Drive-ins provide summer family fun

Drive-in not drive-thru

Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In in Oshkosh hasn’t changed much since it first opened in 1948. The menu, the root beer and the service have all remained old-fashioned and top-quality.
“The biggest thing is that it’s very authentic. It looks like it has through all the years. It’s recognizable as an old drive-in and what we do and how we do it are the same as we have always done it,” says Steve Davis, owner of Ardy & Ed’s.

While the restaurant is known for its root beer and hand-dipped ice cream cones, Ardy & Ed’s has an extensive menu that includes everything from perch to “Coney Island” hot dogs.

Now in its 66 season, Davis is sure that the ’50s vibe is what keeps people coming back, especially the roller-skating car hops.

“Some older restaurants have trouble bringing in new clientele. We’ve been fortunate that with the attraction of skating car hops, we serve everyone from infants to people in their 80s,” says Davis.

The restaurant also capitalizes on its history by hosting several Summer Cruise nights each season. Guests are invited to bring their classic cars from the ’50s, ’60s and ‘70s and enjoy a free root beer float. Everyone is welcome to come enjoy the atmosphere. The final Summer Cruise night of 2014 will take place on Aug. 28 from 5-9 p.m.

Ardy & Ed’s is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through the month of October.

If you screen it, they will come

Field of Scenes in Freedom is one of the newest drive-in movie theaters in Wisconsin. Since their opening on July 4, 2003, business has steadily improved for the family run theater. Tim VandeWettering, along with his wife, Brenda, and his two children Brittany and Taylor, take care of everything from ticket sales to keeping an eye on the kitchen. When VandeWettering retires, he will pass ownership on to his son, Taylor.

Field of Scenes

Field of Scenes shows double features Tuesday to Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor day each year. The first movie is rate G or PG, while the second movie of the night is usually rated PG-13. As a family establishment, VandeWettering has elected not to run rated-R movies. Each pairing of movies runs for approximately three weeks which gives more people the opportunity to see the movies on the weekend.

“It’s a great family experience. In today’s world, that doesn’t happen a lot,” says VandeWettering.

Along with the big screen, Field of Scenes has an 18-hole mini golf course, volleyball and basketball courts, and a sports bar called, The Fieldhouse. The drive-in also plays host to special events like last month’s live-streamed Jimmy Buffet concert. Field of scenes also occasionally has live concerts featuring local bands in front of Screen Two, a non-functioning big screen on the North side of the property.

For show times and more information visit

Both of these attractions won’t be open for much longer, so pack up the car and head out. You won’t regret the quality time spent in the car.

—By Jennifer Clausing

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