With today’s tough economic times, we all need to cut back on some of our family entertainment spending. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to cut back on the fun. We’ll show you how you can have even more fun with the family, staying home on Friday Nights. You just need a little creativity and planning. Today’s post will focus on Movie Night!
We went to the movies recently and dropped $60 for a family of four with tickets and snacks. Ouch! So, we have come up with some ideas on how to make movie night at home even more special than going out.
1. Don’t just sit on the couch! Make the movie watching experience even more fun by shaking up the way you watch it. If you have a large room, set up chairs movie theater style in front of the TV so it seems like you are at the theater. Make sure you turn the lights off for full effect. We have a pull-out sofa bed in our family room, so the kids love when we pull out the couch and watch the movie in our pajamas. We tend to have 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 cats, and a dog all on the bed by the end of the movie. Fun, but a little hairy. Set up a tent in front of the TV so all of you or just the kids can watch the movie through the tent flaps.
2. Fun snacks! Make popcorn and give everyone their own bowl and gourmet popcorn toppings like white cheddar or Cajun flavors. You can buy these shaker toppings at the grocery store. If you are really in the mood, make homemade caramel corn. Here’s a recipe from allrecipe.com that seems simple and is highly rated. We have also done an ice cream sundae bar. Before the movie starts set out the ice cream and various toppings and let the kids create. For pete’s sake, don’t forget the sprinkles! Finally, at Target or at Blockbuster you can buy the movie theater size candy boxes. Go ahead and splurge and let the kids gnaw on their Mike & Ike’s or Junior Mints while they watch. Just tell them to keep the smacking down and stop feeding the dog.
3. Build on a theme. If you know what movie you are going to watch ahead of time, you can have fun with the theme of the movie. If you are watching Indiana Jones – hide some rubber snakes around the family room to surprise the kids. If you are watching Madagascar, have your kids grab their zebra, hippo, giraffe, lion or penguin stuffed animals to help watch. If you have a world map at home, show them where New York is and where Madagascar is so they can see the distance and the journey of the characters. (You could bring all of your house plants into the family room and turn the heat way up to create a jungle atmosphere but uh, that’s your call.) If you are watching Cars, set up a Hot Wheels track so the kids can race while they watch. If you are watching Monsters, Inc. grab your favorite Ugly Doll or have your kids draw what they think their monster-in-the-closet looks like. Get the idea?
4. Share the fun. Just because you are staying home to watch a movie, don’t feel like it is a family only event. Invite the neighbors over to watch. The adults can watch the movie, chat or play cards while the kids watch. Have your kids make up pretend tickets and hand them out to their friends in the neighborhood so they can turn them in when they come over. Your kids will love ripping the ticket stubs when the guests arrive.
We’ll write more posts about our favorite family movies, so check back.
Any more ideas? We’d love to hear from you! In the meantime, have a blast on Friday Night Movie Night.
© 2009 Sue Kirchner