I've found that one of the coolest parts about having a child is that you can relive your own childhood memories through their eyes.
Earlier this summer, for example, I took my daughter strawberry picking for the first time. Saturday night, we went to her first drive-in movie.
I loved the drive-in as a kid, and back then, there were several to choose from. We usually went to the Starlite in Menomonee Falls, but sometimes went to the 57 Outdoor Theater in Grafton. Even, in my early 20s, I still packed a bunch of friends into a car and visited the now-demolished 41-Twin on South 27th Street.
Now, there are only two drive-in theaters within about an hour of Milwaukee, and until Saturday, I had only been to one of them. In the last decade, I visited the Highway 18 Drive-In in Jefferson several times, but not at all since my daughter was born.
Saturday, we gave the Keno Drive-in in Pleasant Prairie a try.
My impression: it's quite a bit more run-down than Jefferson. Pretty dumpy, even. But for an almost 4-year-old, this is not what she noticed. She told me she expected the screen to be black, not white, and she was surprised that SUVs and minivans parked backwards and people sat in their trunks. It's always fun to see how a child imagines an experience that's totally new.
Also different than Jefferson is that you aren't prohibited from bringing food and drink to the Keno. The dilapidated snack bar wasn't even that busy as patrons stuffed their faces with fast food and washed it down with bottles of beer. At the Highway 18, they make it very clear that no outside food is allowed. Prices are about the same, though: in Kenosha, it's $8 for adults, kids 5-11 are $4, and littler kids are free. In Jefferson, kids are $5.
The first-run movies at the two drive-ins are the same or similar. Both were showing "Brave" on Saturday for the first of the two features. We know our daughter would never make it all the way through the first movie, and with "Brave" finally starting at 9, frankly, we didn't expect her to see much of it at all.
But the excitement, bolstered by a little "special occasion" candy kept her awake until 10 p.m., when she declared it was time to go home. She fell asleep about 200 yards out of the theater. I certainly remember falling asleep at the drive-in and waking up in my own bed, too.
Next time, we'll drive the extra 10 minutes to Jefferson, which as I recall, is a nicer overall experience, and without the bright neighborhood lights behind the screen.
It's such a fun summer adventure, and I'm just happy the opportunity still exists to make the drive-in part of my daughter's memories, too.
Go, while you still can.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Feb. 3, 2016
I didn't even see the first "Making a Murderer" piece our columnist Jessica McBride submitted to us over the holidays last month. I only took notice when our site traffic jumped through the roof the Monday after New Year' Eve. It was time to publish our first OnMilwaukee book. "Rush To Judgment" came together in what I assume is a record time.
Published Jan. 26, 2016
Just kidding. Do read this. But we're not kidding about Unplugged Week. Sometimes you need to turn off that the phone, computer, tablet or TV for a little while. It's OK, and it's healthy.
Published Jan. 18, 2016
Back in October, in the middle of the night, I bought a Jawbone UP2 activity tracker for about $80. That fitness tracker purchase turned out to be a really wise Ambient buy: among other things I learned, it led me down the path to learning I suffer from moderate sleep apnea.
Published Jan. 11, 2016
OnMilwaukee columnist/reporter Jessica McBride will appear on Headline News' "Nancy Grace" show Wednesday night at 7 p.m., and ABC's "Nightline" as early as Tuesday at 11:35 p.m., to discuss recent developments in the "Making a Murderer" case.
Published Jan. 5, 2016
Peter Linton-Smith was a general assignment reporter for FOX-6 Milwaukee from 1999-2007, and with a heavy emphasis on state courts, he covered the Steven Avery murder trial extensively.
Published Dec. 31, 2015
I had to wait until the final day of 2015 to write this recap, because I had a feeling that the movie I saw yesterday ("Star Wars") would be on this list. Sure enough, it was. So here goes another highly subjective look back into the year that was.
Published Dec. 22, 2015
I went to Vegas with a plan, and that plan was to have no plan. I came here to get away from work, not to do more of it, like I usually do on "vacation." But that wasn't in the cards, for three reasons.
Published Dec. 17, 2015
Not everything sucked when we were kids. I know this because my daughter plays with a bunch of the toys my parents saved from my childhood. As the new "Star Wars" opens this weekend, I'm reminded that we grew up in the golden age of action figures. Before video games and technology turned them into something else.
Published Dec. 8, 2015
If the RNC finds itself in a position supporting the certifiably insane Donald Trump, it may spell the end of the Grand Old Party as we know it. The decisions it makes over the next six months will have ramifications to the conservative cause for years to come.
Published Nov. 25, 2015
Any time we see "Ryan Braun" trending on Twitter, we need to take a second look. Today, it's because he's in Milwaukee to take donations for the Hunger Task Force, but there are some new unsubstantiated trade rumors swirling around social media, too.