How to Plan Awesome Family Movie Nights


Make it a Date

The modern family’s schedule can be crazy, but making family time a priority is always important.  Setting a date and time to gather for movie night gives everyone something to look forward to.  

Write “Movie Night” on the family calendar in the kitchen.  Write it out on the chalkboard. Print a quick “movie ticket” and pass them out to your kiddos to build their excitement and make the night feel even more special.  

Maybe you have a standing night set aside—Friday night movie night will be something the whole family eagerly anticipates. 

Movie Choice is Everything

Choosing the right movie can be tricky if your kiddos are spread out in age...but it doesn’t have to be.  Opt for classics like The Wizard of Oz, E.T., Mrs. Doubtfire, or Princess Bride that everyone can enjoy.  

Want animation to keep the toddlers' attention?  There are lots of classics that will appeal to kids of all ages and the mamas and papas.  Think Toy Story, Despicable Me, The Lego movies...you get the idea. You can find a great animated film that is appropriate for everyone's entertainment.  

With a little thought and a spin on Google or Pinterest, you’ll find movie lists to inspire a choice the whole family will love. 

Watch Under the Stars

If the season is right, nothing makes movie night more magical than watching under the night sky.  Those are memory making magical nights that will live in your family’s hearts forever.

Setting up a screen can be as simple as nailing a dark sheet behind a white sheet to the back of the garage or fence.

If you have toddlers or younger children and are feeling extra creative, grab yourself some cardboard boxes and turn your yard into a Drive In Theatre by making some cardboard make-believe cars for them to chill in.

Cozy Up Your Space

No matter if your movie night is going to take place in your living room, or in your yard...you’ve got to cozy up your space!

If you’ll be inside for movie night you can turn your living room into a lounge and make it extra cozy.  Grab all the soft blankets you can find—there is no such thing as too many pillows and blankets!  

Teddybears?  Bring it! Floor cushions, bean bag chairs, woven throw rugs...bring it all and layer on the comfort!

If you're doing an outdoor movie, be sure to bring plenty of blankets out to wrap up in.  You can drape them on chairs or even use blankets all over the ground to watch your movie picnic style!  

Whether you’re doing an indoor or outdoor movie night, don’t forget to create some magic with some pretty twinkle lights or lanterns spread around the movie space.

Make the Popcorn POP! 

Movie night just wouldn’t be movie night without popcorn!  Making your popcorn display POP doesn’t have to be complicated.  

Here are a few ideas to try that will surely make it special:

  • Pop or buy pre-popped popcorn and fill a bushel basket, extra large bucket, any good sized bin and top it off with a fun scoop so the kids can scoop their own popcorn.
  • Be sure to have some fun containers or bags so everyone can have their own popcorn.  You can get the classic red and white popcorn bags from the dollar store or your local party store, but brown lunch bags work great too!
  • Make a Popcorn Bar.  Set up a table with your big bin of popcorn and add some containers filled with fun toppings to mix in.  You can use candy, pretzels, marshmallows, nuts, raisins, cereal—whatever you can dream up to mix in.  
  • Create a gourmet popcorn display with different flavored popcorn options.  With flavors like ‘bacon caramel popcorn’ and ‘zebra caramel corn’ or ‘chunky monkey popcorn’ you’d be sure to wow your family with this special treat!

 Create a Killer Concession Stand

The movie snacks are half the fun.  You can create an awesome concession stand for everyone to enjoy by simply setting up a tray, table, or bar cart with goodies.  Candy can be displayed in glass jars, chips and popcorn bags can be displayed in bins, and don’t forget to line up some water bottles, juice boxes, or whatever else your family enjoys drinking.

The sky's the limit on what you can serve at your movie night concession stand—hotdogs, tacos, sliders, root beer floats...whatever your family’s heart desires.    

Of course, if you don’t want the kids to overdo the sugar and junk food, you can add in some healthy options at your movie night concession stand.  Things like apple slices, raisin boxes, celery and carrot sticks are all great options.  

Or... Awesome Goody Bags

If the idea of laying out a whole concession stand seems like too much work, you can throw together some awesome goody bags that will put a smile on everyone’s face. 

Simply line up some cute goody bags and fill em up with your family’s favorite treats!  Easy peasy—right?

Want to make it extra special?  Consider a take-away goody bag for the kiddos.  Include a movie themed prize inside that will always remind them of your families special bonding time.

Have Some Fidgets On Hand for the Littles

How many times have you started a movie with your toddler and not finished it because they don’t want to sit still through the whole thing?

Think ahead and pack some toys for your littles to tinker with if they get bored.  Give them each their own little carrying case to put some of their favorite items in.  Now, when they get restless they can open their case and play during the movie so everyone else can still enjoy the show.  

From our Life Made Better team to your family—happy movie night!