4 ways to have the ultimate family movie night

A few months ago, my husband and I decided to make every Friday family movie night. For one night out of our busy schedules, we snuggle up on the couch with our 4-year-old in front of the TV. It’s truly become a tradition that we all really look forward to at the end of our hectic work week. If you’re searching for a low cost way to spend more quality time with your kids, I highly recommend implementing a weekly (or at the least, monthly) family movie night in your household, too. Here are a few pointers for having a family movie night to remember. 

Film selection

In our house, we take turns choosing the movie. Our daughter would be perfectly content watching “Moana” every day, so we try to expand her horizons a little on family movie night (although Disney films have definitely still made their way into the rotation). I’m a huge fan of classic family flicks from the ’90s (think “Homeward Bound” and “The Sandlot”), whereas my husband prefers the latest indie or foreign kids films (“The Little Prince” and “Kubo and the Two Strings”). 

Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime have endless options or you can always do an inventory of your DVD collection that’s probably been gathering dust. If you have multiple kids, have them write down a few choices on pieces of paper and place them in a jar. Take turns choosing from the jar each week to avoid arguments over which movie to watch. 

Set-up

Take your family movie night to the next level with a creative set up. Forts are always fun to build, or inflate an air mattress and top it with pillows and blankets to make a cozy lounging spot. If the weather’s nice, consider holding your movie night on the patio using an outdoor projector. Hang twinkly lights to give your al fresco setup the perfect amount of ambience. Just don’t forget the bug spray!

Snacks

What’s a movie night without food? Go classic with stovetop popcorn or kick things up a notch with homemade caramel corn. This recipe is easy and yummy. Sheet pan nachos are another household fave. I’ll take any excuse I can get to eat junk food for dinner, even if it’s “healthy” junk food. Don’t forget dessert either (I consider caramel corn an appetizer, of course).

Family movie night is for going all out. Grab a couple of ice cream pints and some classic theater candies and create decadent sundaes or milkshakes. Your snack list is only limited by your imagination.

If you’re feeling particularly innovative, choose a food theme that goes along with your movie. Have a Harry Potter lover in your family? Drink butterbeer and eat pumpkin pasties. Whip up the veggie dish ratatouille while you watch “Ratatouille” or create make-your-own pizzas for enjoying “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” 

Remove distractions

Remember, family movie night is all about being with the people you love the most. Resist the urge to check your apps every few minutes. Put your cell phone, laptop and tablet in another room or on another floor if possible. The text messages and emails can definitely wait. You will never regret spending the time together, no matter which movie you’re watching.  

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