Thomas, Drive-Ins and Monsters University

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mendon-twin-drive-inThis has been quite the weekend for our family – we won tickets to A Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine at Edaville Railroad from 365 Things to Do in South Shore MA, so we went there Friday; then on a whim, we decided to go to the Mendon Twin Drive-In in Mendon, MA last night.

A Day Out with Thomas is something every kid who loves Thomas the Tank Engine should experience once. Not only do they get to enjoy the fun of riding a real train (pulled by Thomas himself!), but they can meet Sir Topham Hatt, listen to story-tellers and musicians, ride all the rides, and just have a fun day at a small, family-friendly park. Edaville USA was dangerously close to closing in the last few years, but thankfully this local treasure was purchased, and from what we saw on Friday, they’ll be doing a lot to grow the park that began as one man’s dream.

monsters-universityFor those of you who have never been to a drive-in, you really, REALLY have to give it a shot. Especially in early summer when it’s not too hot or buggy out at night! It was AWESOME. Even with a super-busy 2-year-old in tow!

The our boys both had a blast before the movie started, and Monsters University was hilarious! They both cheered when something good happened and were paying close attention throughout the movie. One of my favorite things about this movie is that you get to see how all the relationships between the various characters started long before they were working at Monsters, Inc.

There are a ton of benefits to seeing a movie at a drive-in as opposed to a movie theater, and even though it might require as much as 2 hours of driving to reach one, it is well worth it.

  • You aren’t forced into buying food from the theater. It’s not like at an indoor theater, where you can get thrown out for bringing your own food – you can pack a full cooler and bring it on in!
  • You don’t need to worry about your kids being crazy or loud. Nowadays, drive-ins broadcast the sound for the movies over an FM radio station, so not only can you hear the movie pretty much everywhere in the drive-in, but your kids won’t piss anyone off by running around or being a little chatty or loud.
  • If you plan ahead, your kids will be entertained by the experience of the drive-in just as much as by the movie you went to see.
  • It’s far cheaper than going to a movie theater. Many drive-ins charge $20-$25 per carload of people instead of over $10 a head, so with a minivan, you could literally bring 8 people to the movies for $25!
  • Unlike a typical movie theater, the snack bars usually offer way more than soda, popcorn, chips, and candy. The drive-in we went to even had clam chowder, fried dough, ice cream, and a full selection of burgers, Mexican food, and side dishes! The best part? It was ALL made to order! No more hotdogs or hamburgers being overcooked by a heat lamp.
  • Even better than $25 per carload to see a movie? TWO movies for $25! Many drive-ins play a double-feature – we saw Monsters University, and then went home, but if we’d had the energy, we could have stayed and seen Iron Man 3 too!
  • Unlike going to a movie theater, going to a drive-in really is a night out – there’s no need to plan on going someplace out for dinner or anything like that.
  • Drive-ins seem to bring out the best in people. I don’t know what it is about a drive-in theater, but for the most part, it brings out the friendly, chatty side of everyone who attends!
  • Drive-ins usually offer a fun, quaint 50’s nostalgia.
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