Drive-in cinemas – Top 10 family essentials

Drive-in Cinemas: Top 10 Family Essentials

A night at the drive-in cinema is a family favourite for quality time that’s enjoyable for all ages, as long as you can keep the young ones entertained. Drive-in cinemas screen classic flicks and the latest blockbusters year-round. The benefit of the drive-in is that you can create the perfect cinematic atmosphere for your family in the comfort of your car (and pyjamas!). There’s no dress code and you don’t have to sit quietly or turn off your gadgets. Younger visitors can play or nap, and older passengers can enjoy that nostalgic charm and stay out after midnight, no babysitter required.

Don’t forget the snacks!

It’s not a true cinema experience unless there are snacks. Drive-in cinemas let you take in food and drinks, although they often prefer that you use the on-site diner for meals or hot food. For a fuss-free evening, choose snacks that are ready to eat and have minimal cleanup. For example, take a picnic of fruit, crackers, and chips, or cinema staples like popcorn or chocolate, washed down with water or juice. Plan ahead and even grab a small cooler for your drinks. For the colder months, keep a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate on stand by.

Top 10 items to take to the drive-in cinema

Tuning into a double feature plus ads in the one car can be a big ask for younger passengers, especially since you’ll probably need to arrive early to snag a good spot. To keep the entire car happy, here are some practical essentials to have on hand for a seamless drive-in experience and to entertain younger minds so you can sit back and relax.

  1. Portable radio. You can tune into the film audio using your FM car stereo radio. To boost back seat or outside listening, or if using your car’s radio might drain the car battery, a portable radio or boom box is great to have on hand. Don’t forget the batteries!
  2. Bluetooth speakers. You can also use Bluetooth speakers to stream the radio from your phone, although some drive-in cinemas advise that there might be a delay in the sound.
  3. Flashlight. It’s going to get dark, so a flashlight is useful to find the bathroom from your car or vice versa. For reading time, you’ll also need a light that doesn’t disrupt other passengers or nearby vehicles.
  4. Glow sticks. For a little extra magic, glow sticks are a fun option for kids.
  5. Games. To pass the time before the film, games like travel-edition board games or a ball or Frisbee for some pre-film leg stretching are all fun options that still involve family time.
  6. Books. Kids or teens may want to use the time rugged up in the backseat with a flashlight and their favourite book.
  7. Toys. Younger kids sometimes struggle to sit through an entire feature film, so packing a couple of their most loved toys can keep them occupied so you can still enjoy the movie.
  8. Music. A phone or music player and headphones are handy for a quick intermission.
  9. Pillows and blankets. Easily turn your back seat into a bed for passengers who are out after their bedtime. If you have an SUV or ute, convert your boot or tray into a cosy, open-air lounge.
  10. Deck chairs. If you feel like stretching your legs on a balmy evening, you can opt to sit in front of your car.

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