This summer has definitely presented its challenges for parents to find family fun. It feels like everything is closed, or shuts down early because of social distance guidelines. And while we totally understand the need to follow these rules, even I, This Connecticut Mom, have been struggling this summer to keep busy. And while many of our favorite activities are not available right now; many businesses are adapting to the changing times and are offering some of the most creative activities for families like us.
One of my favorite things that has come out from this quarantine? The Drive-In.
As an almost 40 year old (cue sobbing for just calling myself, almost 40 years old, but that’s besides the point), I have never been to the drive in. They were popular when my mom was a child/teenager, and even had a short-lived life in the 70’s and 80’s, by the time I could enjoy them, they were a thing of the past. The only exposure I had to the drive in was this scene from Grease. And I totally just dated myself- I really am almost 40.
Drive-in’s have made a comeback. And you can find a new drive-in this summer at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
We headed down to Foxwoods last weekend with an invitation to experience their new drive-in. It had been a while since I had driven down to the casino (I don’t think I’ve been to Foxwoods since way before this kiddo was born). Waze was my friend in finding my way there. The drive-in at Foxwoods is actually not at the casino, but instead about a mile outside of it. You’ll want to actually put 625 Trolley Line Boulevard into your GPS for the exact location.
They have lots of signs as you drive along Route 2 for Foxwoods – so we knew we were in the right direction.
I was a little worried we would have trouble finding the drive-in, but they also have marked the entrance for this really well. And as you can see, Foxwoods Resort Casino is in the distance.
There are cones and signs to direct you to the check-in area.
Tickets for the drive-in at Foxwoods can be purchased online in advance, or at the gate (if available). Online tickets are strongly encouraged if you want to guarantee your spot! Online sales stop at 6 p.m. on the day of the show. If there are any tickets available, they will be sold at the gate starting at 7:15 a.m.
Tickets are $25 per car (whether you have 2 passengers, or 6) with an additional $15 environmental fee.
If you purchase your tickets online, you also have the option to buy your concessions so they are ready at check-in. They have concession packages ranging from $24-$42 that include waters, popcorn and candy. You are also permitted to bring in your own snacks/food. However, no grills or food preparation is allowed on the property. And no alcoholic beverages are allowed.
You can arrive as early as 7 p.m. for your show. As you check in, you’ll be asked for your confirmation of purchase, an ID and credit card. Transactions are paperless, and you can show your confirmation by email. I am old-school and I like to print out my emails.
The drive-in at Foxwoods also requires that, at check-in, you please wear your mask. All employees are wearing their face masks, so please make sure you have yours on too! You only have to wear your mask at check-in and when you use the restrooms; otherwise, the mask is not required once you are in your parking spot.
At check-in, they will give you a quick non-invasive questionnaire regarding COVID19 (don’t go if you are sick). You’ll also receive your concessions, if your ordered any, and a plastic trash bag that they provide for you to dispose of your trash and to take with you when you leave.
As you can see, the drive-in at Foxwoods is a pretty good size. They have space for just around 100 cars. Each car has its own parking spot, and the parking spot to the left of it (next to the driver’s side). There is more than enough social distancing space between every car.
You can stay in your car to watch the movie if you want, or you can bring chairs and set up in the space next to your car. You can also pop open the hatchback or lift backs, but they may not be raised higher than the roof (so you don’t block other guests views). You also cannot sit on your car.
You can see a layout of the drive-in with this map from the Foxwoods website.
You will be directed upon check-in to a spot. The rows are marked with a number, and there are staff flagging down cars on where to park.
All parking spots are without reserve- first come, first serve. You cannot save spaces for other guests and you can not take up more than one space per vehicle.
If you are in a larger vehicle, they will try to give you the best space possible while also taking other smaller vehicles into consideration.
We had a great view from the front of Row 3!
The screen is huge. No matter where you sit, you’ll have a great view. The sound is also phenomenal. They have sound coming from speakers that you can hear easily. It’s loud (without hurting your ears) and clear. If you opt to stay in the car, you can also listen to it on their designated radio station.
Before the show, they did a fun t-shirt giveaway!
He was excited to catch a Foxwoods shirt!
Since we arrived a little more than hour early, we were excited when it was almost showtime! Shows run from Thursday through Sunday at 8:45 p.m. The movies are prompt and there are no trailers. So you’ll want to make sure you arrive early.
We used some of early arrival time to scope things out. There are bathrooms (port-a-potties) on site. They also have a hand-washing and hand sanitizing station. You are asked to wear your mask to the restrooms, and to maintain a 6 ft. distance from all other guests when waiting to use the restrooms.
He was excited- it was almost time for our movie!
As I mentioned, we got concessions. Foxwoods was kind enough to provide all the delicious snacks we could possible need for Toy Story 4. Four boxes of popcorn, four bottles of water and some of our favorite candies. We also packed a few snacks for our son (including cookies and juice boxes) but he was pretty happy with this selection!
Save some for us!
Movie time! Like I mentioned we had a great view. It was just dark enough to really see the movie when it started. And it only got better as the night sky darkened.
Now, word to the wise, since it is an outdoor summer night, be forewarned that there are bugs flying around. We packed our bug spray because I am a mosquito feast. They attack me like crazy. We made sure we all sprayed a lot.
We brought camp chairs to sit in, and my child went from one chair to the next and then into the car… He is so fidgety!
I stayed in my comfy spot, using the cooler we packed as a foot rest. Make sure you pack some blankets too. Even though it was hot during the day, the nights can get chilly. I would also recommend a sweatshirt. I was, at one point, wearing all the blankets we packed.
What a cool experience the drive-in at Foxwoods was! It was my first time at the drive-in and for my son as well. Dad had been as a kid before but he had a great time too! It was nice to get out of the house and do something fun for a change. We’ve been pretty cooped up and going a little stir crazy. The Drive-in at Foxwoods was a fun, family friendly event that made us feel safe with the socially distancing. It was a perfect way to spend a summer night in Connecticut!
There are a few more weeks of shows on the schedule including Disney weekend which starts this Thursday, July 23. They will be showing Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin and Dumbo. In August, they will be showing Harry Potter over the course of four days. Both will be great choices for the family!
If you are looking for something fun but safe to do this summer, grab your tickets now for a Night at the Drive-in with Foxwoods!
This about sums it up…
625 Trolley Line Boulevard- Mashantucket, Connecticut
Showtimes are Thursday-Sunday at 8:45 p.m.
All cars are $25 plus a $15 environmental fee
- Family-friendly event
- Tickets sold online (and at gate, when available)
- Concessions for sale online only (no food sold on site)
- Food allowed on site (just no grills, food preparation or alcohol)
- Pack chairs to watch the movie. You can also stay in your car to watch the movie.
- Social distancing required – cars are spaced apart to allow 6 feet distance
- Masks required at check-in and when around other guests
- Port-a-potties and handwashing stations on site
- Smoking is allowed in your space
- Pack bug spray. Pack a sweatshirt and blankets!