The Drive-In | Frugal Family Fun (if you can find it)
(Jamie here!) One of my favorite summer activities to do with the family is going to the Drive-In Movies. For a family of 6, going to the movies is just too expensive for us. But at the Drive-In, our family can see two movies back-to-back for $10 total. (With a healthy does of nostalgic charm at no extra charge. )
The Drive-In has been on my summer to-do-list for years now – and somehow or other we always waited too long and then they were closed for the year. But a few summers ago, we finally loaded up ye old Land Rover with kids, blankets and lawn chairs and drove the 30 minutes to the nearest drive-in.
If you’re not lucky enough to live near a drive-in theater, I am so sad for you
See that sad face? That is my sad face of pity for you! Just come visit me some weekend and I will TAKE you to the drive-in – that’s how much I want you to go! (Although you’ll maybe have to scrunch up on the floor – or we could tie you to the roof- because my family of 6 has a way of filling a Land Rover right on up)
Our favorite night to go is Sunday nights in the summer. That’s when it’s Carload Night at the Swingin’ Midway Drive-In – where you can squeeze a whole carload of people in for just $10 total.
This. Is. Awesome-Sauce.
When I was a kid, we would borrow my Paw-Paw’s old station wagon and take half the neighborhood with us to carload night. (It was just $5 a car then) Mom would pop a brown grocery bag full of popcorn to take along, and we’d lie a bunch of blankets in the back end of the wagon for movie time – cue total happiness.
Being the nostalgic sort – I insisted on backing up to the screen with our tailgate out, so the kids could lie on blankets to watch the movie. Dad & I sat in lawnchairs with a gallon-sized cup of soda to share, and the kids happily sipped on juice boxes and munched popcorn. Before the movie and during intermission – the kids roamed freely on the playground in front of the big screen. Squeaking see-saws, merry go rounds, and swings kept time with the 1950′s music blaring through the bulky metal speakers.
When the show started, they raced back to the truck to throw off flip-flops and snuggle back into their blanket nest. Somewhere between the begining of Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the end of Captain America – dad and I even got time to sneak in some hand holding…
We finished the long double-feature night by bundling the sleeping kids into their car seats and hanging our speakers back on the wooden posts. As the tires crunched through the gravel out the drive, I smiled knowing the kids would be reliving drive-in memories for years just like me.
If you’re interested in finding a Drive-In Theater in your neck of the woods – you can search by state HERE. If you plan on heading to my very own Swingin’ Midway Drive-in, they even have a Facebook page with info on upcoming flicks. Just remember – if you’re heading out to Carload Night, make sure to heed the following rule posted on their page:
*All vehicles are subject to random trunk search for SNEAK INS. SNEAK INS pay DOUBLE
Don’t be a sneak in! :)
Tell me – what’s your favorite summer fun thing to do with your family?