What makes Lookout Mountain home

What's on your summer bucket list? A hike to Glen Falls? A mountain bike ride on the Cloudland Connector Trail? Or maybe a road trip to Nashville to see Alan Shuptrine's new watercolor exhibit?

The season has already kicked off with Community Movie Night. There's another in August and here's 5 reasons you can't miss it. Get ready for the fun, because summers on Lookout are anything but lazy!

Native Plants Bring Pollinators

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Pollinator Garden at Temple Park

Imagine your garden overflowing with beautiful songbirds, colorful butterflies, hummingbirds and other small wildlife. Once you meet the simple criteria, you can even certify your yard through the National Wildlife Federation.

Mr. Daniel Talley, and his wife, Nancy, own Botanica Chattanooga prescribe to the philosophy that gardening with nature harmonizes the local ecology with your preferred design tradition, which is not as to say to let your yard run wild with whatever naturally does the best. Think about landscaping as being beyond ornamental. Use plants that encourage local insects and wildlife rather than ones that look pretty but poorly serve the little locals. Furthermore, good planning and planting with natural varieties will reduce the use of pesticides and chemicals.

Over time, you will be able to do away with chemicals entirely, allowing your healthy, native landscaping to thrive organically.

Daniel’s list of the top short meadow species that would do well on Lookout Mountain includes poverty oatgrass (Danthonia spicata), needlegrass (Piptochaetium avenaceum), Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica), butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), and aromatic aster (aster oblongifolius).

Landscape designers Jimmy Stewart and Ann Brown have a few favorite plants they like for the pollinator garden, and they can all be seen at the Alice Stout Memorial Garden at Temple Park off of West Brow Road. Buddleia “Adonis” (2015 Butterfly Plant) is a compact plant with an abundance of deep blue flowers. “Hot Lips” and “Scarletta” both sound like trouble, but the deep red blooms of this salvia are edged in white, making them pop even more. “Sassy Red” and “Sassy Purple” salvia may not be as new and different as these newcomers, but they live up to their names with their vibrant colors. Gomphrena “Fireworks” (globe amaranth) does indeed resemble a firework bursting in air with its purple spikey blooms. Chrysanthemum “Becky” is a perennial favorite of all, but especially of Jimmy’s since that’s his wife’s name. Achillea “Oertel’s Rose” is a spreading yarrow that fills up nooks and crannies with a gorgeous pinkish purple bloom. Coreopsis “Daybreak” is hardy and long blooming, and similar to gaillardia “Goblin.” Lantana “Miss Huff Hardy” and “Chapel Hill Hardy” are both extremely hardy, as well as gorgeous in the summer, and verbena “Homestead Purple” spreads its deep purple clusters all around, trailing picturesquely over rock walls. Echinacea “Solar Sunrise” is a coneflower with a color similar to a sunrise, and just as breathtaking. Asclepius (annual butterfly weed) is from the milkweed family, and is everything the butterflies are looking for as far as room and board go. Parsley, with its frilly edges and soft mounding appearance, are perfect for laying butterfly eggs, as are the wispy, airy fronds of fennel.
Native plants naturally thrive in their indigenous regions, making caring for them less complicated and more cost efficient. They generally require less water than non-native plants and are often drought tolerant. By going native, you can probably use fewer pesticides. Native plants also help maintain the landscape by preventing erosion and enriching the soil. They also discourage non-native plants that can be invasive and of little benefit to a healthy ecosystem.

This weekend you can purchase native plants and get loads of advice at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center. Check out their fall native plant sale on October 6-7.

There will be lectures and tours from naturalist and historian Michael Green, as well as instructional speakers like city water quality expert Lyn Rutherford on topics discussing utilizing native plants for erosion control and “Why Fall is the Best Time to Plant” with Master Garner Chris Mahoney. Admission is free with the purchase of a plant. For more info and a complete list of plants that will be available, go to www.reflectionriding.org.

LMS Carnival this Tuesday, Oct. 3

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The 70th Annual Lookout Mountain School Carnival is this Tuesday, October 3rd from 3p.m. until 7 p.m. New carnival booths this year include a "Grab the Cash" booth; participants stand in a booth, and Carnival Cash swirls around them with the help of a fan. Grab as much cash as you can to redeem for prizes!

Another new booth is the Costume Shop, featuring 30 bins of old costumes, including Mexican tops, racoon hoodies, and more unique, one-of-a-kind outfits -- perfect for playing dress up or finding this year's Halloween costume!

Under the direction of Ryan Patterson, LMS art teacher, the Carnival Marketplace proudly presents the 2017 LMS class murals!

The auction for these priceless works of art will begin at 3 p.m. and end promptly at 6 p.m. on Carnival Day, October 3! Just grab a Bid Number at the Marketplace booth and start bidding!

Additionally, mugs and stationary can be purchased with these adorable mural images as well as Lookout Mountain Directories and pewter ornaments. The Marketplace Booth is your most convenient "one stop shop" for all of your gift needs!

A big thanks to the volunteers who chair the event and make it happen! Elizabeth Barnes and Jessica Youngblood are Carnival co-chairs, working alongside assistants Paula Plating and Melinda Redberg.

In case of rain, the Carnival will take place on October 5.

Lookout Mountain Primary Care Welcomes Dr. Greg May

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This month Lookout Mountain Primary Care welcomes a new full-time doctor to their staff, Dr. Greg May. As a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), May brings the full resources of an MD with a fresh approach to patient care. We sat down with him to learn more about the Mississippi native.

What brought you to Chattanooga?

I’ve lived my whole life in Mississippi. I grew up in Hattiesburg, attended Mississippi State for undergrad and William Carey Medical School. Even so, I did my residency with University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and fell in love with the town and the people here. Lookout Mountain is particularly unique. I love how tight the community is up here – people really “do life together.” There aren’t many communities like that anymore.

How did you come to Lookout Mountain Primary Care?

I did a rotation with Erlanger my fourth year of medical school and ended up interviewing for my residency while on rotation. I love being with Erlanger; the faculty is really welcoming and it’s such a great learning environment. I met Dr. Bill Moore Smith in residency and have a lot of respect for what he’s built. He has a genuine passion for keeping Erlanger-trained family medicine doctors in the system. We spoke several times, and they had a need for a full-time doctor at this location. I came up to the clinic and the staff was awesome. I felt comfortable from the start and it seemed like a good fit.

What are you most excited about in this new role?

I look forward to integrating with the Lookout Mountain community. I’d love to give talks at the elementary schools about being healthy, and reach out to Covenant students to let them know we are a resource. I’m also really excited to start rotations at Thrive. One of my passions is working with the older population. Growing up my dad was a family medicine doctor and did a lot of nursing home care. I remember he would drag us into the place and have us talk to the patients. Looking back it was really kind of special – sometimes all they needed was for someone to sit there and talk to them. Eventually I hope to see patients at Thrive every Wednesday, but I’ll be seeing all ages at the office.

What exactly is the distinction between MD and DO?

It’s the same training and the same residencies, but Doctors of Osteopathy focus on musculoskeletal diseases. Our philosophy is that all parts of the body work together and influence each other. So rather than seeking out sickness, we consider how things like daily environment, diet, medicines or other factors play a role. We’re trying to find health rather than finding disease. We like to focus on preventative care, and often try to take medicines away rather than prescribe. That being said there are definitely times it’s required. I like to think if you listen long enough, the patient will tell you what’s wrong whether they realize it or not.

You’re a family medicine doctor…what about your family?

My wife Lori is a speech pathologist at Siskin. We live in the North Chattanooga area and have twin boys, Luke and Truman. They’re pretty wild. We just try to keep up!

Lula Lake Land Trust Celebrates a Decade in the Dirt with Opening of the Chattanooga Connector Trail

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Decade in the Dirt – Celebrating 10 Years of Trail Building
Lula Lake Land Trust
Saturday, September 16
8 am until 2 pm

Ask any Chattanoogan what they love about our city, and access to nature is always mentioned. But that access didn’t happen by accident. In fact it’s largely thanks to the quiet and diligent work from a handful of land conservation groups, including Lula Lake Land Trust.

Their latest project – the Chattanooga Connector Trail – was the missing 4.1-mile puzzle piece that now connects over 120 miles of trails, from Cloudland Connector to the downtown Riverwalk. When it opened this July, it became an important part of a trail system that will eventually be part of the Great Eastern Trail, America’s newest long distance trail stretching from Alabama to New York.

Over a 10 year timespan, Lula Lake has had several land managers who took the reins on each section,” said Mike Pollock, Executive Director of Lula Lake Land Trust. “It’s been a lot of hard work and we are grateful to our staff for really given it their all.

Also opening along with the Chattanooga Connector Trail is an additional 4 miles of trail nicknamed “The Moonshine Trails.” These spur trails offer advanced riding in the form of fast descents, rock bridges, boulders, and even a few man-made features that incorporate use of the natural formations of the land.

We wanted to pay homage to the history of this area,” says Lula Lake Land Manager Patrick Kelly. “People were making moonshine here before prohibition. There’s still glass bottles and parts of stills spread throughout these woods.

To celebrate this “Decade in the Dirt” and the trail’s grand opening, LLLT is hosting an event by that name this Saturday, September 16. Held at their core property off Lula Lake Road, festivities will include “The Moonshine Shuffle,” a scavenger hunt style race for trail runners and mountain bikers, along with food, drinks, and music. For more information, please visit www.lulalake.org or their Facebook page.

Even if you can’t make the event this weekend, be sure to check out Lookout Mountain’s newest trail additions by foot or by bike. Access details and descriptions are below.

Chattanooga Connector Trail and Moonshine Trails Information


• Parking for the trail can be found along HWY 189 past Covenant College. Please do not park on Covenant
College's campus. (Please see map for parking area location)
• Parking on Lula Lake Road is prohibited at all times. Vehicles parked along Lula Lake Road will be towed at
the owner’s expense.
• Parking is allowed at Lula Lake Land Trust on Open Gate Days only. Open Gate Days are the first and last
weekends of the month. Check the calendar at https://lulalake.org/events/month/ for specific dates.
• Users may only access Lula Lake Land Trust Core Property trails on Open Gate Days. Please no riding,
running or hiking when we are not open to the public.
• The Chattanooga Connector Trail’s southern terminus is located across the street from Lula Lake Land
Trust’s entrance gate. Access to the Cloudland Connector Trail is approximately two miles away, via Lula
Lake Road/Highway 157. Head south on Highway 157 and turn left at Nickajack Road to access the
Nickajack Trailhead and the Cloudland Connector Trail.
• The Chattanooga Connector Trail’s northern terminus is located at Scenic Highway on the Covenant College
campus. Bicycle traffic must stay on the Connector Trail and is not allowed on Covenant College cross
country trails. Runners and hikers can continue on the trail by way of the Jackson Gap Trail, part of the
National Park Service. Bicycle access to Jackson Gap is not permissible at this time.

Trail descriptions:
• Chattanooga Connector Trail (4.1 miles) Beginner- This trail connects Lula Lake Land Trust Core Property to Covenant College.
• White Lightning (1.5 miles) Intermediate- From north to south, this trail is a fast and flowy descent with two rock bridges and several optional features for more advanced riders.
• Firewater (2 miles) Intermediate- This trail provides several creek crossings over natural wood bridges.
• Bathtub Gin (.5 mile) Advanced- A short, intense trail with rock gardens and boulders.

Chattanooga's Maker Faire Returns Saturday

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credit: Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire

Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire
Saturday, September 9, 10 am until 6 pm

At the Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire, there will be robots. There will be paintings. There will be painting robots. In fact, only one’s imagination is the limit at this FREE family friendly event. With more than 80 vendors, you can also expect fire tornadoes, Lego Brick Bot Battles, 3D printing demonstrations, a silent disco and fire dancing.

It’s a cross between a science fair, Lollapalooza and big party,” says Lookout Mountain’s Tim Youngblood, who helped bring the first Faire to town. “It’s basically a celebration of making.

Dubbed the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth, Maker Faires happen all over the world, celebrating the Maker Movement and showcasing invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Chattanooga’s will take place this Saturday, 10 am until 6 pm at the First Tennessee Pavilion.

Everyone from hobbyists to corporations will have booths, with loads of hands-on opportunities such as the Foundry in a Box, which allows students to melt tin on a hotplate and safely pour into a mold. With live performances, robot battles and food trucks, there’s sure to be a little something for everyone.

“We want as many people to come and geek out as they celebrate our culture of DIY and the American ideal of building things, inventing, and doing things with your own hands,” says Youngblood. “As more of our products become ‘one button’ there’s a built-in powerlessness, where stuff is thrown away rather than fixed. I think the maker movement is a reaction against that.

Most people were into making before making was cool – it used to be a way of life. If the lawnmower or your car broke down, you fixed it.

As a life-long maker, Youngblood recalls his dad teaching him how to solder and weld to repair things around the house. Pretty soon he was tinkering with computers, which led to a successful career in technology. In 2011, Youngblood relocated his cloud computing company CodeScience to Chattanooga, where he immediately recognized the maker culture.

Chattanooga has a fantastic heritage in manufacturing, but many people were not proud of that because of the pollution stigma,” he recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘How can we rework that?’

His first answer was helping form a makerspace called Chatt*lab. Shortly after, he partnered with Mike Bradshaw, former director of CO.LAB, and Nate Hill, former assistant director for technology at The Public Library. The trio coordinated a 3D Printing Day at the library’s innovative 4th Floor, which had just opened. They thought maybe 100 people would come; 1,300 showed up.

After that momentum, the idea for Chattanooga’s first Maker Faire surfaced. Planning brought leaders in the Chattanooga community together, fostering unprecedented collaboration between nonprofits, corporations and small businesses. CO.LAB was instrumental in the movement by providing an infrastructure of volunteers and meeting space. Today they dedicate staff members to help organize the event.

Now in its fourth year, Maker Faire highlights innovations that range from altruistic to opportunistic to just plain fun. Companies like HATponics will showcase their modular, sustainable farms with a two-story aquaponics system. GorillaMaker.com will demonstrate their breakthrough 3D printing technology, while the UTC chapter of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) will show off their concrete canoe.

There will also be plenty of artistic vendors, including Studio Everything’s large-scale robot creating miniature paintings; 800 Collective leading visitors to contribute to a 5’x8’ pop-up mural of Chattanooga’s cityscape; and an Art Bike rodeo with Art 120.

The art presence is so important because without art, science doesn’t know what to build,” says Youngblood. “Art always leads.

Patrick and Mary Shelton Wells - Why I Love Lookout

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Patrick and Mary Shelton Wells both had jobs they loved. He was helping lead a turnaround for a legal outsourcing company; she was a personal trainer with flexible hours for their then newborn, Hallie Grace. There was just one problem – they were too far from friends and family in Mobile, Alabama.

It was such exciting work being able to run a company right out of graduate school,” says Patrick, who received his MBA from Samford University. “But my best friend Cameron Bean kept asking us what we were doing. He noticed how often we were driving back to Chattanooga and Birmingham and kept asking me ‘Are you having fun? What about family?’

When Cameron was tragically killed on an early evening run in September 2015, the Wells decided shortly after it was time to move closer to family. The question was where: Patrick’s hometown of Birmingham or Chattanooga, where Mary Shelton grew up?

The couple met in Birmingham when both attending Samford. They were both collegiate athletes; Mary Shelton a soccer player and Patrick a pole vaulter. The two seemed destined to meet, and it was in fact Cameron (a fellow Chattanooga native) who introduced them.

Ultimately Chattanooga won out for its access to nature, its business friendly environment, and local commitment to the community. But the decision to move to Lookout Mountain had more to do with their daughter.

When they first moved back the family was living in Soddy Daisy at Mary Shelton’s parents’ lake house. Both found jobs downtown but childcare was a different issue. Thankfully they secured a spot at Good Shepherd School, where they both felt welcomed with open arms.

You could tell immediately how much they loved the kids,” says Mary Shelton. “You really felt the Lookout Mountain community at its roots through how intentional the teachers were and how welcoming everyone was.

Mary Shelton recalls her daughter being invited to a birthday party about a month after moving, and the mom emailed to ask about Hallie Grace’s food allergies and what she could have. As they got to know the Lookout Mountain community more, it seemed a natural fit.

They recalled a weekend winter morning when they were driving around Fairyland, watching parents and kids playing in the streets and catching up with neighbors. They knew they wanted that for their daughter.

There’s a real community here that’s rare,” says Patrick. “From Halloween to the Carnival to Family Movie Night, these events bring you together, slow you down and remind you of what’s important. Living in a community like this keeps you grounded.

Although Mary Shelton grew up on Signal Mountain and her parents still live there, she also finds her new home extremely welcoming.

They encouraged us to look everywhere and were super excited about us moving up here,” says Mary Shelton. “They have a lot of old friends here and love coming up to visit. Even though they’ve never lived here, they knew there was something special about Lookout.

Coach Dockery Retires from Lookout Mountain Rec Department

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On a warm July morning, Coach Rick Dockery is straightening up the Parks & Playground toolshed. With torrential rains and baseball tournaments for the past three weeks he’s been juggling schedules, dealing with sink holes and cutting down or trimming trees. Pretty soon he’ll hop on the riding mower, a machine he’s logged thousands of miles on during his 36 year career.

The week was even more hectic than usual because it was one of his last. This summer Dockery stepped down as Director of Parks & Playground, with his assistant Scott Shell stepping into the director role. Newcomer Brandon Adams was hired as the new Assistant Director.

There isn’t anything I won’t miss,” says Dockery. “It’s always one challenge after another, and the manual labor can be tough. But at same time I’ll miss that too.

The job has been demanding from day one. When working under Director Buck Stamps in the early ‘80s, the two men personally coached every sport, working six days a week for 10 years without a vacation or sick day.

On his first day Dockery met LMS principal Marvin Lane, who almost immediately noticed Dockery’s aptitude for teaching. They began talking about the possibility of bringing him into the classroom, and before long Dockery was coaching three teams and taking night classes for his teaching certificate. Even so, he says there’s never been a single day he didn’t want to come to work.

I’m surrounded by the best group of people,” he says. “I’ve always felt supported by the community, by parents and even the kids. So in that sense it’s been easy. And I certainly haven’t done it alone. I’m grateful for people like Susan Taylor and Lee Dyer, who have contributed so much as volunteers.

Dockery started full-time at Lookout Mountain School in 1990, where he will continue teaching for this school year. His work in youth sports has impacted thousands of children – some who’ve gone on to play in college or even professionally. But he was virtually a kid when he started in 1981, just five years older than the 16 year olds he was coaching.

“I’ve always tried to treat the kids like they’re my own,” he says. “Sometimes they think of me as a strict disciplinarian, but at same time I always try to put my arm around them. The times I’ve had with the kids – the jokes, the stories – still brings laughter to me years later.”

In his career Dockery has overseen the rebuilding of the baseball fields alongside Ryan Crimmins, as well as a recent $380,000 tennis court renovation with the help of Joe Hailey. He teamed up with Brooke Pippenger several years ago to rebuild the “Mountain Maze” playground at the Commons. But the highlight was having his son go through the Rec program, during which time they played in two Dixie Youth World Series.

The travel those years to Arkansas and Virginia were some of Dockery’s only times out of Tennessee during his career. He has plans for much more travel In retirement, including the Grand Canyon this fall.

Coach Dockery’s influence on Lookout Mountain’s youth sports will be greatly missed, by both parents and kids. He assures us the feeling is mutual.

I’m going to miss everything – but I’ve still got another year at LMS,” he adds with a smile.

Music on the Mountain Early Bird Discount Ends Thursday

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Credit: Benjamin Grizzell Photography

The early bird gets the worm, but they also score the best prices on event tickets. If you want to be a smart birdie then you have until August 18 to get the discount for Music on the Mountain, benefitting the Fairyland Education Fund.

One thing everyone will be tweeting about is this year’s silent auction, which includes an overnight design excursion from interior designer and Fairyland parent, Michelle Workman. This package entails an in-home consultation coupled with a trip to the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) where Michelle will personally advise you on items needed AND pass along her decorator’s discount. Hotel accommodations are included.

Other exciting items include a sign-up party at the new Lookout Mountain Club, Tennessee vs. Alabama football tickets in the end zone, and a security clearance level tour of the Pentagon. And the best part? At the end of the night you don’t have to wait in a checkout line (if you register your credit card beforehand at motm.fairylandschool.org).

We strive to move in the direction of no checkout,” explains MOTM Co-Chair Carrie Gallant. “We encourage everyone to pre-register on our site so that as soon as the auction closes, they are automatically checked out with an invoice sent via email that same night. Auction items can either be picked up that night, delivered the following day, or we can schedule a pickup.

This will be Gallant’s first year chairing the event along with Courtney Guthrie, supported by event founders Caroline Williams and Justin and Michelle Workman. Other planning committee members include Susan Colmore, Jennifer Deal, Maria Fowler, Susan Gentry, Ginny Johnston, and Wendy Taliaferro.

As always, MOTM includes a seated dinner featuring Chef Margaret’s finest, such as BBQ pork sliders, fried chicken, tomato pie, potato truffles and Caesar salad. Music will be provided by former Fairyland parent Jeff Joyner and his bluegrass band, The Wood Nymph Pickers. Joyner also provided music for this year’s Swing Ding.

All proceeds from the evening help support the Fairyland Education Fund, which allows the K-5 school to employ a full-time technology teacher and support a Fine Arts curriculum that includes music and theatre. The PTO also helps fund a Spanish program for Pre-K and – beginning this year – Kindergarten. Finally, the education fund supports an RTI specialist for children who needing extra help.

Get your tickets today at motm.fairylandschool.org

Cafe on the Corner Celebrations This Week

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Café on the Corner has helped countless people celebrate birthdays. But this time the party is for them, and everyone’s invited. Owner Ruth Oehmig and Head Chef J.R. Crutcher share a birthday on August 17. It’s a milestone for Chef – the big 5-0. As for Ruth…

“Mine’s insignificant – no one needs to know my number,” she laughs.

The festivities kick off this Thursday with complimentary red velvet cake, a favorite dessert of both Ruth and J.R. Other favorites will be highlighted with a special menu running Thursday until Saturday, which will feature both Ruth’s and Chef’s favorite meals (in addition to the regular menu).

There will be a contest to see who can guess whose is whose, with every guess entering your name in a special drawing for a gift card. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit Metropolitan Ministries.

Menu 1 will include BBQ ribs, potato salad, slaw, baked beans and banana pudding. Menu 2 will be a shaved radish salad, swordfish, coconut cilantro rice, Asian slaw and cinnamon ice cream served with hot fudge sauce, warm bacon bits and Bergeron’s pecans.

In addition to the birthday celebrations, Café on the Corner will be holding its final back-to-school Kid’s Night this Tuesday, August 15. They’ll grill out on the patio, kids still eat free, and they will be giving all students a pencil to put in their new backpacks.

For more information, find them on Facebook

Cap Off Summer With Community Movie Night This Friday

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Don’t forget Community Movie Night this Friday, August 11 at the Town Commons. The now bi-annual event, sponsored by Love Lookout, will kick off at 6:30 pm.

Bring games to share and enjoy eating dinner under the stars. Food trucks will be on hand so remember to bring cash and anything else you may need such as picnic blankets, chairs and beverages. The movie will begin around 8:45 pm as the sun sets.

If you’ve never attended a movie night or you just need reminding, here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t miss this Lookout Mountain summer tradition!


Yes, the best things in life ARE free. Usually that doesn’t apply to entertainment, so take advantage while you can. The movie selection is always a recent family favorite so everyone from toddlers to teenagers will enjoy.


Even though you’re not watching from your car, an open-air movie allows younger generations to connect with a bit of American nostalgia. Plus, without the confines of a car little ones can run around if they get antsy.


Love Lookout actually invites you to bring your own dinner and drinks! If you don’t want to bother with a picnic, food trucks will be on hand for delicious treats. Just be sure to bring cash.


Unlike a traditional movie theater, you won’t be given the stink eye for bringing a baby or for not making your toddler sit still. The festivities begin at 6:30, with the movie starting at 8:30. So if bedtimes are a problem you can still enjoy an evening out and not worry about the early departure (remember, the movie is FREE).


When’s the last time you got to watch a movie with 500 of your friends and neighbors? And the film is just half the fun. Love Lookout encourages anyone to bring games such as corn hole or Kan Jam for pre-show entertainment. The real experience is connecting with your community in a laid back setting. In other words…the perfect end cap for summer.

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