As summer winds down, many favorite activities also fade away, like picnics at the park, swimming in backyard pools, trips to the beach, and weekend barbecues. Perhaps you’re looking for a special and affordable activity to mark the end of summer?
What about an outing to a drive-in movie theater?
Although a drive-in movie may not have been the first thing to come to your mind, it can offer up the perfect atmosphere for an end-of-summer festivity with the family. All you need is a car, some snacks, pillows and blankets, and loads of excitement to hit the open road. Most drive-in locations are a bit far away from major metropolitan areas, but, if you’re ready for a road-trip, your kids will love the anticipation of watching a movie under the moon while piled into the car with their favorite snacks and pillows.
To find a drive-in movie theater near you, do a basic search on Google and check out reviews on Google and Yelp.com. For example, if you live in the Boston area (headquarters for Pretzel Kids yoga), one of the first drive-ins to come up in an area search is the Mendon Twin Drive-in in Mendon, Ma. The Mendon Twin Drive-in offers family-friendly movies throughout the summer months. It also touts plenty of parking spaces and a concessions stand for extra snacks. Can’t decide which film to see? Many drive-in theaters, like Mendon, offer double features on two screens, so you can switch back-and-forth or even split up so that everyone in the family gets to watch what they want.
Guide to Drive-In Fun!
Interested in planning your own family-filled drive-in movie adventure? Here are Pretzel Kids’ top 3 tips for movie fun:
1. Set Up Your Seating
One of the best parts of the drive-in movie experience is creating your own comfy seats.
Many movie theaters are equipped with uncomfortable chairs, yet drive-ins encourage families to gather their favorite fluffy pillows, warm blankets, and even lawn chairs to create their very own theater spaces. If you’re a Pinterest fan, you’ve probably seen multiple photos showcasing transformed car trunks into cozy, cute seating areas.
To match these photos, lay your blankets along the bottom of the trunk and place your smaller pillows around them as a frame. Use bigger pillows as seats to be used underneath and you can now recline on the blankets, resting your back against the pillows. If other members of your family would like sit outside of the car, place your favorite lawn chairs either in front of the vehicle or off to the sides. Be sure to line the lawn chairs with blankets and even use pillows to relax back into the chairs.
2. Create Your Own Concessions Stand
Although many drive-in locations offer snack stands, your luck with finding healthy options may run low. Just like regular movie theaters, drive-ins primarily sell buttered popcorn, candy, ice cream and other junk food.
But, arriving at the drive-in equipped with your own concessions will lessen the temptation to buy unhealthy treats. Not only that but you’ll save money as concession stands are typically expensive. For healthy snack ideas, check out Pretzel Kids’ list of healthy summer snacks, including fruit kebabs, homemade granola bars, and baked sweet potato fries. Consider referring to this list when creating your snack plan and shopping for your homemade drive-in movie ingredients at grocery stores. If you don’t have time to make any concessions, try stopping at the supermarket on your way to the movies to pick up a pre-made fruit platter, filled with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and melon. But, trust me, the Pretzel Kids homemade granola bars are the best and well-worth an hour of your time to prepare and make. Better yet, they’re salty, sweet and a much healthier alternative to buttered popcorn and candy!
3. Pick a Feature Film to See
The Mendon Twin Drive-in provides two screens, so your family doesn’t need to unanimously agree on a single film. But, if you have to choose just one movie for all, choose a film that all would enjoy, check the theater’s hours and then hit the road. Creating a game plan is half the fun. This way everyone is excited and ready to go!
Perfect End of Summer Family Fun
Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or teaching a kids yoga class at the park, don’t leave summer behind without an outdoor family activity, like a drive-in movie. And, be sure to turn to Pretzel Kids for our drive-in movie guide and tips for a perfect summer evening under the moon and big screen!
Sarah Scribner is a content writer and social media intern at Pretzel Kids