Red Tricycle Recommends: A Drive-in Night at Auburn's Valley 6!


We're excited to announce a new partnership with Red Tricycle, a family-friendly blog by moms who focus on the "lighter side" of parenting. Each week, we'll pick one of our favorite Red Tri pieces to share with readers. First on the docket, a how-to guide to a night at the drive-in. 

When was the last time you went to a drive-in movie? If you’re over the age of 20, you probably have a lot of fond childhood or teenage memories surrounding the drive-in! Nowadays, drive-in theaters are few and far between across America, but we’ve hunted some down in our favorite Red Tricycle cities. Add a trip to the drive-in to your summer to-do list and use these tips to make it a fun experience for the entire family!

Since the movies don’t even begin until dusk and little ones are typically ready for bed at that time, a trip to the drive-in theater is going to take a little bit of preparation. Do your best to push naps back later into the afternoon so that they will be more likely to have energy into the night. If you aren’t willing to mess up that nap schedule that took you two-years to establish, just make sure that you keep the day low-key beforehand.

Here are some things you’ll need to make the evening comfortable and fun:

- Blankets, to layer for comfort underneath you and to cozy up with

- A pillow for each person to be extra comfy

- Pajamas for anyone who might fall asleep so that you can transfer them easily into bed at home

- Cash for the snack bar

- Sippy cups with drinks to avoid spills in the back of your car

- Garbage bag for snack trash and easy cleanup

- Coloring books or something to do while you wait for the movie to start

- Warm hats for little heads, socks for little feet, and an extra layer for the entire family

- Any other nighttime necessities that might come in handy including pacifiers, blankies, bottles and diapers

Most drive-ins have a snack bar, but one of the great things about going to the drive-in instead of a traditional theater is that you can bring your own snacks! Pop some popcorn at home and put it in individual brown paper bags or make a batch of yummy homemade cookies to snack on during the show. If you do choose the snack bar route, talk to your kids first about what they’ll be able to get.

The kids are going to think this entire experience is hilarious – you mean we’re going to watch a movie outside? From the car? At NIGHT? Talk to them before you go about how a drive-in works and where everyone will sit to watch the movie. Mom and dad – be prepared that you might have to pack it up and go if you have little ones who can’t settle down to watch or want to go home for bedtime. Keep your expectations low and remember that drive-ins are great for kids because they can talk without being shushed and if they need to get up and stretch their legs, it’s okay!

The nearest drive-in theater is the Valley 6 in Auburn (401 49th Street Northeast). They make delicious made-to-order pizzas at the snack bar and kids under age five are free!

Post by Red Tricycle contributor Katie Kavulla.

Red Tricycle offers ideas for cool things to eat, see, make and do with your kids in your neighoborhood. Sign up ( for your five fresh weekly picks for Seattle and Eastside Families.