When my husband and I first began spending time together, we ended up going to the movie theater. Unbeknownst to us, movies somehow became our thing. Until we had our daughter, most weekends were spent at the movie theater. Our rewards card was always filled with an endless amount of points. Vacations were always planned with finding the closest theater in mind. Summers included road trips to the local drive-in.
Needless to say, when we were planning our daughters arrival one of the things we were egger to share with her was our love of movies. Fast forward two years later and now movies are a sweet, memorable family affair! Of course, any new outing with a toddler does come with its own set of challenges. Luckily, through several movie going experiences we have worked out all the kinks. Our sweet, beautiful little girl loves movies just as much as we do!
Here are my top 3 tips for a successful movie theater experience with a toddler:
1. Movies at Home
The best way to assess whether or not your child is ready to go to the movie theater is to begin movie night at home. Shortly after our daughter turned two we began checking out animated movies from our local library. My husband and I would toss a bag of popcorn into the microwave and watch the movie as a family of three. This allowed our child to move around the room freely without disturbing others.
Through our at home movie nights we discovered our daughters obsession with popcorn! When I say obsession, its no exaggeration. She is truly in love with popcorn! If you can find a snack your children love, having it during a movie works wonders! Our daughter sat still for a much longer length of time thanks to popcorn. When we took her to see her first movie, we miscalculated the amount of popcorn necessary to sustain our busy toddler. Once the popcorn was gone she became instantly upset and begged for more. But with the price of concessions it was not possible. Now, of course, we consider two important factors in deciding the size of popcorn. 1. Whether its just my daughter and I heading to a movie or if my husband will be joining us. 2. Whether the movie we are seeing will hold her interest on it own.
3. Plan Ahead
When it comes to taking a toddler somewhere that they will need to be quiet and sit for any length of time its VERY important to plan ahead!
Start with selecting a movie. Choose a movie you feel your child will really enjoy seeing. For us, it was the Minion Movie. My daughter is obsessed with them! The more they enjoy watching a film, the less likely they are to become restless.
Next, check out the movie theater website and give them a call. Our theaters don’t start charging admission until age 3. As a parent, this is a huge blessing because when you take a toddler to see a movie you have to be prepared to leave early for any reason. Recently, my husband and I enjoyed a date night. We drove to a theater that was quite a distance from us only to realize the prices were much higher. As I was reading their admission prices, I noticed they begin charging admission starting at age 2. I immediately directed my husband to the board and commented how relieved I was that we did not bring our daughter.
Potty Time: Once we began potty training, I had to bring her portable potty chair everywhere. The regular sized toilets scared her, so this was the perfect option. Luckily, all of our theaters are very child friendly and allow us to bring it in with us!
If you are as fortunate as us, we have always lived near multiple theaters. Having more than one theater near by can be very beneficial. Sometimes one theater or another may show older children’s movies for a discounted admission and concession price.
When it comes to taking a child to see their first movie I recommend choosing a movie that has already been in the theater for at least a few weeks. Thus, giving you a fairly empty theater in case your tot feels the need to move around a bit.
My final tip to creating a great movie going experience, be mindful of the showtimes. If we are seeing a movie with an 11:00am showtime, you can bet we are just pulling into the parking lot at that time. Why? I want my daughter to sit still for as long as humanly possible! Watching fifteen minutes of previews is fifteen less minutes she will be able to sit for the actual movie. So we always arrive to the theater just as the showtime begins. This gives us fifteen minutes of previews to park, buy tickets, and concessions. Thus, heading in just as the movie begins!
Lastly, grab a bag of buttery, salty popcorn and enjoy a movie with your little ones!
Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You
(Ready to go to the movies!)
(Waiting for the movie to start!)