Today, I’d like to share my tips on taking kids to the movies. Hopefully this helps makes the outing a little less taxing, and a little more fun!
Going to the movies with your spouse or your friends = a great night out (and probably a rare occurrence these days…which makes it even more fun!)!
Going to the movies with your kiddos? Potentially a stressful experience, especially if they’re younger. From my personal experience I have put together 10 tips on taking kids to the movies.
#1 – Check out the movie you plan to see.
Even if a movie has a G or PG rating, you might still want to check out the movie in advance. I like the site, parentpreviews.com, which gives a great movie overview, parent reviews, and addresses content details like language, violence, etc.. It even gives you topic ideas to discuss with your kids after the movie ends. Love it.
#2 – Choose your time carefully.
Once you have your kid-friendly movie in mind, make sure you pick a kid friendly time. The earlier the better. Avoid seeing movies that overlap nap time or meal times. Early movies are typically filled with other young parents and young kids. Which means that pretty much everyone will understand if your kid talks, yells out, dumps their snack, cries, or kicks the seat in front of them (fingers crossed).
#3 – Arrive early.
Next…arrive early. But not too early. You don’t want to use up their patience sitting in the theater 20 minutes before the movie starts. I arrive about 15 minutes prior to the show (20 minutes, if it’s a super popular movie). We all get our tickets. We all go to the bathroom. We get any snacks we’d like at the snack bar. We adjust our booster seats. And I try to time it pretty well so that we only have a minute or two sitting down before the lights dim.
#4 – Schedule potty breaks.
This one is important. We all go to the bathroom before the movie starts. This may not stop the loud “whispers” of ”I have to go poootttyyyyy,” in the middle of the movie, but it certainly helps!
#5 – Bring a blankie in your purse.
I learned this one from experience. A small blankie in your purse or diaper bag is helpful for two reasons.
1.) Movie theaters can get chilly.
2.) If either of my kiddies get scared during a particular part of a movie, I hold my baby and tell them to put their blankie over their eyes. Works like a charm. And it may help prevent your little from trying to bolt from their seat and run into the aisle or out of the theater. Yes, when my daughter was three, she bolted out of her seat unannounced, during Tangled, when Mother Gothel got scary.
#6 – Make your snack bar plan.
This mama is on a budget. So, the tickets alone are pricey enough. However, my kids love popcorn. Like, LOVE it. This being said, I will not buy each child their own popcorn. I buy one small or medium bucket (depending if I plan to eat some too), and ask for individual baggies, boxes or empty water cups. Then I dole out small amounts of popcorn, per kid, during the movie. This also helps with possible popcorn dumping issues.
I also ask for water cups for all – and that’s their movie drink. Note – this is a lot to carry on your own, so make sure to ask for a carrier, or put any of your kids that can carry comfortably, in charge of their own water.
#7 – Sneak in some lollipops.
There is one thing I like to sneak in. Lollipops. Yes, I use them for bribes. If your kids are old enough, and if you allow your kids to have them, bring one or two pops per kid. They work as great bribes for keeping kids sitting. Still. In.their.seats. It’s like magic!
#8 – Find the booster chairs.
Booster chairs are in different areas of the movie theater lobby. Make sure to ask an attendant where they reside, and grab one per kid. Try to get situated with them before the lights go out. Sometimes, if your little one isn’t big enough, they can kind of fold up in the chair. This is harder to manipulate if it’s dark.
#9 – Explain the “Golden Rule” for outings.
Here’s what I tell my kids when I’m out by myself with them: There are two of you and one of mama. Which means we stick together. Where one goes, we all go. If you run away from me, we all get up and leave. Period. If one has to go potty, we all go potty.
All it took was one outing where we had to leave in the middle of our activity, and my kids now know that I mean business. Even if we’re in the middle of a movie. This keeps them safe and me sane.
#10 – Just roll with it.
Here’s the deal – kids are kids. No matter how much you plan, no matter how much you want this to be a great outing, sometimes…you just have to roll with it. Kids get loud, cranky, squealing happy, rambunctious, obnoxious…seriously, you all know what I mean, because we’re all in this together. Be flexible, and have reasonable expectations of your munchkins (especially if this is their first movie experience). And, remember to have FUN!
Any great tips you have for taking your littles to the movie theater? Please share below!
Image courtesy of Apple’s Eyes Studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net