Small Budget, Big Fun: How To Get Creative And Win At Family Movie Night

African American family watching television together Blend Images - KidStock via Getty Images
Blend Images - KidStock via Getty Images
African American family watching television together Blend Images - KidStock via Getty Images

A family trip to the cinema can be a big expense. Once you’ve totted up the cost of tickets, travel and treats to tuck into, a few hours at the movies really doesn’t fit most family budgets. So, instead of venturing out on a wet and windy evening, why not snuggle up together and bring the movies to you for a fraction of the price?

Family movie night is a wonderful family tradition to start right now: it’s the perfect way to bond together, create lifelong happy memories and there’s the big bonus of getting some cuddle time too.

Here’s how to make your family film night miles more fun than traipsing to the cinema.

Plan for fun

Whether it’s Friday night or Sunday afternoon, making your family film time an official date in the diary turns it into an event to look forward to.

You could ramp up the excitement by helping your kids make tickets for everyone and giving them roles as ushers and popcorn sellers. Get your hands on some big cardboard boxes so children can create a box office from where they can give out tickets and treats. Or they could make a cardboard car for a mini movie drive-in experience.

Take turns choosing

Depending on the age range of your children, the perfect film can be tricky to pick. Either take turns choosing the movie (no complaining allowed) on different nights or put a short list selection together and draw from a hat. It’s worth sorting this out beforehand for a squabble-free start to the evening.

Remember not to always go for the newest (and more expensive) releases on offer. Classic films have earned their status for a reason and you’ll enjoy feeling nostalgic for your own childhoods and seeing your children’s rapt faces. On a very long list, we’d start with The Jungle Book, Home Alone, The Parent Trap and Matilda.

Make easy movie food

Movie nights are meant to be relaxing for everyone so make something easy with minimal clear up needed. You could even use paper plates for a sense of occasion that reduces washing up.

Perfectly shareable home movie night foods include homemade pizzas, honey-coated chicken wings, mini burgers, sausage dogs and, of course, a bowl of popcorn. And for a special treat why not share a sharing bag of yummy Cadbury chocolates?

Set the scene and get comfy

Create a home cinema with enough space for everyone to be comfortable and relaxed. Load the floor with sleeping bags, cushions and bean bags for some snuggling while watching. Dim the lights or festoon fairy lights for a special cosy yet sparkly atmosphere.

Switch off and switch on to family fun

Just like in the real cinema, switch off mobiles and tablets, put the answerphone on, and give yourselves over entirely to movie night. Kids notice if you’re not entirely focussed and why waste the chance to live in the moment entirely, share something special and enjoy their reactions.

Jump into your PJs or onesies

This works for two very good reasons: one, it’s more comfortable and two, it means you can pop sleepy little kids into bed with minimal fuss when the film’s finished.

Mull over the movie together

Make time to chat about what you’ve watched together, either when credits roll or the next day. Talk about how movie characters handled situations and what you and your kids would do in a similar situation, favourite bits that made them laugh or feel sad and anything that’s piqued their curiosity and they want to know more about. Plus, the more you chat, the more that movie night is fixed into their memories as a fun family bonding time.

Make your time together during family film nights extra special by tucking into a Cadbury chocolate treats bag. There are so many to choose from: Dinky Deckers, Crunchie Rocks, Fudge Minis, Giant Buttons and a whole lot more sharing possibilities.

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