There are so many reasons we love going to a drive-in movie as a family. There’s just something about sitting in the back of the truck, snuggling up in blankets and munching on popcorn while you watch a giant screen with the big, dark sky and twinkling stars as a backdrop. It’s also a tie to the past, and as an old-fashioned girl, I love anything that speaks of history. I was so excited to introduce it to my kids for the first time, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was most definitely one of the highlights of the summer, and it was quickly decided that it would be one of our summer traditions from that point forward…and it has been! I’m sharing all of our drive-in movie tips for families…to make it one of the best nights of the summer!
Why our family loves the drive-in movie:
- If you’re taking kids, they don’t have to be as quiet as church mice. One of the hardest things about taking little kids to a theater is helping them learn how to whisper when they have to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or have a comment/question about the movie. That is a huge plus in my book!
- It’s more social! It’s more like watching a movie at your house than a theater, because you can have a little more of a conversation (if you want to).
- It’s usually quite a but cheaper, and often times children of certain ages are totally free. Every drive-in will be different, but at ours, children ages 5-12 are only $5, and 4 and under are free. That makes it a lot more reasonable to go to a movie as a family!
- You get to see more than one movie with double and even triple features! Most drive-ins will have a double or triple feature, so by paying once price, you get to see more than one movie. Can’t beat that!
- You can bring lots of blankets and pillows, snuggle up, and get pretty comfy. When babies or smallest children fall asleep, they can be tucked in cozily while everyone else enjoys the evening especially if you’re staying for a double or triple feature.
- You can bring your own food—everything from snacks and drinks to a full meal! There are usually concession stands if you want to buy there, but I love being able to bring all of our favorites AND it saves a ton of money at the same time.
Tips for reducing stress and having fun at the drive-in movie:
- Do all the research you can ahead of time about the theater, and what the rules are. Each drive-in can be different, so even if you’ve been to one before, still check before you go. Hopefully they have a website or Facebook page you can get information from, but if not, you may need to give them a call. I also signed up for our theater’s newsletter, so I get the lineup of movies every week. It makes it easy for me to look at our schedule and see if it’s something we want to do and can do.
- Arrive early, especially on a weekend. You want to be at the front of that line of cars, not the back! Even if you get in early, you can eat, talk, play games, and hang out until the movie starts, plus you’ll get a much better parking spot.
- Consider going during the week, instead of on the weekend. If you can fit it in Monday-Thursday, the crowds are almost certain to be less, and it might be easier to manage with little kids.
- At our drive-in, you tune into a certain frequency on the radio on order to hear the movie, but you can also bring battery-powered portable radios to listen to outside of the car. Decide how you want to do it ahead of time, or just bring along a radio just in case.
- Know where the bathrooms are as soon as you arrive. I don’t know about you, but we seem to have a bathroom emergency just about everywhere we go!
To find drive-in theaters in your area, check out this website:
If you don’t have one near you, try having your own at home! Look into renting or borrowing a projector, hang a big, white sheet on one side of your house or garage, and you’ll have the perfect outdoor movie without leaving your own home!