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How to Host the Perfect Family Movie Night at Home

November 11, 2015 by | Comments Off on How to Host the Perfect Family Movie Night at Home

When thoughtfully planned, family movie night can create magical memories for everyone. While many people have their own fond movie night memories to draw from, not everyone can draw on experience when planning their own evening. It might help to picture that perfect gathering and start from the beginning.

Schedule the night

Get everyone excited for the upcoming movie night by making it a priority. You can certainly have a spur-of-the-moment movie night with pizza—and those can create their own wonderful memories. Scheduling it ahead of time helps build excitement for something truly special and has the added bonus of preventing the creation of other plans. Mark the date on the family calendar as a special event. If you’ve got tech savvy family members, you can even send out electronic invitations. If you’re looking for this evening to stand out, you might even considering crafting and handing out personal invitations.

When you’re scheduling the date, make sure you also take the time and the members of the audience into consideration. It should be early enough so that it’s not the very last thing people do before hitting the sheets for lights out and that can change with age.

Choose a family-friendly movie

Streaming a movie that the entire family will enjoy is a must for a successful night. Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu are great sources for both new and older movies. A local Redbox can also be used to rent the latest releases. Rotating who gets to choose the movie each movie night can ensure everyone gets to see their favorite and will allow older favorites to be watched again and again.

If you were looking for “how to host the perfect scary movie night”, you might choose a different type of movie, but consider selecting something that everyone in the audience will not only enjoy, but a family-friendly blockbuster that will stand the test of time and add to the memory.

Set the Scene

Decide if the evening should be held indoors or outdoors. A simple blanket fort can be constructed indoors, allowing everyone to cuddle together underneath while viewing the movie. Have plenty of throw pillows laying out and blankets for staying warm. Twinkling lights that are hung up strategically around the room can add to the cozy atmosphere and mimic the soft house lights or floor lights in a theater that no one notices when the movie is playing.

If the weather permits and you have space, consider moving the film outdoors. A projector and a white sheet can be used to create an outdoor theater. Using outdoor lanterns to guide the path back to the house will help to set the scene and ensure no one trips when going to the restroom.

Mood matters, so matching the scene to the movie can make it even more memorable. Encourage everyone to turn off their cell phones and tablets, or silence them, to keep extra noise distractions away and help everyone bond together as a family. That may actually be the biggest challenge of all!

Have plenty of food

Popcorn is always appreciated during movies, but this might be the perfect time to branch out into other dinner and snack foods. Convenient and easy food options will make both cooking and clean-up simple.

Pizza is one food that almost everyone enjoys. Have fun making homemade pizza as a family before the movie starts, buy one at the store to bake at home or order delivery or carry out. It’s probably the ultimate handheld meal. You can try chinese takeout, burgers and fries, sub sandwiches, nachos or any food that fits the mood.

Decide if you want to eat during the film or before, but make sure to have a special treat for everyone in the audience. Buying snacks at the movie theater can be expensive, but at your special movie night, have those rarely enjoyed treats ready. Set out chips, dip, apple slices, roasted chickpeas, yogurt-dipped pretzels, crunchy veggies—go gourmet for this special night. For a sweet ending to the night, consider a sundae bar with bowls of typical movie candy set out for the ice cream toppings.

Schedule an Intermission

You might need to be familiar with the movie to find the perfect time to take a break, but build one in at some point during the movie. Pick a spot or two where you can pause without problems and use that power you have since you’re in control. It allows everyone to use the restroom, refill their plates, get drinks and stretch. After you’ve taken a break yourself, assess the food and comfort situation. Take the opportunity to observe what’s happening in the room and make some small adjustments—add another pillow or blanket, clean up a potential mess, or refill snacks and put away food no one is eating. Before unpausing, ask the room (especially young children) if everyone remembers what’s happening in the movie and what’s going on. You can even make a game out of your breaks by guessing what will be the first word spoken after pressing play!

After the movie

Let everyone play movie critic by talking about the film the next day. Doing so will give everyone a chance to express their opinion and recall like this helps to solidify the memories that were made. This is also a great time to get input and ideas for a future film night.

It may look different for each household, but creating the perfect family movie night at home doesn’t have to be expensive or exhausting.

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