A Guide to Drive-In Experiences This Summer

As pandemic restrictions ease, entertainment is expanding to include some safe outdoor activities. Buckle up for some fresh fun.

Live-streamed and virtual events consumed entertainment for the past few months as residents hunkered down. Now, as some pandemic restrictions ease, entertainment offerings are expanding, allowing those eager for safe, outdoor activities to migrate from the couch to the car. Buckle up for a summer of drive-in experiences.

Note: Social distancing and other precautions will still be in place, and capacities will be limited.

drive-in

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

MOVIES

Lighthouse International Film Festival

Watch new films on the big screen, under the stars, from your car at many locations around Long Beach Island, June 16–20. This year’s revamped drive-in festival will not include parties, panels or networking events as in the past. In addition to drive-in screenings, streaming options and virtual Q&As with filmmakers are also in the works. Ticket information has not yet been released.

Delsea Drive-In Theatre

Nestled in the woods off busy Route 47 in Vineland, the Delsea is a relic of time. In its 1950s heyday, the Delsea was a hot spot for families, couples and love-struck teenagers. Now, people can still watch a movie from the comfort of their cars.

Demarest Farms

From June 8 to August 9, the Hillsdale farm, known for its fall activities, will offer drive-in movies for family audiences. The concession stand will open one hour prior to the movie start time.

Boxcar Drive-In Movies

Boxcar, an app described as “the Airbnb of parking,” has transitioned to offering pop-up drive-in movies in unused parking lots in these towns: Bernardsville, Boonton Township, Chatham, Franklin Lakes, Madison, Montville, and Randolph. Moviegoers will reserve their space through the app (one ticket per car). Local restaurants will provide car-side delivery of dinner specials and snacks, which can also be purchased through the app.

drive-in

Courtesy of MPAC

CONCERTS

MPAC’s Drive-In Concert at Fosterfields Farm

Live music returns to Morristown with a new twist. In partnership with the Morris County Park Commission, Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) will present a drive-in concert featuring Morristown’s John Ginty, organist for the Allman Betts Band. Patrons are in for a night of blues and rock music at Fosterfields Farm in Morris Township on Thursday, June 25 at 6:30 pm (rain date, June 26). Tickets are $100 per car and go on sale Wednesday, June 3, at noon. All proceeds will benefit MPAC’s recovery. Tickets must be purchased in advance through the MPAC website or by calling 973-539-8008.

The Basie Presents: Drive-In Live at Monmouth Park

On July 11, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes will perform on stage at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport (gates open at 4 pm; show starts at 6 pm). Instead of a sea of faces, the Jersey Shore band will sing to an audience of automobiles. It’s a benefit for the Count Basie Center for the Arts, but a portion of proceeds will also go to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. On sale Friday, June 5, at 10 am, tickets cost $150–$225 per vehicle and are only available through Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000. Only mobile tickets administered through the Ticketmaster app will be valid. Want more? On July 12, clean comedian Jim Gaffigan will take the mic (gates open at 5 pm; show starts at 7 pm). On sale Friday, June 5, at 10 am, tickets cost $165–$225 per vehicle

drive-in experiences

Courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

ZOOS

Six Flags Great Adventure’s Wild Safari

Take a self-guided, drive-thru journey through 350 acres in Jackson and encounter 1,200 exotic animals from six continents. Advance tickets and reservations are required. All vehicles will be inspected prior to entering the safari.

Space Farms Zoo & Museum

The 100-acre zoo and museum complex in Sussex is temporarily offering a drive-through experience. Daily, from 9 am–5 pm, animal lovers can view more than 500 wild animals in the park from their vehicles. Tickets, which cost $25 per car, must be booked online; they allow vehicles to drive through the one-mile course twice. Restrooms will not be open.

Brookhollow’s Barnyard

Cows, horses, goats and more farm animals that live on this Boonton plot can’t wait to see you. Tickets are released every morning at 10 am for the following day. Admission for the hour-long experience costs $10 per car on weekdays and $15 per car on weekends.

Two-Faced by Ling “Tiffany” Huang

ART

Herb + Milly Iris Gallery

Annually, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) presents its “INSPIRED MINDS” young artist exhibit. While the pieces are viewable online, prints will also be displayed in SOPAC’s windows through August 17. The public can admire the art from their cars.

MORE

Drive-Up Fireworks Show at Skylands Stadium

The Sussex County Miners can’t play ball right now, but fans can still enjoy fireworks. On Saturday, June 6, cars will fill Skylands Stadium, beginning at 7 pm, for the pyrotechnic show at 8:55 pm. Printed tickets, which cost $20 per carload, must be presented at the gate.

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