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Not Just For Kids! Would You Join a Huge Adult Playdate?


London is gearing up for the Hide and Seek Festival, held on June 27 and 28. Encompassing everything from flashmob games to location-based art installations, it's for kids — and very big kids at heart alike. It's designed to celebrate the social joys of art and games, so you can just show up and join in though some require a reservation.

If you're wondering what the heck a flashmob is — or if group pranks are more your style, New York magazine had this feature on the group Improv Everywhere. The "public scene making" collective stages elaborate stunts, like the Grand Central Station "freeze" below, and my personal favorite "everybody show up at a Best Buy wearing khakis and a blue polo."

The group has accomplished over 70 “missions,” including the annual No-Pants subway ride that last year got 900 people pantsless. How to play? The group's leader has a 13,000-person mailing list, and would-be participants get an email outlining the general facts and asking for an RSVP.

Why would someone participate in a group playdate like this? Improv Everywhere's founder says, “someone once told me, ‘What you’re doing is giving other people anecdotes. You don’t regularly see things in New York that make you go, ‘Wow, that’s awesome.’ You don’t see humans interacting in a way that takes you off guard and makes you smile.”

That's a good enough argument for me. Would you play along?

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