Taking your children to the movie theater can be a great activity during the summer months. Most children love seeing movies in the movie theater. There is a lot of hussle and bustle all around the movie theater and this will attract the attention of your children. If you are considering taking your kids to the movie theater this summer, here are a few tips that may help.
Matinee Pricing – The matinee pricing is a parents best friend when it comes to taking your kids to the movie theater. Matinee times are normally from the time the theater opens (my local theater opens at 12:30 every day) until their peak evening hours begin (around 6 or 7 pm). During these early hours the ticket prices are less; sometimes up to half off the evening prices. My local theater’s matinee prices are $5.00 each, compared to the $7.50 charged for each ticket in the evening hours. When taking your kids to the movie theater, the matinee times are also less crowded and noisey than the evening hours. So not only will you save money, but you will most likely have a more enjoyable movine-going experience with your kids.
Snack Time – No child, and most adults, will be able to pass up the concession stand at the movie theater. The smell of buttery popcorn, the sights of all those jumbo boxes of candy and the giant cups of cola are just too much to resist. Thankfully, most movie theaters have a kid-sized snack pack available. Our local theater has one that consists of a small cola, small candy and small popcorn all built into one tray-like container. My girls love it! Unfortunately, these can be a little pricey when buying one for each seperate child, therefore, it may be cheaper to buy one big bag of popcorn and let the kids share it while they are watching the movie. You should always make allowances for the concession stand when considering your movie theater budget. Don’t forget the napkins! That buttery popcorn can get messy.
Choosing a Movie – When deciding to take your kids to the movie theater, it is always a good idea to choose the movie you are going to see, in advance. There are many ways to do this. You could look your local movie theater up online, you could call your theater (most will have a recording that announces a list of currently showing movies and their times) or you could look in your local newspaper to see if there is a listing of movies playing. By choosing the movie in advance you will be sure that everyone knows what they are seeing and you can prevent any battles about the choice while standing in line waiting to buy tickets.
Arrive Early – On big tip that I have learned, from years of experience in taking children to the movie theater, is to always arrive early. This may seem like common sense to most of you, but there will be some out there that always wait until after the previews are over to go in and find a seat. That is a no-no when taking your kids to the movie theater. By arriving early you will be able to find good seats, get everyone situated, hand out snacks, drinks and napkins and do all of this while there are still lights on in the theater so that you can see what you’re doing. Arriving while there are still lights on can also help any children who may get upset when the lights are dimmed. They will be able to see the whole theater before it gets dark so that they will feel more comfortable with their surroundings after the lights go down. So always arrive early to safe yourself some hassle, and possibly some grunts and groans from other movie goers who may not appreciate a line of noisey children and their parents trying to get things settled down after the movie has started.
Find Proper Seating for the Kids – Being able to see, in some theaters, is an eternal battle of height, width and seating position in the movie theater. If you have small children you will want to make sure that they will be able to see the movie screen, even if someone taller than them suddenly sits down in front of them. That’s another reason that you would want to get to the theater early also, to find just the right seat for everyone. I find that getting closer to the front is best for shorter children; there will be more light from the screen and no worries of someone tall sitting in front if them.
Reduce Distractions – Distractions will be of abundance while you are in the movie theater with your children, but with a few easy steps you can reduce a few of those distractions. By turning off your cell phones, and the cell phones of any of your kids who have one, you will reduce a big distraction. You won’t have to worry about the older kids talking on their phone, texting or just playing games when you want them to watch the movie. By turning your cell phone off you won’t have to worry about someone calling right when you are getting into the movie or have to listen to the annoying chirp of the “low battery” indicator. Another way to reduce distractions is to make sure everyone has what they need before the movie starts. That means everyone uses the bathroom, everyone has their snacks and drinks accessible and everyone stays in their own seat.
Beware of Scary Previews – Even if you are going to a children’s movie that is rated G, you may still be faced with some inappropriate previews being played before the movie comes on. Younger children may get upset by graphic previews that depict violence, monsters and a range of other items that your kids may not enjoy. So be on the lookout if you notice an inappropriate preview beginning.
Drive-In Theaters – If the idea of taking your kids to the regular movie theater isn’t very appealing, you may want to try a drive-in theater. A drive-in can be just as fun and more of an adventure to your kids than going to sit in a movie theater. You can walk them to the concession stand and then everyone can settle down in the comfort of your own vehicle. Bring along some blankets and pillows and let everyone cuddle up and enjoy the movie and the time together.
A trip to the movie theater with your kids can be an enjoyable way to pass the time together during the summer. Make sure that you take along your patience, but also enjoy the way your kids look at the big screen and become entranced by the movie playing. It will be worth it in the end when you walk out and your kids are raving about the fun they just experienced.
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