Thursday, August 10, 2017

Drive-In Love

One of our absolute favorite things to do in the summer (or even just the warm months) is go to the drive-in.  It's second only to the lake as the best activity for the best season.   We still talk fondly of the year we made TEN drive-in trips (from April - October), including 3 within 15 days.  It was AWESOME. 

We don't get to go nearly as much now with a 4 year old to consider, with it being a long (and late) night for a sitter and a lot of movies not being appropriate for a 4 year old.  But we still aim for about once a month, always going for our anniversary in May, and with Luke a few times over the summer.  He's seen a lot more (kid movie) new releases than he would otherwise, with all our drive-in trips.

(Because while we'll pay $20 for the whole family to go to the drive-in for Despicable Me 3, we will most certainly not be paying even more than that to sit in a dark theater to watch it.)

I've written about our drive-in love before: Drive-In and Reasons Why the Drive-In is Awesome and You Should Go.   But I figure every other year or so a good time to refresh and remind all you dear readers of our love for the drive-in. 

We've spent many happy evenings at various drive-ins (total different ones visited: 5.  Total states we've been to a drive-in in: 3) and as soon as we get home I start getting excited to go again, even if it's 2am and I know there will be a kid up in about 6 hours.  There is just something magical about the drive-in.

We try to be there early for a good spot (what constitutes "good" depends on the drive-in but we aim for one of the front two rows.)

Sometimes we just open up the back of the Jeep, lay out blankets and pillows.  This is my favorite.

Other times we take our collapsible camp chairs and sit all three in a row, Luke in the middle for child wrangling and popcorn sharing reasons.  

I always take a blanket because even in July it can get chilly outside at midnight. 


One of the drive-ins we frequent has a playground in the grass between the front row and the screen and that one is definitely Luke's favorite.  He plays by himself (he sternly tells us to stay in our seats).

I always have a book and can get in some reading.  Matt often takes a magazine.

We usually eat supper before we go (since gates don't open until 7ish) but always support the drive-in through the concessions.  We buy popcorn and the adults share a large Mountain Dew (I don't want to find out the effects of that much caffeine on a 4 year old at 2am). 

We play, read, eat, watch the sunset. 

You don't get an experience like this inside a theater.

No matter how we are sitting we usually have the back hatch open and can listen either through the car radio or take a small portable one.  Sometimes there are enough other people around with their speakers loud enough that we don't need ours.

The movies start at sundown.  Sometimes the sun is still setting as the movies start.  It makes for a great experience.

Watch a movie. 

Cross the gravel to visit the bathrooms.

(Hot water optional here.)

Intermission, avoid the concession stand because it's really busy right now.

It's about 11pm and we are just getting ready for our second movie of the night (or heading home, sometimes that's the case.)

Or, sometimes, if you are me, falling asleep wrapped up in blankets on a chilly night while Matt watches the second movie.  (Depends on the movie.)

Movie's over, head home.  It's almost always past midnight.  (Earliest drive-in night: done at 11:30pm, in October.  Latest drive-in night: done at 2:30am, in July.)

Listen to the music over the ending credits as we drive away (except those darn Marvel movies, where we always stay through all the credits, no matter what we've heard about extra scenes).

Hope the 4 year old falls asleep on the way home.  Hope the adults don't. 

(Occasionally, maybe once a summer, we get to do the perfect lake->drive-in->lake combo which combines all the best of summer at once.  There was even one time we had lake->jet ski ride->drive-in->lake which is the ultimate trio for a summer night.)

Home.  Unload the car.  Put away blankets, chairs, the radio.

Start dreaming about next time.

(And hope the 4 year old sleeps past 8am.)

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