Collaborative parenting

14 Tips for the Perfect Family Film Night

If you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to entertain the kids for an evening then the film night is ideal. I mean, you don’t even have to leave the living room, right? That being the case, here are some tips to help you take your film night to the next level!

1. Pick the Perfect Flick

Choosing the perfect film is something that will definitely elevate your film nights to the next level, but it is not something that is always easy to achieve, right? Not when you’re looking for a move that will suit everyone’s taste from your toddler to your grumpy 40-year-old husband, anyway. It’s a good way to get round this is to allow everyone to write down a couple of films they want to watch, then draw from a hat, It’s fair and everyone will get their turn eventually.

2. Explore Streaming Alternatives

Sure, Netflix is the big kahuna of streaming, but why not venture off the beaten path with some alternatives to Netflix Platforms like Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ offer fantastic family options. For a dose of nostalgia, why not check out classic films on services like Turner Classic Movies or the Criterion Channel? Expanding your horizons could lead you to your family’s new favourite film.

3. Make it a Theme Night

Why stop at just a movie? Go all out with a theme night. Watching ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’? Don pirate hats and eye patches! If ‘Frozen’ is on the menu, turn down the thermostat and hand out blankets—just kidding on the thermostat. But really, a little theming goes a long way!

4. Snacks on Deck

No film night is complete without snacks. Mix it up from the usual popcorn (although always a solid choice) by adding themed treats that match the movie. Think ‘Lady and the Tramp’ spaghetti cupcakes or ‘Finding Nemo’ fish and chips. Get creative and have fun with it!

5. Comfort is Key

You can’t truly enjoy a good film if you are all so uncomfortable that you’re always fidgeting, so collect all of the pillows, cushions and blankets in the house, and use them liberally to create a cosy spot you can all really relax. Pillow fort anyone?

6. Intermission is a Must

Especially important for younger viewers (or those with tiny bladders), plan a quick intermission. Use this time for bathroom breaks or a quick stretch. It’s also a great moment to refill those snacks—a crucial part of any movie night.

7. Tech Check

Nothing kills the vibe like technical difficulties. Before the big night, do a quick tech check. Ensure your streaming setup is smooth, the sound is adjusted, and the remote has fresh batteries. This way, you’ll be ready to play director without any hitches.

8. Post-Movie Chat

After the credits roll, have a chat about the movie. What did everyone like? Any favourite characters or scenes? This can lead to some lovely family bonding and might even help you choose next week’s movie.

9. Keep a Movie Journal

Start a family movie journal. Record what you watched, the snacks you ate, and everyone’s ratings out of ten. It’s a fun way to look back at your film adventures and see which nights were box office hits according to the family critics.

10. Alternate the Planner

Rotate the role of movie night planner among family members. This gives everyone a chance to add their personal touch and keeps the nights varied and exciting.

11. DIY Popcorn Bar

Why settle for plain old butter popcorn when you can have a popcorn bar? Set up a station with toppings like melted chocolate, caramel drizzle, cheese powder, and various sweets. Let everyone create their own popcorn masterpiece. It’s a snack and activity rolled into one!

12. Create Your Own Pre-Show

Get everyone involved in creating a family pre-show. Film short video clips of each family member talking about their movie expectations or acting out a favorite movie scene. Play these before the main feature to get everyone giggling and in the mood for movie magic.

13. Silent Cinema Game

For a fun twist, mute the film for a minute or two and have family members take turns dubbing the dialogue. The more outrageous, the better! It’s a hilarious way to engage with the movie and each other.

14. Outdoor Movie Night

When the weather is good, and that might not be very often admittedly, you can really elevate your film nights by taking them outside. All you need is a big white sheet and a portable projector, and you can make any movie 100 times more magical by beaming it into the garden. The kids will love it!

Turn down the lights, switch on the TV and enjoy some quality family time with a great film!