Are you a Pokémon Go trainer? From your neighborhood park to the Six Flags Over Texas theme park, you don’t have to look too hard in Arlington to find Pokéstops, gyms and Pokémon to capture.The goal of this hit game, already being called a worldwide phenomenon, is to travel around your city, collecting and training captured Pokémon, which you can use to battle other trainers at gyms. Along the way, trainers can check in at public spaces, landmarks and monuments to collect game items and also walk around to hatch Pokémon eggs they collect as rewards.Several organizations and City Departments, including Downtown Arlington Management Corporation, the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Arlington Public Libraries and Parks and Recreation departments, have recently published online guides or social media posts to help trainers find rewards and Pokémon scattered around the American Dream City.Downtown Arlington locations include City Hall, Founders Plaza, J.R. Bentley’s English Pub, Knapp Heritage Park, Mellow Mushroom, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Twisted Root Burger Co. and many, many more.“It’s a very cool game. We are trying to take advantage of it and get people to come downtown and search for Pokémon,” said Tony Rutigliano, President and CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. “It’s a different way to bring people downtown and interact with some of the businesses we have.”
Children and adults alike are flocking to Arlington 90-plus public parks in attempts to “catch ‘em all.” The Parks and Recreation Department has created an interactive site, called Parkémon, that compiles the best places to stock up on game items and battle it out at various parks.Besides catching Pokémon, parks officials said visitors can also learn about the City’s park and the amenities they offer, such as walking trails, natural areas, exercise equipment, playgrounds, splash pads and more.Click on the links below to check out Arlington Pokémon guides.Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau Guide Parks and Recreation GuideRiver Legacy Living Science CenterThe Shorthorn at the University of Texas at ArlingtonThe Parks Mall, Arlington Highlands shopping center and the city’s Entertainment District are also teeming with Pokéstops and gyms, the Convention and Visitors Bureau blog reports.A quick visit at the University of Texas at Arlington’s campus reveals the multitude of trainers that are using college buildings and landmarks as meet ups to play the wildly popular game.“I think that the game will ultimately be seen in a positive light. It is getting people out to parks and college campuses like this one and they are actually interacting with one another,” said Arnesh Nankani, an engineering junior at UTA.College students aren’t the only ones getting in on the Pokémon training action. Arlington resident Margaret Rich, 47, was recently on the hunt for Pokémon with her two sons Eric, 11 and Andrew, 13 in downtown Arlington.“I think there is a lot of fair criticism about the game, people driving while playing it and security concerns about your Gmail account. But when it comes down to the game, it’s really fun. I’m out here bonding with my children over an app, how often does that happen?” Rich said.When asked about the social aspects of the game, Ms. Rich and her children had nothing but great things to say.“I think people are undervaluing the social aspect of the game. Sure people are still glued to their phones but at least they are outside. Eric and Andrew have been playing the game for a couple days now and they have already made several friends while doing it,” Rich said.Residents who are out and about hunting for elusive Pokémon should consider participating in the Star of Texas Challenge at the same time.The City and the Arlington Museum of Art have challenged residents to visit the 20 stars positioned throughout Arlington and check out each artist’s interpretation of what makes Arlington the American Dream City.Many of the colorful public art pieces are near Pokéstops and gyms.Participants receive a special edition “Star of Texas” t-shirt and free admission to the Vivian Maier: Lost and Found exhibit at the Arlington Museum of Art by uploading photos taken with all 20 stars on the City’s social media platforms.Office of Communications intern Wolfgang Ehrgott contributed to this report.