How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home

We love to take our boys to old fashioned diners, classic car shows, and introduce them to oldie but goodie toys like Lincoln Logs.  In our opinion, sometimes nothing can beat the good old days.  So we brainstormed a way to bond as a family through one of our favorite childhood experiences–going to a drive in movie. Since drive in movie theaters are few and far between in Chicagoland and our favorites from childhood have shuttered long ago, here are tips on How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home:

How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home - Finished Car

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Materials How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home
How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home - Tires
Instructions for How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home

Start off by cutting out shapes from construction paper/paper plates. You should create two small yellow headlights for the front of each car, as well as four black circles for the wheels with a white paper hubcap for each.

Once cut out, use masking tape to attach them to the Tupperware/cardboard “car.” Add a large paper plate on the interior of the car for pretend steering, as well as a back or front license plate from the piece of 8 x 10 construction paper if desired.

Lastly, create a quick and easy Drive-In Movie snack platter before the show starts. Get individual popcorn containers like these, or simply make your own by twisting a piece of paper into cones. Let movie-goers choose from popcorn and sour snacks like gummie worms or decadent delights like chocolate covered raisins to add to their popcorn.

How to Create a Drive In Movie at Home - Snacks

Classic Movies for your Drive In Movie at Home

Now that you have your cars ready for the drive in theatre, it is time to pick out a great classic movie.  I know that there are a ton of great family friendly movies such as Frozen and , but I want my boys to know about some of the great movies of my childhood (don’t forget these great sports-themed movies, either!)

Animated Flicks

The Jungle Book



101 Dalmatians

Sleeping Beauty

Peter Pan

Beauty & The Beast


The Lion King



Traditional Movies

The Muppet Movie

The Flintstones


Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

The Parent Trap

Cheaper by the Dozen

Now pop some popcorn and starting making some amazing family memories!

Looking for other home based activities?  Check these out!

Enjoy the movies!
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  1. Kirsten says

    What a cute idea! Makes me wish my kids were smaller so they could actually fit in those bins. Love your movie recommendations too, “The Jungle Book” is one of my all time favorites!

  2. Ann-Marie says

    When I scroll through photos of my 3 kids as toddlers I found so many when they were in baskets and bins! What a fun idea to imagine the bins as cars, for a drive-in movie.

  3. Nikki says

    Great idea. I live in the Fort Wayne area and we have a drive in within 20 miles of our home, but we have never been. It was much more fun when I was younger, cars were roomy and the front seats were benches. Ha! I sound like my mother! Good for you creating great memories.

    • amandasimkin says

      Oh the good old days….bench seats and none of those annoying seat belts to get in the way! 😉

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