summer fun

Franklin families, here is your chance to include two of your kids’ favorite things into one event.

Franklin Parks and Recreation is hosting an Evening of Play from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday with a free pool party at the pool, 396 Branigin Blvd. At 9:15, people can remain in the pool and watch the movie “Frozen” on a big screen set up over the water.

The activities are open to everyone in the county.

The event was planned to allow local families to have free events they can attend over the summer, according to Holly Johnston, community events and programs director.

“It’s just a fun night for everyone,” she said. “We like to offer free things to the community throughout the year to give families a break.”

Franklin Parks and Recreation recently bought a large, blow-up movie screen, and the event is designed to capitalize on the purchase, Johnston said.

The department has hosted dive-in events before, where families can lounge in and around the pool while watching a movie. But those movies were projected onto white sheets, she said.

The first dive-in movie attracted 75 people. More than 100 attended others after that.

“We had people from little kids to senior citizens,” Johnston said.

Each summer, the department tries to offer free events for families to enjoy together. The activities help the city retain its designation as a Playful City USA, Johnston said.

Franklin has been on the Playful City USA list for the past five years. The national nonprofit organization KaBOOM! names playful cities across the country.

Playful cities must meet certain criteria, such as promoting play and physical exercise and having programs and play structures that promote playfulness, said Mallory Mendez, the parks department’s marketing and communications coordinator.

The department tries to plan fun events that families can do without having to leave Franklin, Johnston said.

The movie screen will come out again with a movie in the dog park this fall, she said.

“We try to think of staycation ideas, where people can bring their families and not have to leave town,” she said. “That’s part of the reason we are here.”

If you go

What: Franklin Evening of Play

When: Pool party, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; 9:15 p.m. the movie “Frozen” will be shown.

Where: Franklin Family Aquatic Center, 396 Branigin Blvd.

Cost: Free. Concessions will be sold at a cost.

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.