Going to the movies has been something that I have enjoyed since my dad took me to see The Black Cauldron back in 198…. You do not need to know how old I am! Anyway, movies have been a huge part of my life and it is something that I really enjoy sharing with my own kids. We love having movie nights at home, but there is just something extra special about going to an actual movie theatre to see a movie.
I have taken both my kids to the movies from a very young age and I have some tips, strategies, and suggestions for ways that you can take a pre-schooler to the movies and have a good time, not have them freak out and make it a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
Picking The Right Movie
The key to your first trip to the movie theatre being an exciting one is picking the right movie. You know your child better than anyone so you know what kind of things they like and what things they do not like. There is no point taking them to see a movie that they will not be interested in as there is nothing worse than having a kid who is not having a nice time at the movie theatre. That is why you want a movie that is going to capture their attention and keep it.
Go For The Cheap Movie First
Ok so this may depend on what your local movie theatres offer, but near me, on a weekend the two movie theatres have a movies for juniors thing going. These are slightly older movies that are shown for a reduced price. For example, the first time I took my eldest son to the movies was 2006 and the first movie he ever saw in the movie theatre was Chicken Little which was released the year earlier. As this was an older movie. The movie theatre showed it early on Saturday morning and the price was about a quarter of a regular cinema ticket. This is a great way to test the waters of if your child will be able to deal with a movie theatre.
Hype the movie theatre experience up as much as you can! Both my kids loved the experience. And how the TV was giant (their words) the sound was loud and it was really dark. I went above and beyond to really hype the movie up and this got them (and myself) very excited for our first family trip to the movies. Also if you can find the trailer for the movie you want to take them to go and see, let them watch it. This is another way to get them excited and also see if they have an interest in the movie.
Let Them Pick The Snacks
One of the best things about going to the movies is snacks! It can be tough with young kids as they see the snack counter at the theatre and want to go nuts there. However, we all know how expensive that is there. On occasion, I do let the kids get their popcorn, drinks and whatever from the movie theatre, but that tends to be only for a special movie. For example, when the Avengers Infinity War came out, my theatre had special Avengers cups that the kids want. Usually, before the movie, we will stop at the supermarket and I will let the kids pick what they want for the movie. The hardest part is getting them not to eat them before the movie even starts!
Take A Booster Seat
Both the theatres that are near me have a stack of booster seats outside each of the screens. These things are great and I wish they had them when I was a kid. It is great if someone like Andre the Giant sits in front of you. What to do if your cinema does not offer booster seats? Well, that is easy. One of my theatres did not always offer them and what we would do was take the kids car booster seat in with us and let them use that. If your kids are quite small try and pick seats that are going to let them see. I am at the point now where the kids insist on picking the seats as they have their favourite places to sit.
Taking your kids to the movies can be expensive, but if you plan it right, go to older movies you can actually have a rather reasonably priced day out at the movies. Taking my kids to see movies is something I love to do and it is at the point now where they are asking me to take them to see things that they see advertised on TV. I really want to make the most of this and I suggest that you do too. There is going to come a day (probably much sooner than I would like) when your kids will be way too cool to go to the cinema with you and will just want to go with their friends so enjoy it while you can.