A Drive-In Family Experience

A Book and a Movie

A Book (Fearless by Mike Dellosso) and a Movie … Sweet!

On Sunday night (or make that Sunday night and well into Monday morning) our family crossed one item off our Summer Bucket List. Now only 10 items to go, not counting the many things we have to do while visiting the North Shore, but I digress.

Going to the Vali-Hi Drive In in Lake Elmo, Minnesota is truly a family experience you don’t want to miss. We arrived at 7 pm Sunday night and were already far back in line for a 7:30 gate opening. Still, we ended up parking in the very middle of the second row, a prime location. (If you wish to grab a premium spot, plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before the gate opens.)

All around us families were pulling out charcoal grills and setting tables. We brought a massive bucket of popcorn, plus pop, water, and some chocolate. In the grassy area between the cars and the screen, young families tossed around balls. Dogs were even welcome! It doesn’t get more *family* than that!

Before the movies began, we passed the time reading books. (Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?) We also enjoyed the weather–some of it anyway. The sky couldn’t decide if it wanted to rain or not. But a few drops didn’t hurt us.


Displaying reading material while being invaded by minions.

The first movie, Despicable Me 2 (so fun!) began at dusk (9:30ish). Star Trek Into Darkness (The family enjoyed it, but I thought it lacked originality.) started at about midnight. And the final movie World War Z (LOVED it! Talk about intense!)–and, yes, there were three movies–began around two or thereabouts.

We arrived home at close to 5 am, so we didn’t get much sleep. Would we do it again? Absolutely!

Have you ever been to a drive in movie? Do you have a fun experience to share?

Comments 4

  1. They’ve torn down most – if not all – the drive-in movies in our area. Loved them. So fun to sit back in your car and listen to the scratchy speaker hanging on the window. Americana. So sad they’re becoming a thing of the past in a lot of places. Good for you guys. What fun!

    1. Now we don’t have to listen to the scratchy speaker–as the sound comes through the radio.

      This theater is the only one left in the Twin Cities metro area. Another closed after last season–it was sad to see it go. 🙁 There are a handful of other drive-ins throughout the state–one has five screens!–but they’re all a considerable drive for us.

      I’m so very glad that we’re able to give our kids this experience. And best of all, I love that our teens and twenty-something still enjoy doing things with their parents. 🙂

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