If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of a drive-in movie theater, make plans to take your family now. The movie watching experience doesn’t compare to anything. We take our kids to a local drive-in theater a few times each summer. The moment we drive into the gravel lot, I feel like we’ve traveled back in time. Here are some tips for making the trip enjoyable.
Check on Policies
Our local drive-in theater allows outside food and drink. Some may not. Check on restrictions for food and other activities that your local drive-in has. You don’t want to get kicked out or have to throw something away because you broke the rules.
If the theater does allow you to bring in outside food and drinks, take advantage of it. Grab some takeout on the way to the drive-in and have dinner while you wait for the movie to start. Pack your own drinks to save money. Bring extra snacks. We always buy popcorn from the drive-in concession stand, but we usually bring everything else.
Waiting with kids can be tough, but you want to arrive at the drive-in early if you want a good seat. The spots closest to the screen often fill up right away. Don’t wait until the gates open to arrive. You’ll likely find a long line of cars already waiting to get in. At our drive-in, the front row of parking is near a grassy area ideal for the kids to run and play in while they wait for the movie to start.
The early arrival time means lots of waiting for your kids. Unless you want to hear constant complaints of boredom, pack some activities to help them pass the time. Ideas include bubbles, balls, frisbees, books or coloring activities.
Have Seating Options
We’ve found the kids like to bounce around while at the drive-in. We always bring folding chairs in case they want to sit outside. But most of the time they sit in the back of our SUV. We bring lots of blankets and pillows to make the area comfy.
Don’t worry about how you look at the drive-in theater. Put the kids in pajamas or comfortable clothes before you go. Since you have to wait until the sun goes down to start the movie, it will be a late night. If the kids are already in their pajamas, you can put them right to bed when you get home.