Pokemon Go has taken the nation by storm and Mesa is a leading hot spot in the East Valley. To piggyback on the craze, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 N. Macdonald in Mesa, will host a Pokemon Go party tomorrow, Aug. 12, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
In addition to setting lures and a trainer’s lounge, the museum will have Pokemon related activities for everyone including finding fossil Pokemon and a craft station. And if a Pokemon Go party with dinosaurs isn’t enough, visit Downtown Mesa where Pokemon will be at all the best stops.
Museum members can get into the party for free while admission for nonmembers is $5 per person for those 18 years and younger or $9 for 18 years and over. For more information, call 480-644-2230 or visit www.AzMNH.org.
“We haven’t heard of a spike in (Pokemon Go) calls because we don’t have a category for Pokemon calls,” said Detective Steve Berry, a Mesa Police Department spokesman. “Officers will still respond to any calls any time someone is on a property they are not supposed to be on and they are asked to check it out, but right now it hasn’t been a problem.
“People who are playing the game are so focused on their phone and may not be paying attention,” he continued. “Play with others while you have your head in the screen because it’s safe and you get to spend time with that person.”
Berry added: “Common sense is something people forget when they’re wrapped up in the game, so we encourage them to use good common sense and go by the safety tips we posted on Facebook.”
The following safety tips are posted on the Mesa Police Department Facebook page:
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep your eyes up so you can see where you are walking and see who is around you.
- Chasing Pokemon is not an excuse to trespass on private property.
- Don’t drop your guard when meeting new people; Stranger Danger still applies. Don’t give your phone to someone you just met either.
- Don’t approach a car to talk to people who are playing the game. You can still be friendly and keep a safe distance.
- Don’t ride a bike, skateboard or anything else while catching Pokemon.
- Never hunt Pokemon while you are driving.
- Always let someone know where you are and how long you plan to be.
Carline Sitterud responded to the Facebook post: “Pokemon has officially taken over the world when Mesa PD has to post safety tips!”
Steve McCracken posted: “Michelle Obama spent seven years trying to get kids active and Nintendo did it overnight. My son and friends have been walking and riding bikes more than ever!”
Though safety may be an issue for some, Alana Raizer, physical education teacher and department chair at Fremont Junior High School in Mesa, said it’s great to see kids outside walking.
“There are going to be pros and cons to anything, but the fact that they are getting up and moving – to me – is a win-win,” Raizer said. “They are doing what they love and getting exercise at the same time. They probably don’t even know how much they are walking, but they’re going to play it anyway so they may as well get their exercise in.”
Top 3 Mesa Pokemon Go hot spots
- The Village Square at Dana Park Shopping Center off the U.S. 60 at Val Vista Drive and Baseline Road (southwest corner).
- Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway.
- Sherwood Park, 1453 S. Horne Road.
– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.