Family Movie Night: Tips and Tricks to Make it Memorable

Families often create traditions without cognizant acknowledgement that these habitual events are starting to form. Often times, the best and most memorable moments between families are things that happen organically and without much thought. From annual reunions to summer vacations, ice cream on the last day of school to pancakes on Sundays, weekly family movie nights and Friday night football. Each family is different, but I would venture to guess that all families have at least a few traditions that have taken shape.


FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT

One such tradition at our house is family movie night. For us, family movie nights are a time to connect, laugh, sing, and be together. With two working parents and three involved children, moments of quiet and togetherness have to be scheduled and are held sacred. What are our absolutes for family movie night?

  • No work for parents. This means parents aren’t allowed to multi-task and work on projects or social media scrolling during the movie. The occasional laundry folding is okay, but no screen time work projects allowed.
  • We don’t all have to agree on the title, but we all have to watch it. With 5 people in a family, what are the odds that everyone is feeling into the same genre at the same time? Slim, right? That’s ok. We rotate who gets to choose the movie and practice being respectful when the selected film isn’t one of our favorites. We have definitely started movie nights with a child in tears and refusing to watch. Because of our “everyone must watch during family movie night” rule, all bodies were snuggled into the viewing area together to start the movie and the mood quickly changes. Thankfully, whenever that has happened they were sucked into the movie almost instantly and it ended up being one they liked.
  • There will almost certainly be a movie snack. Duh. What rhymes with family movie night you ask? We answer that question with Skinny Pop popcorn. Popcorn goes perfectly with a movie night and we’ve found Skinny Pop to be our absolute favorite. It has a taste that our family of five gives 10 thumbs up. The bonus for myself as a mom is that it doesn’t leave six tiny hands full of grease, butter and salt as they climb around on the couch and touch their pillows and blankets.

Skinny Pop popcorn is gluten-free, nut free, dairy free, and flavor FULL. It is a great base snack for movie night because it is a healthy option for kids and parents alike. During a recent grocery store run, I discovered that Skinny Pop is stepping up their game with all kinds of new flavors and treats. If you haven’t tried their Sweet Cinnamon puffs, you’re missing out.

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT SNACK

Let me take this rare moment to brag about one thing that I know I’m doing right in life: Movie night snacks. Yep, that’s right. I can’t boast that I am the mom that is on their level living in the moment every second. Nor can I assure you that my children are only given sugar-free organic food three meals a day. What I can boast is that my movie snacks are out of this world. Several years ago when there was only one tiny mouth to feed during our family nights, I started hiding a small treat at the bottom of the popcorn bowl. The look of pure joy when my oldest caught a glimpse of color peeking out of his neutral toned popcorn bowl is a look I won’t soon forget. I’ve carried on the tradition and part of the fun is that the kids never know what they may find hiding underneath.

Some of our favorite hidden popcorn enhancers include:

  • M&M’s
  • Gummy worms
  • Fruit snacks
  • Sesame sticks
  • Swedish fish
  • Chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows
  • Pretzel sticks

SET UP YOUR OWN CONCESSION STAND

As the kids gets older, they love to do all of the grandiose gestures that take a 5-minute activity and turn it into an hour. They have recently tried to take over my job as the creator of hidden popcorn enhancers and love when we set up a popcorn bar to create their own. When they really get into it, they make me “purchase” my base and toppings using the play money from our pretend kitchen. When it comes to creating our popcorn masterpieces, no two are alike!

While my husband and I both relish in the Sea Salt and Pepper Skinny Pop, there are endless flavors to choose from and try. We have tried all of the different combinations and add-ons and these are our current favorites.

April, mom: Loves watching What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Break-Up while eating Sea Salt and Pepper Popcorn with thinly sliced Tango Apple slices.

Eric, age 37: Loves watching James Bond and Tombstone while eating Sea Salt and Pepper Popcorn with Twix.

Brecken, age 8: Loves watching How to Eat Fried Worms and Richie Rich, while eating Microwave Butter Popcorn.

Madiana, age 6: Loves watching Dog with a Blog and The Emoji Movie, while eating Original Popcorn with Skittles.

Gretchen, age 3: Loves watching The Greatest Showman and Cars 3, while eating Naturally Sweet popcorn with oreos.

WHERE DO TRADITIONS START?

For most of us, we tap into our childhood to lay the foundation for our grown-up traditions. These could be inspired by things we have fond memories of growing up or perhaps things that we always wanted but never received as a child. Regardless of what serves as the inspiration, the important thing is implementing traditions in a way that makes sense for you and your family.

We love all kinds of movies, but ESPECIALLY love holiday films. Check out our 7 Favorite Adult Christmas Movies and see if you agree.

Photo Credit: Mojitos and Munchkins

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