NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 22, 2013) -- What do you get when you mix arts and crafts, costumes, "trunk-or-treating" and drive-in movies?

The 2013 "Fall Family Day" at the Natick Soldier Systems Center.

Children and parents were able to enjoy all the festivities of the event Oct. 19.

The occasion was hosted by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation team, and marked the first time an event like this has been held.

Sherita Baker, Family and MWR special events coordinator, said the goal of the family day was a simple one.

"Family and MWR has identified a need to increase the number of family-friendly programs offered year round," Baker said. "The fall family day and drive-in movies are a natural progression from what we have already done in the past."

Baker also added that they included community partners such as Operation Military Child and Operation Homefront, to provide a well-rounded day of family fun and activities.

Shirley Davis, a military spouse of a deployed Airman, said she didn't mind making the drive from Hanscom Air Force Base.

"What has made us get through these deployments a little better is keeping the kids active on the weekends, because during the week they're in school," Davis said. "It was just one of those things where I didn't have anything planned for this weekend."

Davis said she began asking around and came across a flyer advertising the event and thought, "OK, yeah, this is what we're going to do."

Davis added that after seeing the advertisement, she mentioned it to a few other Air Force spouses and recruited them to come along for the ride.

"My kids had a good time and they did different crafts," Davis said. "It was worth it for me."

Lt. Col. Brian Greata, USAG-Natick garrison commander, said he was pleased with the event.

"It's harder on an installation like Natick to create a feeling of community, when most employees and Soldiers live on the economy, or in housing areas that are outside the fence line and spread over a wide area," Greata said. "So it's important to provide safe, fun activities that our employees enjoy bringing their children, grandchildren or friends to that help people feel connected to each other."

Greata went on to add, "I couldn't be happier with how the event turned out. This was the inaugural event of this kind at NSSC, and the next one will be even better."

He also noted that the occasion went better than anyone could have hoped for.

"We had twice the anticipated turnout, which is a phenomenal result, and everyone I talked to had a very fun time," Greata said. "It's hard nowadays to find a drive-in movie, and we brought one here."

Baker also said she needs everyone's help to make the family events and programs even better.

"Now is a great time for patrons to comment on events held over the past year and to voice what they would like to see for next year," Baker said. "We welcome all feedback, as it helps us to develop programming that is supported and well received."

Baker said her team will be working hard during the winter months to put out great programs for 2014 and beyond.

Page last updated Tue October 22nd, 2013 at 10:03