Date night is calling! So is a unique family fun night or a night out with friends! Although COVID and its social distancing and mask-wearing protocols seem to still be in everyone’s minds, social activities are coming back in full force. If you don’t feel comfortable getting too close or are just looking for something fun and different to do; think drive in movies!
WHY choose Drive-In Movies
Drive-in movies offer a unique, fun, and safe option for movie-watching. You get to watch one or even two feature films in the comfort of your own vehicle, surrounded by the company you choose. No noisy movie theaters with obnoxious shouting or screaming, no need to worry about the germs you may or may not be breathing in, or what on earth that weird sticky spot on the armrest could be. You get to enjoy the film from inside your own personal vehicle, with your own snacks and drinks. Most drive-in movies also can be watched from outside your car in lawn chairs or a blanket, or from the bed of a pick-up truck.
Drive-in movies are generally more affordable than typical movie theaters, and you will absolutely save on concessions. You can usually bring your own snacks and beverages to drive-in movies, and many locations have food for sale as well. Drive-in movies were a huge hit in the past and are springing back up in popularity today.
Drive-in movies are a perfect movie viewing experience for younger children because there are fewer rules and different social norms than in a traditional theater. You don’t have to worry about your child talking loudly, becoming upset, or wanting to roam around. Their volume levels are contained in your own car and if they want to walk around, drive-in movies are outside, so there’s plenty of space for you and your little one to stroll around. Some drive-in movies even have a small playground on site for restless children who need a break.
Allowing younger children to have more freedom also allows entire families to go to see a movie together. Older children and teens will be able to watch a movie while their younger siblings nap, run around, or watch with them. Dressing little ones in pajamas will give them something to giggle about, and make putting them to bed when you get home a breeze.
Drive-in movies are also typically pet-friendly. Due to their outdoor locations, venues often allow you to bring your furry friend in for movie night fun. They obviously expect you to keep your pet on a leash and clean up after them. How cute is it that you can bring your pet to snuggle with while you watch a movie?
If you’re looking for a date night idea, leave the kids at home and take your spouse for a romantic and unique surprise date to the drive-in movies. Enjoy the privacy of your own vehicle while you cozy up around a charcuterie board on the dash with a mocktail in hand. For an added bonus, pair up with another family and plan family trips to the drive-in movies where you each take a turn bringing all the kids to a family-friendly film while the other couple has a date and then swap the following month!
Where to find Drive-In Movies
If you’re located in New York City, you can check out these theaters to find drive-in movies near you. Some are local, and others require a bit of a road trip, but hey, road trips can be fun too!
- The Skyline Drive-In – This drive-in is located in Brooklyn, NY, and advertises multiple ways to view their big-screen films. You can drive, walk or ride a bicycle onto their lot to watch the movie of your choice. They offer outdoor seating for those who show up without a car and have a concession stand on site. They offer different ticket options for those who arrive as a group in one vehicle and individual tickets for those who walk or bike in.
The Skyline lot is not only for drive-in movies, they also film shows and movies there! This location has sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline making it a more romantic option. Imagine the glowing sun setting over Manhattan while you cozy up with your hot date before the movie starts.
It’s worthwhile to note that heading to the drive-in movies at the Skyline without a car won’t save you much, but a vehicle full of guests is the same price as a vehicle with one, so bring your friends, kids, or spouse with you and enjoy your night!
Check out the drive-in movies at The Skyline
- The Hi-Way Drive-In – A classic experience located between Catskill and Coxsackie, NY. This back-road lot has been a long-standing feature of the community and a favorite spot to watch drive-in movies. Depending on where you live, this may be local or you might need to travel a bit but this theater offers affordable drive-in movies.
Every showing is a double feature and they regularly play recently released films. The Hi-Way Drive-In charges per person rather than per vehicle, but prices are very low, especially considering you will get to see two movies, rather than one. They have a concession stand on-site and you can also bring in your own snacks. They have a raffle in between the two films with fun prizes to be won.
This location is on a winding country road so while the drive there is not too bad, be prepared for a pitch-black ride home. Watch out for deer and other animals on your trip!
Check out the drive-in movies at the Hi-Way Drive-In
- Hyde Park Drive-In Theater – Like its name states, you can watch drive-in movies in Hyde Park, NY. This theater has its own concession stand and also allows you to bring in outside food, although they do charge a five-dollar fee for outside food.
This location has been in business since 1950 and has a large capacity for vehicles. All drive-in movies shown here are double features. Prices are per person but are super affordable.
This is a family-friendly place to watch drive-in movies and has been around for generations. It’s the perfect spot to bring your family on a mini getaway. They offer fun merchandise and Hyde Park t-shirts as well as discount ticket packages if you buy a ticket book upfront for use throughout the season.
Check out the drive-in movies at Hyde Park
If drive-in movies sound like fun to you, there are locations across the United States. Try and find one that you can visit near your home, or while on a vacation.
Making Drive-In Movies Even More Memorable
Drive-in movies offer just the perfect amount of nostalgic family fun. Make your experience even better with some sweet and slightly cheesy special touches. Fill your trunk with a blanket and folding chairs so that you and your loved ones can sit out under the stars. Remember bug spray if you’re planning on visiting in the heat of summer!
Since most drive-in theaters allow outside food, plan ahead by making snacks and drinks that fit the movie. Think gory treats for horror films or sweet snacks for kids’ cartoons. Give them silly names that match the theme of the drive-in movies you’re going to see.
Let your kids wear their comfy clothes or pajamas. Have them bring a pillow or favorite stuffed animal and blanket to cuddle with. Simple touches like these resonate with children and will ensure that they are making precious memories with their families.
Whether you’re taking a road trip or staying local, heading to the drive-in movies is guaranteed to make your experience enjoyable. Spend time at the drive-in movies with the ones you love and maybe even make it into a yearly tradition!
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