Update: scroll down for the scoop on great spots for playing Pokemon Go in Plano!

Like most moms I know, I have to work at limiting screen time for my kids. Now that I have a middle schooler with a phone, I also have to work at teaching him the difference between using his phone as a tool and using it as a toy. We encourage him to use his phone to learn things and make plans with friends, but we don’t want endless use of his phone as a toy. Obviously this is something the adults in my house work on too!

 

Yesterday I let him add the Pokemon Go game to his phone, as a friend was playing and wanted him to go to a park for to the game. Today there were articles in both papers about the game, so we loaded it on my phone for my younger son. Next thing I know the three of us are off to the park as there is a PokeStop there (where you can get supplies, eggs, and who knows what else).

We dropped a “lure” to attract Pokemon. I walked with both phones (since I’m better at walking and looking at a screen than they are) and they rode their scooters. This was the first time this summer they jumped at the chance to go for a walk, so I’m thinking – Go Pokemon! Along the way I let them know when a Pokemon was nearby, and they’d rush back to capture it.

The park we walked to had two PokeStops, so we got some supplies, captured a couple more Pokemon and then walked home. Later we drove to the pool, and took a couple of detours on the way to get more supplies and Pokemon. We all had a good laugh in the car, and a lot to tell my husband when he got home.
If you’re looking for a way to encourage your kids to leave the house and DO something, this game can definitely come in handy. You can’t just sit home and play it, so you can “lure” any uncooperative kids to the destination of your choice by allowing them some brief phone time to play the game once you get there. There is definitely the temptation to keep playing the game, so you’ll have to figure out when they’ve had “enough” so you can enjoy whatever else the spot has to offer. There is no communication within the game, so you don’t have to worry about strangers talking to your kids…but there have been issues in other cities with people being robbed of their phones at PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms (where you can battle other players), so make sure you review your standard house rules regarding safety and strangers if you’re letting a child play the game without you.

If you don’t have kids you might find this game is a fun way to explore Plano. It works best if you walk (running can be too fast and not count towards incubating eggs), so pick a spot and enjoy being outside! Just don’t stare at your phone the whole time!

Great places to play Pokémon Go in the Plano area:

  • The Shops at Willow Bend: 5 PokéStops
  • Veteran’s Memorial Park at Spring Creek and Custer: 5-6 Pokéstopsin a circle
  • Russell Creek Park
  • Murphy City Park has six Pokéstops and two gyms
  • Oak Point Nature Preserve: 2 gyms, 4 or 5 Pokéstops
  • The Shops at Legacy has about 7-9 Pokéstops (several around the lake)
  • Addison Circle Park
  • Downtown Frisco and the Square area
  • Watters Creek 14 PokéStops and 3 gyms