Cosplay park events!
As someone who has hosted many cosplay events over the years, I’ve held many cosplay gatherings at parks. And for good reason; they are wonderful places to socialize with others, to cosplay and to have fun! From the beautiful greenery to ease of access, parks are an awesome place to hold cosplay gatherings.
But how do you go about doing a cosplay park event? What are some things you need to know? I’m here to answer those questions for you!
How to host your own cosplay park event
You might think that hosting your own cosplay park event is as hard as hosting an Anime or Comic convention. But in fact, it’s much easier. As long as you follow the rules set out by the municipality of the park and obtain a park permit (if necessary), you’ll find that holding a cosplay park event is fairly simple.
In this post, I’ll give you various tips and advice on hosting your own cosplay park event, based on my own experiences as an event organizer. I’ll go over the benefits of holding a cosplay gathering at a park, what rules you should know, how to obtain a permit, and more.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Why public parks are great for cosplay events
There’s a reason why I tend to hold cosplay social gatherings at public parks. They are truly wonderful places to have cosplay events, here’s why:
- Parks are great for cosplay. Parks have beautiful greenery, flowers, open fields, fountains, ponds, you name it. All of these settings are perfect for cosplay photos. So when you hold a cosplay park event, not only are you doing a social gathering, but you also give cosplayers an opportunity to get some great photos as well.
- Easily accessible. For the most part, parks are easily reachable by everyone. Usually big parks are close to a subway station or a popular area of a city. That means it’s easy for your attendees to enter and leave the park and ultimately your event. In my article about hosting your own cosplay event (click here to read), I talk about the importance of making it easy for people to come and go. No one wants to attend an event that’s hard to reach or hard to leave.
- Relatively easy to get permission to hold a gathering. While having a cosplay park event requires a bit of planning possibly a permit (more on this in the next section), it’s still relatively easy in my opinion. Certainly a LOT easier than running your own Anime convention!
So from my own experience, public parks are tried and tested places to hold cosplay events. Everyone loves them…except maybe in the winter.
Do you need a park permit for a cosplay gathering?
Every city or town has their own rules regarding having big groups at a park. So if you plan on doing a cosplay park event, be sure to know and read the rules before committing to an event. Some cities don’t require a permit at all, while others will require you to book and purchase a permit beforehand. In the city where I live, a park permit costs around $100 CAD, which isn’t too bad. If you’re short on money, you can always ask your attendees to pitch in a couple of bucks at the event to help pay for the cost of the permit.
I do NOT recommend trying to skimp out on the permit if your area requires one. If you don’t have a permit, the people working at the park can ask you and your group to leave. So make sure you know the rules and get a permit if it’s needed.
Some helpful info if you need a permit
Here are some helpful tips regarding the whole permit. Don’t worry, it’s not that big of a deal!
- Some places require you to be a resident of where the park is located. Unfortunately, if you live in the suburb and you want to host a cosplay park event in the city, you might not get permission to book a permit if you don’t live in the actual city. I know when I bought a permit, I needed to show proof that I lived in the same city. So if you do not, you might be out of luck. Either that, or you can get a friend who’s helping you host to buy it for you, if they live in the city.
- Don’t wait last-minute to buy a permit if you have plans for a cosplay park event! Surprisingly, park permits go by fast like concert tickets. The popular spots at a park get booked really fast, especially on weekends. So book at least a month or two in advance.
- Bring your park permit with you to the event. That way if you have any disputes, you can show them proof that you have permission and the right to hold a social gathering at your designated spot. I remember one time, someone said they also booked a permit in the same spot I did. After talking to the city staff about it and showing my permit, the guy made a mistake and booked a different area. Having my permit on-hand made it easy to quickly resolve things.
Which park should you choose?
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, your town or city probably has a bunch of parks to choose from. But which park(s) are the best for a cosplay event?
Choose ones that are:
Close to a major transit center. The most popular parks tend to be near a subway station or near a bus transit station, because they are easily accessible by public transit. So be sure to pick one that isn’t difficult to get to. If I lived in New York or Chicago, I would choose something like Central Park or Lincoln Park!
A park that has a secluded, quieter area. At the same time, you want the park to nice and tranquil. I’ve seen parks that are super busy, and those aren’t the ideal places to hold a cosplay park event. So if I lived in New York City, I wouldn’t want to hold one at Bryant Park because that park is small and super busy! Although I’m sure it’s a nice park to visit on your own time.
Ideally has unique features. Cosplayers love attending park events with unique features like ponds, beautiful flowers, rolling hills, etc. That way, they can get nice photos while at the event!
Cosplay park event activity ideas
It’s one thing to just hold a cosplay park gathering and be done with it. But it’s another to actually have activities scheduled for it! I’d say people enjoyed my cosplay events because I’d have lots for them to do in terms of activities. That way, they never get bored.
Here are some activities you should try! Keep in mind that you should check the rules of the park before you do them and make sure you’re not breaking any rules. And also be aware that not everyone will want to take part in the activities, and that’s okay too:
- Scavenger hunt game. Get people to form groups together and give them a list of things to find in the park (e.g. landmarks, statues). They take photos of these things on the scavenger hunt list. The first team to find all the things on the list, they win a prize!
- Cosplay group photo. Tell everyone at a certain time, everyone will gather together for a cosplay group photo.
- Mini-karaoke. My co-event organizer would bring his small karaoke box for people to sing in! When we held cosplay park events, we were allowed to do this because we kept the noise levels to a minimum. But be sure to check the rules and see if you’re allowed to do this inside the parks near you.
- Card games. I used to bring a regular deck of cards and Cards Against Humanity for people to play together on the picnic table. It’s a great way for people to socialize.
- Pinata! I personally haven’t done this due to park rules, but I know someone that has.
- Watermelon smashing! I’ll just we did this as well. 🙂
And there you have it; everything you need to know about hosting a cosplay park events!
Honestly, parks are fun to begin with. But to hold a cosplay event at a park is even better. So if you’re in a need of a cosplay event while you wait for the next convention, then definitely consider holding a cosplay park event.
If you want more guidance and advice on how to host a cosplay event, click here to read my article about that.
And if you have any questions about cosplay park events, I’m happy to answer them. Leave them in the comments below.
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!