How to visit Moonlight Cinema like a pro

Moonlight Cinema

The Moonlight Cinema is coming back this December, just in time for the school holidays. We love the Moonlight Cinema. It reminds me of going to the drive-in as a kid. The kids love it too. And what’s not to love? They get to run around and burn off all their energy before the movie starts, while we kick back and relax. Then its time for a picnic and a snuggle under the stars while watching a good movie.

We’ve been to the Moonlight Cinema a few times with kids, and each time we do things a little smarter. Here are some of our tips to help you make the most of your evening.

Tried and tested Moonlight Cinema tips

Arrive early

Moonlight Cinema tips

Gates open an hour and a half before the film starts so head in early to snap up your grassy patch. Parking can be a nightmare, so the earlier you arrive the better. Arriving early also gives you more time to soak up the atmosphere and relax before the movie starts. It also gives the kids the chance to get their crazies out before settling in. The venues in each city are beautiful, so take time to enjoy the moment.

Pack loads of snacks!

Moonlight Cinema tips

The very first time I went to the Moonlight Cinema, I didn’t pack anything to eat or drink and suffered severe picnic basket envy. All around me people were dipping strawberries in chocolate, pouring wine, eating dinner al fresco. Now, whenever we go I pack a picnic feast. Think party on a blanket, and you’ll be set.

Order in

Moonlight Cinema tips

If you don’t have the time or inclination to pack your own food, you can always buy from the Moonlight Cinema dining carts, or you can even Menulog something and have it delivered to the gates like we saw one movie-goer do last season.

Pack a torch

Once everyone settles in and the movie has started, it can be tricky trying to find a path to the loo. To avoid falling in some random stranger’s lap, pack a torch to help navigate a path. A torch also comes in andy at the end of the movie when its time to walk back to your car.

Bring wine! Except in Brisbane…

Moonlight Cinema is a BYO-friendly event (except BYO alcohol is not permitted at Brisbane’s Moonlight Cinema), but if you forget your picnic hamper and wine have no fear; The Moonlight food truck and fully licensed bar will be serving up LA-style snacks to compliment the Moonlight Cinema experience.

Whatever you do, don’t sit under a tree!

One time we waltzed in a bit later than most and headed straight for the open space under a big tree, wondering why no one else was sitting there. Figured that one out pretty quick – bats. And bat poo.

Do try Gold Grass, at least once

Moonlight Cinema tips

Moonlight Cinema is great for date night. If you’ve managed a night off from the kids, you may as well truly savour the moment and splash out on Gold Grass tickets. For a luxury experience, Moonlight’s Gold Grass offers reserved bean beds in a premium viewing location and waiter service. Nice!

Moonlight Cinema – The Lowdown

Where and when?

  • Adelaide: Botanic Park, December 1, 2017 – February 18, 2018
  • Brisbane: New Farm Park at Brisbane Powerhouse, December 7, 2017 – March 4, 2018
  • Melbourne: Central Lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens, December 1, 2017 – April 1, 2018
  • Perth: May Drive Parkland, Kings Park & Botanic Garden, December 2, 2017 – April 1, 2018
  • Sydney: Belvedere Amphitheatre in Centennial Park, December 1, 2017 – April 1, 2018

What’s showing?

You can buy tickets and see the full Moonlight program at My date night picks would be Blade Runner, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Murder on The Orient Expres or Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Fun family screenings include Coco, Ferdinand, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature and Paddington 2. There’s also screenings of some eternal favourites like Love, Actually and The Breakfast Club.


Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to Moonlight Cinema. 

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