Friday, April 15, 2011

Scoring Big with Thrifty Family Fun: Drive-In Movie!

The Drive-in...not like it was in high school!
My Dad happened to mention to me a few days ago that our local drive-in theater was going to be free on Thursday night. My biggest concern was that it was a school night and also Chip would be working so I'd be attempting to pull off yet another solo flight with my two wild banshees. Plus, since it was a work day for me I wasn't sure what my mood/commute traffic was going to be like or if the kids might be moody, tired or whatever. Plus plus, I live in a suburb and had to drive to the "city" and was still chapped from the $4.07/gallon gas fill-up I had made the day before. So I honestly didn't make any big plans to go, but when I got home fairly quickly with no traffic to happy children who seems fairly energetic, I thought...."Why not?"

I looked up the show times online, and then called to verify it was actually free. Turns out it was customer appreciation night! There would be live music, face painting, and games. Ok, I was not planning on getting out of the car as we were all going in our pajamas but I still thought it was pretty cool that they offered all that if we had wanted to partake. Even better, the feature was "Tangled." My boys hadn't seen it yet, and it actually is a movie I wanted to see as well.

I popped popcorn at home, and finally tried something I'd been wanting to do for a while. We were in a rush so I just threw in 1/2 cup of pop corn kernels into a paper bag, folded it over and taped it shut. I put the folded side up, and set the timer for 2-1/2 minutes. It turned out perfectly, with not very many un-popped kernels. I got a Tupperware bowl, poured in the popcorn, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and parmesan cheese then shook it all up. YUM, right? I sort of panicked because in my rush I didn't stop to think if my boys would like it, but oh well. I grabbed a sippy of milk, a Honest Kids juice pouch, a couple snack packs of baked cheddar Goldfish, some Teddy Grahams and blankets and we were out the door.

We made it there pretty quickly, and it turned out to really be free. Call me a skeptic but I half anticipated we would show up and there would be a "catch". We picked out a great spot with a nice upward slant so even my 2yo would be able to see the screen from the front seat. See, even though I drive a small SUV it still wasn't really warm enough in my opinion to back in and leave the back door up so we could watch from our cargo space. Plus, Daddy wasn't with us and the whole safety factor, etc. It's great now that you don't have to worry about parking near a pole and the speakers reaching your car...we turned my car stereo to the right station and had great multi-speaker sound.

They LOVED the popcorn (thank goodness) although they turned the interior windows of my car into an olive oil finger-printed mess. They really enjoyed the movie and I thought it was really cute. There were a couple parts that scared my 4yo but that is typical for him. When they got a little antsy I opened up the sunroof and let my 4yo stand up and watch the movie "outside". He got a big kick out of that and checking out the moon, stars and planes flying overhead.

They were definitely out past their bed time, and Monkey had preschool this morning. I had to get up at dawn to run and honestly could have used another hour of sleep but for my kids to have an impromptu, fun night at the movies with their Mom, it was totally worth it. Plus, you really couldn't beat the price. :)

If you haven't seen Tangled, check out the trailer. TGIF y'all!


  1. Now that sounds like a fun night! :> Thanks for the easy peasy popcorn suggestion (minus the cheese, for us) and I'm so glad you got to see Tangled. I took my wee girl to see it in the theater (her very first movie theater experience) in December and not only did she LOVE it (and is on the edge of her seat for a "Tangled" birthday experience), but I really liked it to! I haven't been to a drive through in decades, but you've made it sound like a fun experience to partake with the kidlets. :>

    TGIF to you too....this one is our first official moment of Spring Break...OFF goes the 5:40am alarm clock, woohoo! :>:> Hope your weekend is a great one!

  2. How fun! I'm not sure I could find one around here even if I tried. We once went when I was younger...Dick Tracey. We were so crazed being in the car I didn't catch any of it!

  3. Sounds like a fun night! What a great idea and I'm sure you made some good memories for them to carry with them forever. I love seeing inexpensive ideas! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Homegoods is definitely one of the first store I try when searching for a home decor item!

  4. Good for you. That's what I love about you is that you do not let life pass you by. You take advantage of a good adventure and the kids get to have fun too...I will have to try the popcorn trick. Never heard of that. I took Mateo and Diego to see Tangled and they liked it too. That is one of the perks of being a G-ma. I get to see all the kids movies. Carey :)

  5. Fun! I miss drive-ins. Happy to return your "visit"


Hungripeeps want to say: