With many summer activities stalled or canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant Walmart has announced two new experiences to help bring families together for traditional fun in nontraditional ways.
The first, Camp by Walmart, is a free star-studded virtual camp that brings summer activities directly to customers’ own backyards, and the second, in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, is a touring drive-in movie theater that will transform Walmart parking lots into outdoor cinemas.
“Summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet, and I know I hear every day, ‘Mom, I’m bored!’” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart. “Through our digital means and vast footprint of stores, we’re hoping to bring some summer fun to families across the country. We know Walmart plays a role in our communities that extends far beyond getting them necessary supplies, and we see that now more than ever.”
Walmart is teaming up with celebrities Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris, LeBron James, Idina Menzel and Todd Oldham to creat a new summer camp experience designed for the internet. Camp by Walmart is being produced and developed in partnership with CAMP, a Family Experience Company, and powered by the interactive video platform eko. Each of the celebrities is stepping outside of their day job to serve as camp counselors, leading kids through sessions varying from arts and crafts to fitness and other activities to keep them active and entertained.
Starting July 8, families can access 50 Camp by Walmart activities for free by visiting the Walmart app. Celebrity- and expert-led camp sessions will roll out across the summer, including:
• “The Great Family Challenge,” which features various family-bonding activities, including actress Drew Barrymore taking campers through a makeup tutorial and basketball star LeBron James leading participants through mental and physical activities with help from his I PROMISE School educators;
• A morning kickoff with Head Camp Counselor, actor Neil Patrick Harris, who sends families through one of 14 camp challenges, from “Neil’s Charades” to musical Mad Libs;
• “Skills Camp” is a talent show that features experts teaching new skills, like singer and actress Idina Menzel, who showcases her singing skills to campers; and
• Designer Todd Oldham reimagines “Smarts and Crafts,” which teaches campers about creativity through the lens of arts, crafts and fashion
Camp by Walmart will offer 200 more new activities throughout the summer to keep families everywhere entertained.
eko technology allows campers to make choices along the way that shape the outcome of their experience, creating increased interactions that reflect campers’ interest.
To access Camp by Walmart, customers can download the Walmart app, or update their existing Walmart app, and look for Camp by Walmart in the app’s Services tab from the bottom navigation.
Let’s go to the drive-in
Working with Tribeca Enterprises for two drive-in experiences, Walmart is transforming 160 of its store parking lots into contact-free drive-in movie theaters where customers can safely gather to watch movies programmed by the Tribeca Drive-in team.
Beginning in August, Walmart will roll out drive-in movies in towns across the country for a combined 320 showings. This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities and concessions delivered right to customer vehicles.
Walmart’s drive-in tour will run through October. Additional details will be announced closer to the start of the tour.
Ahead of each screening, Walmart will make it easy for families to fill their picnic baskets by ordering their drive-in essentials online for curbside pickup on the way to their movie. For families itching for the big screen now, Walmart is also partnering with the Tribeca Drive-in to serve as a presenting partner for its Tribeca Drive-In movie series, which begins this Thursday, July 2.
"Drive-Ins have been a signature program for Tribeca since we started the Tribeca Film Festival 19 years ago after 9/11,” said Jane Rosenthal, CEO and co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival. "But now, the Tribeca Drive-In is much more than a fun, retro way to see movies — it’s one of the safest ways for communities to gather. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring more people together around the shared cinematic experiences that Tribeca is known for."
Throughout July, families in Arlington, Texas; Pasadena, Calif.; Nassau County, N.Y.; and Orchard Beach in the Bronx, N.Y., will be treated to Tribeca Drive-In screenings of modern classics and family favorites, like Wonder Woman and Space Jam, with a mix of ticketed and free events honoring frontline workers. The full schedule and tickets can be found at TribecaFilm.com.
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.