5 Things you probably don’t think to bring to the drive-in

Taking the kids to the drive-in? Here are 5 things you probably don’t think to bring to the drive-in (but wish you had)! 

Taking your kids to the drive-in is a parenting right-of-passage. Every kid has “drive-in movie” on their summer activity bucket list- and for good reason! Watching a movie on a huge screen from the car is exciting for kids but it can be stressful for mom and dad having kiddos outside in the dark. I pulled together a sort-of “drive-in necessity checklist” so you remember everything you need to enjoy the movie stress-free! (FREE PRINTABLE LIST below!)

5 Things you forget to bring to the drive-in

things to take to the drive-in

We just saw Finding Dory and boy, did I learn a LOT taking two toddlers to the drive-in!

Ah, the drive-in. A great American tradition. According to Wikipedia, drive-ins date all the way back to 1915 but were patented in 1933 and peaked in popularity in the 1950’s-60’s. While the technology has come a long way in 100 years, the concept remains untouched: watching a movie from the “privacy” and “comfort” of you car. I’m not sure how much privacy or comfort you actually get a drive-in, but I do have a couple of tips to make your movie night as enjoyable as possible!

This post contains affiliate links. 

5 Things you probably don’t think to bring to the drive-in

Glow toys– The last thing you want to happen at the drive-in is having to search for your child in the dark. Wearing a glowing necklace or bracelet helps you keep track of your children in the drive-in darkness. Bringing some kind of light-up or glow toys not only keeps them busy before the movie but also helps you keep tabs on their location. There is no substitute for close supervision (especially at night) but this is a visual way to do a quick check so Mom can enjoy the movie without constantly yelling for her kids in a panic.  These BSeen LED bracelets are designed for exactly that! Check out the details here: LINK

If you are super paranoid (like me!) you can even use a small tracking/panic device. Dark, crowds, kids- call me crazy but better safe than sorry. There’s a huge variety of options on Amazon: LINK.

Bug Spray– Nothing can ruin movie night like being eaten alive by mosquitos. You will be in the dark with areas of bright light (which attracts bugs) and probably near woods. There will be mosquitos. Grab your favorite kid safe bug spray/insect repellant to throw in the car (this is the one I am using because it has all natural ingredients)!  Remember- no open flames at the drive-in so you will have to forego the Citronella candle. I am one of those people who attract mosquitos (lucky me!) so I have tried LOTS of different products. My favorite spray alternative is the OFF Clip On. It is a small fan-like device that runs on batteries and clips to your clothing. NOTHING TO SPRAY ON!!! It provides head-to-toe protection for up to 12 hours, is whisper quiet, and you can purchase refills to use it over and over. It is my lifesaver and should help keep you from bite-free at the drive-in.

Flashlight– Making your way to the restrooms in the dark is like running the gauntlet. You have to dodge trees, people, speaker poles, small children, blankets on the ground, possibly small animals… You just don’t know because you can’t see in the dark. Unless you have night vision, you will want to have a flashlight to make the inevitable trip to the potty. It doesn’t have to be a Maglite either. Something dull but that gives enough light to see the ground will be perfect for safety (both walking safety and not annoying your neighbors).

Potty supplies– While we are on the subject of making your way to the restrooms, you may want to bring wipes and disposable potty covers with you if you have smaller children. Every drive-in restroom I have seen is overcrowded and… less than clean. Grab your hand-sanitizer too because they are always out of paper towels 😉

Battery powered candle– This worked great in the back of our SUV. Everyone was able to find their drinks/snacks/shoes with the light of just a battery powered candle. This simple trick avoids having to constantly turn on your interior lights and annoy the movie-watchers around you. A dome light in the middle of a dark parking lot of people trying to watch a movie… can become an issue. Trust me.

Garbage Bag– Wow do I wish I wold have thought to bring a trash bag with us! Seems like a silly thing but when your car is full of wrappers and empty bottles… in the dark… at 1:00 am, a trash bag is a nice convenience. It can also come in handy to throw on the ground in case of damp soil or spills. You could even toss your used blankets inside before putting them back in your car.

Grab the printable checklist below so you remember to bring your blankets, chair, flashlight… etc!

Remember to PIN IT so you can refer back when you are packing your things to bring to the drive-in”

things to bring to the drive-in

Okay- now you have everything you need for a movie night at the drive-in. See, you just might be able to see a movie with your children and enjoy it! Well, at least you will be prepared 😉

Get the printable checklist!

What do you always try to remember to bring to the drive-in?

things to bring to the drive-inOkay- now you have everything you need for a movie night at the drive-in. See, you just might be able to see a movie with you children and enjoy it! Well, at least you will be prepared 😉



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