Family Essentials®

8 Tips to a Successful Summer Movie Night With Kids

June 29, 2016

Posted in: Summer

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What’s summer without an outdoor movie night with the kids? This year, Kiddie Academy’s flagship corporate location in Abingdon, Maryland is sponsoring a local summer movie night series featuring kid-favorite films like Minions and Inside Out.

The average price of a movie ticket nationwide ranges between $9 and $11. A summer movie night can be an affordable and accessible alternative to hitting the theater. An outdoor movie night helps families have a lot of fun, and quality time, without a lot of effort.

We’re sharing some of the summer movie night essentials that might help your family find more fun and less hassle with the next outdoor movie night in your neighborhood. Here’s what you you need to know to have a successful outdoor movie night with the kids:

  1. Know what time the movie starts. Come early and come prepared so your kids can run around, connect with their friends and maybe even grab a bite to eat before sitting down and being quiet while the movie airs. Typically, the movie won’t start until it’s dark enough to see the screen. So keep in mind if you arrive at 6 p.m., it could be a few hours for that to happen.
  2. Pick the right spot. Whether you’re in a back yard, on a patio or presented with an open field of spot choices, look for a spot that will provide the most comfort and least amount of distracting foot traffic. If you have a little one that is potty training, you might also consider a spot close to the bathroom.
  3. Don’t forget the snacks and water. If your outdoor movie venue doesn’t have snacks available, serve your own popcorn in individualized brown bags for the kids. Offer fruit-infused water or juice boxes to keep kids hydrated and cool in the summer heat, which can linger long after the sun goes down. Bring along some ice pops or another frozen treat for a special refresh before the movie starts.
  4. Plan for later bed times. Outdoor movie venues typically won’t start the film until the sun goes down, which could be as late as 9:00 p.m. in the summertime. Plan for kids to have a lot of fun in the pre-screen time and be inclined to push back their bedtime until after the movie is over.
  5. Bring all your pillows and blankets. See #4. Laying in the grass isn’t as comfortable and bringing a lawn chair can be a hefty endeavor when toting kids along as well. Bring a couple of big blankets to lay on the ground with pillows to cuddle up in and watch the movie in comfort and style.
  6. You should still bring some entertainment. Even though you’re there to see an outdoor movie, if you arrive early, per our recommendation in #1 and #2, you’ll have some time to kill before the movie starts. Have some fun games, balls or toys to keep kids occupied.
  7. Prepare to be outside. Since you and your little ones will be outside enjoying this entertainment for a few hours, prepare for the bugs with insect repellent and sunscreen.
  8. Every child has a different attention span. You’re guaranteed to be sitting down for at least 90 minutes while the film airs. This could be a nice time of relaxation with your older kids, but younger ones are bound to get antsy, want to walk around, find trouble or take a bathroom break. A 2-year old will not have the same attention span for a movie as a 7-year old. Don’t expect more attention from them than what they’re able to give at each age.