full-sized sets from your favorite childhood tomes (The Old Lady in the Shoe, Jack and Jill Hill, Alice in Wonderland Tunnel). It’s magical. Maybe you Bay Area babies went at some point in your early years. Now, it’s the kind of place you can’t really get away with visiting without a couple of (probably crying) little ones in tow… making the adults-only setup extra awesome.
Second, summer camp theme. Are you a camp kid? I sure am, so the roster of activities, which include campfire sing-a-longs, a talent show, a pie eating contest, and friendship bags have me ready to pack my duffel bag and some bug spray. Even better, a full line-up of live music (folk, blues, and an "8-piece horn dance party), and both typewriter and board game stations.
There you have it. Fairyland, plus camp, plus a break from your cell phone dependent norm. Even if you don’t think of summer camp as the happiest place on earth, the 16th is shaping up to be a good old time in Storybook Land.
Tickets start at $25 (plus fees), with options for additional donations to Camp Grounded. Get yours, and more details, here.
Photos by Daniel N. Johnson