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Screen on the Green

by Meghann on July 7, 2012

During the summer months, the city of Tampa presents “Screen on the Green” in downtown Tampa. Every other Friday a classic family movie is shown at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park at dusk. Families are welcomed to pack picnics, play in the nearby fountains, and enjoy a (free!) evening out.


I’d heard of the series through various social media channels, but for whatever reason the dates never worked out in the past. Yesterday afternoon Derek and I were skimming Things to do in Tampa Bay (our favorite site to check when we’re bored and looking for something new to do in the area) and the Screen on the Green showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory popped up. Perfect.

We grabbed a couple of chairs, packed a picnic, and were out the door.


The park setting was very laid back and absolutely gorgeous to take in during the early evening light. There were lots of families, groups of friends, and couples spread all over the park with blankets, chairs, and coolers filled with soda for the kids and wine for the adults.


It would be the perfect place to bring a kid (I even saw a lot of tiny babies!), since no one cares if you talk during the movie and there’s plenty of room to let the kid burn off the energy if they get bored from sitting too long.


Even dogs are welcomed. I made friends with a Maddie look-alike who kept trying to eat my cheese. How cute is he?


He’s a Chihuahua/ Jack Russell mix. Doesn’t it look like they just place a Chihuahua head on a Jack Russell’s body? He was so calm, too. I wanted to take him home with me. New friend for Maddie?


Derek and I had stopped at Publix for a few movie watching essentials on the way to downtown.



Obviously a bottle of wine was on top of that essentials list. ;)


Our dinner spread, with a little bit of everything.



The website says the movie usually starts at 8:00, but when 8:00 came and went (and it was still very light out), we figured they weren’t going to be starting any time soon. I think the movie actually started at 8:45ish?


Right before the movie started, we were threatened with big black clouds that scared a few folks away.


Derek and I checked the radar and decided to wait it out. It was just one big cloud and was really already halfway past us. We did pack our stuff up, just in case it did rain and we had to make a quick exit.

Luckily all we got was a few little rain drops; nothing to stop the show from going on. Willy Wonka started and we saw the whole thing without having to run for cover.


I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen Willy Wonka all the way through. Truth be told, the movie scared the crap out of me as a kid and I tried to avoid it at all cost back then. Derek was the complete opposite. It was one of his favorites and he could basically quote the whole movie. It was fun watching the movie with him because he made it fun. His love for the movie rubbed off on me. :)

The movie ended sometime after 10:30 (which felt late considering how many little kids were in attendance) and I had the last bit of a chocolate bar when we got home.


Wine makes me very sleepy. Derek found me passed out on my keyboard (trying to write this post!) and made me go to bed. Trust me, I was not fighting him.

The Screen on the Green was fun, and something I would definitely recommend! I’m going to keep an eye on the schedule and see if we’re free for any Fridays in the future.

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