The movies seem like a great idea on a hot but rainy summer afternoon where the kids are out of school. The AC is on, snacks are closeby, and the entertainment is hands free.
Before you had kids, going to the movies was an entirely different affair. If you liked one of the actors in a particular movie, you’d buy tickets or maybe you’d liked the poster, so you go to that movie. A visit to the multiplex with kids is very complex and at worst case, eventful. Instead of an impromptu afternoon movie, there’s lots of planning involved with the kids. And if your children are newcomers to the theater, there’s even more strategy to be covered.
That said, there have been many parents before you who brought their children to movie theaters which means there is advice to go around. Parents who have come before you have learned how to make the experience fun for them and the kids - you can too.
1. Buy your tickets ahead of time.
Nothing is worse than an impatient toddler and a long line. Buy your tickets before you head to the movie theater through an app or online. Check out one of these movies dubbed the best movies for kids to see in theaters this year.
2. Skip the ads and trailers
While you’re in the business of skipping lines, why not skip the ads and trailers that come before the feature film? They can be long winded which may end up boring your children before the movie even starts. Skipping the previews will help keep your kids’ attention spans in tact for the actual film. We all know time is a precious commodity.
3. And skip the 3D.
Again, another thing to skip, but well worth it for many parents. Sometimes the extra visual stimulation can make kids feel motion sick, so it’s better to skip the 3D version and opt for 2D. This is a really low-key way to save money on the outing too since the cost of a trip to the movies has gone up.
4. Plan it out…
One of the best things you can do is plan your outing. Let the kids know what kinds of snacks they’ll be allowed to have prior to hitting the snackbar to avoid a meltdown. Choose a movie that’s nowhere near naptime to prevent a meltdown. Basically - plan your afternoon and help your kids know the plan to avoid a meltdown, that’s our end goal.
5. … but don’t get too attached to your plan.
You’ve spent all this money on afternoon entertainment for the family with a large popcorn included and little Jr. begins to pitch the fit of the century. Unfortunately it’s very common to hear, “I want to go home!” somewhere around the 50-minute mark during a movie, especially if it’s your little one’s first time. The good news? You can catch the ending of the movie on DVD when it comes out in a few short weeks. By being prepared to go with the flow, it’ll be an easier experience for everyone involved.
You too, Mom.