Drive In Movie Outings With Kids


My family loves to go to the drive thru.  We started going to the drive in a few years ago because of the expense. Ticket prices seem to be a lot more affordable ($7 for adults and only $2 for kids).  With having a large family it add’s up fast. Plus our littler children have a hard time sitting still through a whole movie and were a distraction to those around us. The drive in has been the perfect fit.


Drive In Movie Outings With Kids

 drive in tips

Check your movie listings. Over the weekend we went to a double feature. You can watch two movies for the price of one! Some double features can be later so littler kids may need a nap so they are not cranky. We watch a movie the kids want to watch for the first feature and since the second feature is normally late our little ones fall asleep which we make comfortable accommodations for. 


I find it so much easier when you have multiple children to pack their snacks individually. Which is helpful because then there is no bickering.  I make homemade popcorn which I add their their container with a lid along with a small amount of candy.  If they do not want anymore then they can put the lid on the container and save it for later in the movie.  I also give each child a bottle water with their name on it.

 movie snacks

If you are going to the drive in during the summer bring bug spray! The mosquitoes can be awful! 


Bring a napkins, paper towels or baby wipes for those unexpected messes. Make sure you bring a bag for garbage then you can throw everything away all at once when the movie is over. 


Our family likes to sit outside of our 12 passenger van to watch the movie. We leave the back doors open and back in towards the movie screen. We bring our own chairs and a blanket to put on the ground if the kids do not want to sit in their chairs anymore. I have seen many come to the drive in and just sit on the bare asphalt, sounds uncomfortable! 


If you are going to the drive in during the summer bring bug spray! The mosquitoes can be awful! 

drive in kids

Have kids wear a glow stick necklace or bracelet. Drive Ins get dark and there are a lot of cars that are coming and going. The glow sticks are a great way for drivers to see kids. 


Keep a travel potty in the car.  Our drive in is so dark and instead of walking in the dark to the bathroom and missing the movie, the travel potty comes in handy for quick potty breaks for kids.


What are your tips for going to the drive in with kids? 



  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Around here we pay for the drive-in my the car load. It’s $20 for as many people as you can fit in your car.

    • That is a great deal! We have a 12 passenger van, that would be great if they did this here. It costs us $22 for my family which isn’t bad. 1/2 the price than going to a non-drive in movie.

      • Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

        Oh that’s not bad then. It’s definitely A LOT cheaper than going to an indoor theater.

  2. I haven’t been to one in forever! I would love to take my kids sometime. I need to try to find one near by.

  3. When I was younger we always went to drive in movies–I remember my Dad putting down the top on the car and I and sometimes a friend would sit on top–we almost slid off from the movie The Birds–what a sensation that was–all those birds flying at you!! And yes, you do need bug spray!! Unfortunately they closed down the drivein around here-there might still be one in the Bronx but I am not positive.

    • I like looking up at the stars Michele, that is what I enjoy. In the middle of a hustling and bustling city it is pitch black and you can actually see the stars which is normally hard to see in the city from all the lights!

  4. Oh the drive in! I miss the drive in I haven’t been in years, to be honest I’m not even sure if we have one in Toronto (we did back home in Kingston) these are great ideas. I love the snack packs, so awesome!

  5. This looks like so much fun! I have never been to a drive in movie, and my daughter has not either, I am sure this would be a great family fun day out.

  6. We just had a drive-in open up about 20 miles away. Haven’t been yet, but they always run double features and it is only $8 to see both!

  7. We have never been with our kids but we heard murmuring,about one opening up this summer.
    Can not wait to experience this with them.
    I never even thought about going to the bathroom… Ugh!

  8. I haven’t been to a drive in movie in years! Love the snacks you packed up!

  9. That does sound like fun. We don’t have any drive in theaters near us but I went to one many years ago and had a great time.

  10. there hard to find anymore.

  11. I have never been to a drive in movie, I know my kids would love this. Will have to look for one so they can experience it.

  12. All of our drive-ins are closed around here, but all your tips are great. We used to fill paper grocery bags with all the popcorn you could eat.

  13. Danielle K says:

    This sounds like so much fun 🙂 I used to love going to the drive in with my parents, I’ll have to look for one around here so I can take my son.

  14. I used to love taking the kids to the Drive In. Unfortunately we moved to a city that doesn’t have one, but that’s something I miss! Great tips!

  15. These are wonderful tips. Bugs sprays are a must. We’ve never tried drive in movies, but they sound so much fun.

    • I wouldn’t ever think of bug spray. But now that it’s mentioned it sounds like a no Brainer… I feel so silly, but really it’s a must!

  16. OH my gosh, you’re not kidding about the mosquitoes. That’s the only thing I remember about the drive-in movie. In the Fall, it was really pleasant though. Also, LOVE the snack packs!

  17. Haha! at first I was very confused because you said the drive thru was this… then I realized you were talking about the drive in theatre – we haven’t been to one, but if we do I’ll refer to these tips.

  18. These are great tips. I really like the one about glow bracelets and bringing snacks.

  19. There is a drive in here in South Jersey. I want to try and go this summer.

  20. Super smart idea with the travel potty! I would probably use that the most. We’ve not been to an outside theater but need to.

  21. I really miss the drive-in. When we were kids my parents would hide our pillows in the trunk. They would take us to A & W Rootbeer for dinner and when dinner was over my father would head to the trunk to get the pillows and we’d know we were off to the drive-in. Such great memories.

  22. I have never been to a drive in movie before. I’d love to experience it.

  23. So much fun. I remember going as a child. Nothing is better.

  24. I love this idea! The whole family can relax, eat snacks, and watch a movie without breaking the bank!

  25. Looks like a blast! I haven’t seen a drivein since I was a kid! Great tips Love the bug spray never would have thought of that!

  26. We love packing up dinner and dessert for an evening at the drive in. We get two movies for the price of one and we can bring food.

  27. We use to live close to a drive-in movie theater. We loved going there to see double movies. I still love going but I think it is a dying breed now, unfortunately.

    • Not here Christi, our drive in gets packed and people get there 45 minutes before the movie starts just to get a good spot!

  28. I haven’t been to a drive in with the kids yet but I’m sure they would love it. Great idea to wear the glow necklaces!

  29. So much fun! My kids go to bed so early we haven’t tried the drive in yet but I can’t wait to take them!

  30. Debbie Denny says:

    Wish we still had one open. Bug spray is smart idea.

  31. Great summer time activity. I wish there was one by me.

  32. We love the drive-thru too. It’s just so convenient when you have had a long day and don’t feel like getting out of the car to pick up dinner.

  33. Drive Ins are such a fun cool idea! I like these movie snacks. They are so fun and easy to make. I wish they brought back Drive Ins where I live

  34. We have a drive in near us and we love it – they have such great food and fun – and dog friendly.

  35. I haven’t been to a drive-in in years. Heck, I don’t even know if there is one near me. I do miss them. They were a lot of fun!

  36. Awww I remember the drive-in as a kid. We’d go in our pjs and enjoy the films. I’ll have to find one close by in Atlanta, especially since it’s cheaper and more flexible than going to the theater.

  37. Tiffany Collins (@Naturalycracked) says:

    We love going to the drive in. Last time we went my youngest was still tiny and did not really move around so it was easier. Now at 2.5 he is all over the place so it is a little bit more difficult. I love your idea of putting their snacks into individual containers easier that way:)

    • Tiffany, My littlest is 26 months depending on the movie she will sit and watch it. She did with Inside Out. Maybe it depends on the movie with your little one?

  38. Drive in movies are something that I loved doing as a kid – we have a new one near our house and I look forward to bringing my daughter there this summer as well!

  39. These are great tips. Especially the glow in the dark necklace or bracelet and the potty chair. I haven’t been to a drive in movie in a very long time. Even in the car, the bugs can do you in if people are coming and going a lot.

  40. We try to go to the Drive In at least once every summer and the whole family always looks forward to it! I love your prepacked snack boxes! There are usually very limited and greasy options at the snack shed!

  41. There are no drive in theaters near us anymore. I haven’t been to a drive in probably since I was little. They were so much fun!

  42. We have a drive in by us and we love it. The kids think it is so much fun. Hubby and I have fond memories about drive ins!

  43. I have been looking for one of these around my area. been wanting to take my children to one.

  44. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Drive in movies are so much fun. We used to take our kids to them when they were younger. I always packed lots of snacks.

  45. Dang! That’s a great deal! I wish they had drive in theaters around us! The only discount theater we have is 35 minutes away and it’s $4.25 per ticket. I know my kids would love the drive in!

    • Laura, Theaters tend to overcharge greatly between admission. Not to mention the concession stand. I went to a prescreening last week and for a large soda and popcorn it was $17! Crazy!!!!

  46. That is a fantastic idea and a much easier way to minimize the mess. I am so going to get some of these containers and do this with our kids

  47. Wonderful tips. We don’t have a drive in movie in our area but this would be so cool!

  48. I love going to the drive in with my kids. They can climb around the car and not disturb others. We haven’t been in a while, but I haven’t looked since we moved to Florida.

  49. Sounds so much of fun. I always love to go for a long drive with my family. You have given some great tips and these would be really helpful when you travel with children. I never thought of taking bug spray with us, but it sounds very important one indeed. Thanks for your tips.

  50. How fun! I have never taken my kids to a drive in.

  51. It has been a long time since we had any of this – looks really fun!

  52. I wish there was a drive though movie around here. I remember going to one as a kid and had a lot of fun. That bug spray tip is really important.

  53. I have always wanted to take my girls to a drive in movie. Thanks for these awesome tips.

  54. It really is sad how many drive ins keep closing every year. This is so much fun to do with kids and a fun experience for them. I still remember having to have the speaker box in the window to work with the radio.

  55. We don’t have a drive-in close to us or we would frequent it and use all of these tips!

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