Family Fun Night: drive-in movies!

This fall I’m revamping my evening programs and trying out a different time in the hopes of being able to reach a bigger audience. One of these programs is Family Fun Night, a monthly program with a different theme/activity each month for families and kids of all ages. First up, drive in movies! Each kid made their own cardboard box car (some with help from parents), and then we had popcorn while watching a few Disney short films on the big screen.


I don’t remember where I first saw this idea, but I’m sure it was from someone amazing on the internet. Since I had no clue what the attendance would be, I wanted something easy and scalable to any size group. Plus, what’s better than offering free popcorn to get kids to a program!?

I asked everyone at my library to save boxes for a few weeks, and the YS workroom was overflowing. For the program, I put all the boxes in the middle of the room, added a table with markers, paint daubers, tabe (duct tape was the most popular, with packing tape coming in second once the duct tape was gone), scissors, stickers, and paper plates for wheels/headlights, etc. I also had a couple box cutters that I handed out to the grown-ups.

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As families arrived, I explained what we were doing and let them get started building the cars while I made popcorn and helped out as needed. After about 30 minutes, the younger kids were starting to wind down, so I passed out refreshments and gave the 5 minute warning. Then, we dimmed the front lights and watched Feast, Paperman, and (of course) Frozen Fever from the new Disney Short Films collection. Some of the older kids kept building as we watched, and they all took their cars home afterward, which made my clean up a lot easier.


The kids really picked up on what we were doing! Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • This is really like going to the movies because there are treats!
  • Its just like a drive-in (There is a drive-in in town, so I guess its not too weird that kids know what that is?)
  • (asking for more apple juice) I really like to drink and drive

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