Tips For a Fun Family Film Night

How to create a great viewing experience for adults and kids alike


For a lot of families there's nothing better than an outing to the local cinema to see the latest kids-friendly blockbuster. But nowadays, a night of viewing in the comfort in your own home can be just as much fun! With a few tricks and a little imagination you can turn your living room into a theatre and make a film night that is fun and memorable for all the family.


And there are other advantages too: staying home for a fun night's viewing can save you money, allows you to prepare and eat healthier snacks, gives you the legroom you need to really get comfortable and you never have to worry about popping off to the loo halfway through the film. Below are a few simple tips to make your family film night a huge success.


Pick the right film

The first and probably the most important step. Choosing the right film is all about getting the entertainment balance between the kids and grown-ups right. Reading reviews on the Internet is always a good place to start when you want to find a film suitable for all ages, is worth the money and doesn't contain content that might raise awkward questions from the young ones. Or why not ask other friends with kids if they can recommend a good family film to watch? Word of mouth is still the best and most reliable method around for gathering information on just about anything!


Let the kids get involved

If your children are school-age then why not let them pick a film night theme? Anything from historical female heroes, Disney's most memorable animal characters or a particular sport your kids are interested in can raise the excitement levels. Encourage your kids to research the subject and then help them choose a film that fits the bill, then, before you hit the 'play' button, get them to do a small presentation about what they have learned and then afterwards you can have a fun family discussion about the film you've just watched.


Would you like pizza with that?

Your family film night can be a lot more fun when food is involved. Think about a take-away treat like pizza or whatever is your family's favourite meal. Alternatively you can prepare a special, yummy meal before and serve whenever you like. Of course we don't want to do this every night, but once in a while we all deserve a little treat!


Tickets please!

Get your kids to design and make their own cinema tickets. Before the film starts they can take your ticket, rip off the stub and then escort you to your seats. Reducing the light in the room to a low (but safe!) level and giving your pint-sized ushers a torch to light the way is another great trick to build the excitement and get the little ones really involved.

Make it an event

One way to increase the anticipation is to plan the film night well in advance. Choose a date and mark it in red on the calendar. Get the kids to make their own posters advertising where, when and which film. Ticking off the days on the calendar will help keep the excitement growing until the actual night arrives.


Tidy up

Nothing spoils a good family film night than a rushed bout of last minute cleaning. Try to get everything spick and span in good time and if necessary, rope in the kids with a task each. You'll be amazed at how quickly washing and drying dishes, taking the rubbish out and tidying toys away can be achieved when there's an exciting goal just waiting to begin.


Schedule a bathroom break

This is especially good for the smaller viewers. Pick a set time roughly half way through the film and set a fixed length of time for everyone to stretch their legs, visit the bathroom, re-fill the popcorn and soft drinks. But don't make the break too long. Keeping the intermission short can raise the excitement with everyone rushing around to get back in time for the film. This can also be a good point at which to carry the younger children off to bed and then settle back down to continue the film night with something a little more appropriate for the teens and older children.


Avoid distractions

If you want to make it a really special occasion then do everything you can to avoid unwanted interruptions. Turn off your mobile phones and turn on the answering machine. The kids will understand and appreciate that this is a night of pure 'family time' and will enjoy it all the more.


Slip into your jim jams

Take the opportunity to slide into 'comfy and snug' mode. The little ones can slip into their pyjamas and the teens into jogging trousers and sweat shirts. Get them all snuggled together under a thick, soft blanket on the couch or possibly heap a pile of cushions on the floor. And the scene is set for the fun, family film night to begin.




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