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 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.
Published Nov. 20, 2015
I'll go pretty far to see one of my favorite bands live, so a Thursday night jaunt to Chicago to see the Dandy Warhols is a no-brainer for me.
Published Nov. 12, 2015
The Brewhouse Inn was a great staycation, not just because of the retro elegance of this boutique hotel, but because what it represented: my father-in-law spent many years working for Pabst, below the hotel in the "powerhouse."
Published Nov. 4, 2015
The Milwaukee County Parks said that this Sunday, it's giving out free tap beer and root beer at the South Shore Terrace Miller 1855 Bar. That means free refills if you bring your own glasses, or you can buy a souvenir pint glass for $2, or a stein for $7.
Published Oct. 26, 2015
If you've lived anywhere in Milwaukee during the last 30 years, you know the voice of Carole Caine. Simply, Caine is a broadcasting legend here in town, serving as one half of the popular Dave & Carole morning show on 96.5 WKLH since the mid '80s. But that abruptly changed when the station didn't renew Caine's contract this summer, and just like that, she was off the air ... gone, but hardly forgotten. An now she's back.
Published Oct. 15, 2015
Every now and then, I like to get out of our Downtown office and stroll around to clear my head. I've always been vaguely aware of Gertie the Duck and her statue, but I never really stopped to look.
Published Oct. 9, 2015
According to busbud.com, a travel company, Rock Island State Park in Door County is the most Instagrammed place in Wisconsin. I call B.S.
Published Oct. 6, 2015
When Jason and Randy Sklar perform their standup show Friday night at Turner Hall they're the first to admit that Milwaukee is a basically a Bizarro version of their hometown, St. Louis - and not just when it comes to sports fans. The first Adler's Fall Comedy Classic is right in the wheelhouse for the 43-year-old twin brothers, who span every genre of comedy but especially shine when it comes to smart and observational commentary rooted in "insider baseball" sports.
Published Sept. 27, 2015
Maker Faire rolled into Milwaukee this weekend with a stop at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Running along Harvest Fair, kids of all ages were treated to all sorts of science projects, maker projects and DIY culture. Some 175 vendors participated, and organizers said more than 45,000 attendees visited the show.
Published Sept. 26, 2015
This time around, the "S" seems to stand for "subtle." That's not the way Apple is positioning it, of course, but as a user who has owned every iPhone but the first, the 6s model appears to be such an incremental upgrade, most customers may never realize the difference. This review assumes that you have some familiarity with iPhones, and cuts to the chase with real-life examples instead of benchmarks