The drive-in theater boom began in the state of Connecticut around ten years later than it did in the majority of the rest of the country. During the middle of the 1960’s, over forty drive-in movie theaters were still in operation in the state. Since that time, however, similar to just about every other state in America, over ninety percent of those outdoor movie theaters have closed. There are still three drive-in theaters though in existence in Connecticut, offering people of all ages, especially families, an opportunity for some outdoor movie fun. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Pleasant Valley Drive-in

Pleasant Valley Drive-in
© Pleasant Valley Drive-in

The Pleasant Valley Drive-in, situated in the town of Barkhamsted, opened in 1947 and still continues to offer outdoor fun for the whole family today. The drive-in movie theater can accommodate a maximum of 250 vehicles and features a nostalgic Americana atmosphere. The open season for the Pleasant Valley drive-in begins in the early spring and goes to the fall, including the beginning of October if the weather is warm. During this season, the outdoor theater screens current releases during the weekends. Thursdays are carload nights during the summer, and then on Fridays instead during the fall.

47 River Rd, Barkhamsted , CT 06063, Phone: 860-379-6102

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2.Mansfield Drive-in

Mansfield Drive-in
© Mansfield Drive-in

The Mansfield Drive-in is located in Mansfield Center, Connecticut and is the state’s only drive-in movie theater to boast three outdoor movie screens. The outdoor theater shows double features of first-run films, and always screens a movie fit for the whole family. The Mansfield also includes a full-service, clean concession stand. Movies are shown at the theater, which uses digital projection, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday, and also offers Carload Wednesdays during which customers can just one price for the entire car. A flea market is held on the grounds of the drive-in on Sundays from 8am until 2pm.

228 Stafford Rd, Mansfield Center, CT 06250, Phone: 860-423-4441

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3.Southington Drive-in Theater

Southington Drive-in Theater
© Southington Drive-in Theater

The Southington Drive-in is one of just three drive-in movie theaters in the state of Connecticut. It is also the only volunteer-operated and community-owned outdoor venue in the entire state. The Southington is a not-for-profit business, and all proceeds from the drive-in are given to the theater’s host non-profit and civic organizations. The outdoor movie theater shows films on Saturday nights, as well as a Halloween Festival every year on the Saturday before Halloween. The drive-in first opened back in 1955, operating as an actual for-profit business and showed movies up until it closed in 2002, later opened by residents in 2010.

995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington, CT 06489, Phone: 860-628-2205

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Best Drive-in Theaters in Connecticut

More Ideas in CT: Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa

The Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa is a charming New England resort in Washington, Connecticut perfect for a romantic weekend getaway or mother-daughter spa retreat. Four guest houses offer 30 luxury accommodations across 58 acres of country gardens and wooded lawns. Guests can personalize their stay with a choice of special in-room touches like pillows, bath products, room fragrances, and champagne. The Inn’s main building houses a seasonal heated outdoor pool and daily fitness center with men’s and women’s changing rooms and saunas. The Mayflower Dining Room serves daily breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring fresh local ingredients, while The Tap Room offers drinks, desserts, and appetizers in a casual lounge setting. No stay at the resort is complete without a trip to the 20,000 square-foot Grace Mayflower Spa for a massage, facial, mani-pedi or customized wellness experience.

Rooms & Suites

Guests can choose from 30 different accommodations at one of four guest houses at Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa: Allerton Cottage, Standish Cottage, Speedwell Cottage and Mayflower House.

Each room features a feather-top mattress, luxury bedding, plasma TV, complimentary WiFi, in-room bar and antique furnishings and decor.

Classic rooms at the Standish Cottage and Mayflower House include a bathroom with walk-in shower and deep soaking tub, as well as double vanity units, sitting area and writing desk in some of the larger rooms. The larger superior rooms can be found at the Mayflower House and Speedwell Cottage. Each deluxe room at the Mayflower House and Allerton Cottage features a king-sized bed, gas fireplace and balcony, with optional walk-in closets and double vanity units.

The junior suites at Standish Cottage, Speedwell Cottage, and the Mayflower House offer a spacious bedroom and sitting area, while the larger superior suites in Speedwell Cottage and Standish Cottage also include a gas fireplace and balcony.

The grand suites at Standish Cottage feature a separate bedroom, double vanity unit and gas fireplace in the spacious living room. Upgrading to one of the resort’s Grace Suites at Allerton Cottage, Speedwell Cottage and the Main Building adds a private balcony.


Visitors to The Grace Mayflower Spa can customize their own wellness programs to suit their personal needs or choose from a range of individual treatments and services.

Guests can also choose a shared experience to enjoy a trip to the Spa with a friend, partner or loved one, including side-by-side massages, mani-pedis, and private yoga sessions.

The resort’s executive chef created an exclusive Spa dining menu for guests to end their spa session with a delicious salad or wrap. The Grace Mayflower Spa also includes a shop with a selection of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, jewelry, bedding, decor, and candles.


Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch in The Mayflower Dining Room. The resort’s executive chef strives to use local ingredients as much as possible, including produce from the Inn’s private kitchen garden. Dinner entrees include pasta, fish, seafood and grilled ribeye with a selection of appetizers, soups, and salads.

The Tap Room is a more casual dining spot serving beer, wine, and cocktails with light entrees, appetizers, and dessert. Guests can enjoy a warm chocolate cake or dessert wine while listening to live piano performance or sip on a signature cocktail on the outdoor terrace as the sun sets over the resort.

Weddings & Conferences

Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa offers several venues for weddings, business meeting and special events. The Shakespeare Garden is ideal for an outdoor ceremony, while the parlor and grand lobby can host an indoor winter or rainy-day wedding. The Teahouse is the Inn’s largest meeting space, a standalone two-story building with a private office, restrooms, pantry, and outdoor porch. An on-site coordinator can help couples select the flowers, music, officiant and dining menu for their ceremony or reception. The resort also offers planning services to make business meetings at the Inn a success. The Inn can even accommodate team-building activities on-site in the Spa House, Fitness Club, or the Labyrinth.

Recreational Activities

Guests can participate in many seasonal outdoor activities through private lessons at The Grace Mayflower Spa, including tennis, kayaking, fly fishing, archery, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

The Inn offers a heated outdoor pool from May to October, as well as a heated indoor pool at the Spa House. The Grace Mayflower Fitness Club in the main building features and range of cardio and weight training equipment, with saunas located in the separate men’s and women’s changing rooms. The resort also offers a professional five-hole synthetic turf putting green.

Just a quick 2.5-mile drive from the resort, the Steep Rock Preserve offers nearly 1,000 acres of hiking, camping, and fishing among river banks and rolling hillsides.

118 Woodbury Road, Route 47, Washington, CT 06793, Phone: 800-550-8095

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More Ideas in CT: Quassy Amusement Park

The Quassy Amusement Park and water park in Middlebury, Connecticut have offered entertaining rides and games for the whole family since the 1950’s. Children’s rides include Kiddie Bumper Cars, the Frog Hopper, which takes riders 16 feet up in the air and then back down with a gentle drop, and the Boat Ride, part of the park’s original 1952 Allan Herschell Company Kiddieland.

Also a Herschell original, the 1952 Kiddieland Sky Fighter ride lifts children into the air in a circular motion in two-seater jet fighters.

Family rides allow adults to accompany their children on the rides. Among the Allan Herschell Company originals are the Little Dipper, a miniature roller coaster, and the Quassy helicopters, which take flight when the rider pulls back on the hand bar. A miniature locomotive, the Quassy Express Train, rolls through the park on a one half mile track. The train has been operating at the park since 1948. Additions from the 1970’s include the Tilt-A-Whirl and a Giant Slide. Recently added family rides include the carousel, The Big Flush Water Coaster raft ride, and Crazy Cups.

Thrill rides at the park include the park’s only roller coaster, the Wooden Warrior. Built in 2011, the coaster is the park’s marquee attraction, packing considerable airtime and steep drops into a relatively small footprint. Other thrill rides include the swinging Galleon Pirate Ship, the Yo-Yo Swing, and Reverse Time. One of the park’s newest attractions, Reverse Time, moves riders in all directions on a quickly moving platform illuminated with LED lights.

Additional attractions include the Laser Maze, in which guests are challenged against the clock to cross a room crisscrossed with laser beams of light without touching a single one. An arcade is located on site as are a variety of carnival games. Water Wars has opponents facing off against each other with giant water balloon slingshots. Two-seat or four-seat paddleboats may be rented adjacent to the restaurant, allowing guests to enjoy Lake Quassapaug.

At the park’s Splash Away Bay Water Park, guests enjoy a variety of attractions from the all ages Saturation Station, which periodically dumps a 300 gallon bucket of water on those standing below, to the FreeFALL Extreme Body Slides and Tunnel Twisters slides. Raft rides include the Bullet Bowl, and the Category 5 Rapids Raft Rides, which will open in the summer of 2018.

History: Although the park officially opened as an Amusement Park in the 1950’s, Quassy, or as it was originally called, Lake Quassapaug Amusement Park, has origins dating back to the late 1800’s. Early Lake Quassapaug recreational activities attracted food and hotel services which catered to the fishermen who came to enjoy the lake. By 1908 hotels and a train line were servicing what had become a summer resort area. In the 1930’s several area businessmen invested in a resort property that had a swimming pool, carousel and picnic area. They added a tea-room, hot dog stand and roller skating, and in 1952, they purchased Kiddieland, a complete ride package built by Allan Herschell Company of New York. Many of the original Kiddieland rides still operate at the park today. Since the 1970’s, the group has been adding rides and expanding the park’s attractions. They still carry on the clambake tradition that dates back as far as 1888, at the lake’s first small boarding house.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Quassy hosts school field trips for unique math and physics based educational programs. Wacky Science is a 25-minute interactive stage presentation. Laser 101 teaches about lasers and incorporates Quassy’s laser maze. Fun with Physics is a 1-3 hour program in which students explore the park accompanied by teachers and educational booklets that ask them to complete team activities. The Commotion about Motion introduces principles of gravity with the assistance of several of the park’s rides.

Outside of STEM areas, a history tour incorporates the Park’s miniature locomotive, a photography tour invites children to explore the park with a professional photographer and learn how to take interesting pictures, and the ABCs About News teaches journalism through story telling.

Groups may rent areas of the park for private gatherings, and receive discounts on rides and admission. The on-site Lakeside Caterers offer a variety of menu options for group meals. Annual events include Gospel Day, with music, food and fellowship. The Sunday Summer Bash is designed for groups of less than 150 to enjoy an all-inclusive day of attractions, swimming and meals.

2132 Middlebury Road Middlebury, CT 06762, Phone: 203-758-2913

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More Ideas in CT: Great Cedar Hotel at Foxwoods Resort Casino

The Great Cedar Hotel puts guests steps away from some of the most popular gaming, dining, and entertainment the Foxwoods Resort Casino has to offer. Comfortable rooms and suites welcome guests for a restful night after a long day of play. Families will make memories sharing a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods, enjoying a treat from The Gelato Cafe, and battling against one another in a virtual reality adventure in the Great Cedar Concourse. Couples and friends can play a variety of slots and table games at the Great Cedar Casino, including the immersive PLAY Arena @ Foxwoods.

Rooms & Suites

Each 375-square-foot Deluxe Room comes with either one king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds, refrigerator, coffee maker, writing desk, vanity area, and combination bathtub and shower. The hotel’s 900 square-foot, one-bedroom suites include a king-sized bed, half bath, master bath with Jacuzzi tub and glass shower, and living room with entertainment center and bay window. The suites also include a wet bar with a refrigerator and coffee maker.


At Cedars Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, guests can enjoy a raw oyster bar along with entrees featuring Maine lobster, local seafood, steak, and chicken. The steakhouse bar features several wide-screen TVs to watch the game over drinks and an appetizer.

Located in the Rainmaker Casino, the Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods offers classic American dishes in a rock-and-roll atmosphere, with a shop on site to take home Hard Rock Cafe apparel and collectibles.

For dessert or an afternoon treat, The Gelato Cafe serves homemade Italian-style ice cream in a variety of flavors. The hotel also includes a Starbucks for a quick breakfast with signature hot and iced coffees and teas.

Recreational Activities

The PLAY Arena @ Foxwoods in the Great Cedar Casino gives players access to all their favorite new and classic casino games in a single station, with customizable audio, lighting, and video settings. Next, to the Great Cedar Hotel, Rainmaker Stadium at the Rainmaker Casino features 30 multi-gaming play terminals and three live Blackjack and Mini-Baccarat dealers.

Located in the hotel lobby, the Tree House Arcade features classic arcade games and pinball, as well as new interactive games and tickets redeemable for prizes.

The Great Cedar Hotel also includes its pool located next to the hotel lobby.

Hotel guests can take advantage of onsite shopping options, including Native Nations, featuring Native American jewelry, books and gifts, and Panache for fine jewelry and accessories. The Outpost offers everyday convenience and grooming products. Scenses features over 40 fragrances from Yankee Candle, as well as Crabtree and Evelyn products.

The Fox Theater across from the Great Cedar Hotel shows a wide variety of acts and events, including nationally acclaimed comedians, circus and magic acts, TV game shows and live sporting events.

Located in the Great Cedar Concourse, XD Dark Ride is a 7-D immersive gaming experience unlike any other attraction in the Northeast. Multi-sensory technology puts players right in the action of the game, with room for up to 8 players at once inside the full motion theater. Players can compete in a series of virtual adventures, including an intense zombie experience. For more virtual reality fun, the Heritage Racing Simulators use the latest technology to make players feel like they’re right on the race track driving Indy, NASCAR, and Formula 1 cars.

Guests can take a break from all the action with a trip to one of the two spas at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Both the Norwich Spa at Foxwoods on the ninth floor of Grand Pequot Tower and the G Spa at The Fox Tower offers massages, facials, and body treatments as well as hair and nail services in the salon. Guests soak in the pool or whirlpool, relax in the sauna, or steam room, and take advantage of a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment in the fitness center.

The Pequot Trails winding through the wooded hills around the resort offer another chance to slow things down. Starting in the Great Cedar Casino lobby, the Trails offer routes for both relaxed and moderate walks, including the Lantern Hill Trail with views looking out on Block Island Sound. The Trails provide a scenic route to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, a nonprofit institution part of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The museum features more than 300,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as a 320-seat auditorium, classrooms, restaurant, and shop. Visitors can learn about the area’s natural and cultural history through films, archived materials, artifacts and traditional art and crafts from Native artisans.

350 Trolley Line Blvd, Ledyard, CT 06338, Phone: 860-369-9663

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