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A fun family movie night is a great way to hang out together. Here are a few family movie night ideas to make it special!
Fun Family Movie Night Ideas
My boys love to have a movie night – when we all drop what we're doing and get off our phones and pile into the living room together.
Sometimes when my youngest is asking for one, and I have lots of work to do or phone calls to make, I tend to put him off. But over the past few years?
I've had to come to terms with having one kid in college…. and then coming to terms with my 17 year wanting to join the military. And my heart started realizing this blissful family bubble is going to end WAY sooner than I am ready for.
SO! As my kids are all at home, everything is right with the world, and I'm trying to be a little more intentional about making time for family togetherness.
One way to do that is make a family movie night a little more special. It doesn't take much – as you can see from the picture above 🙂
How do you plan a family movie night at home?
- Grab some snacks or fun foods
- Decide on a movie
- Pick your movie spot (you can get fancy with a projector and screen in the backyard or patio OR just simply watch on the TV together)
- Enjoy your family time together!
What should I make for a family movie night?
The day before, I like to go pick out movie theater boxes of candy that the kids will all enjoy. They can either stake their claim on a box, or share them around. Dollar Tree is a great place to find lots of cheap $1.25 candy – but just about anywhere has theater boxes.
Then I have my youngest decorate brown paper bags for each member of the family – it keeps him busy while I'm scrambling to finish up working on the computer and it's pretty cute to see what he comes up with for each person. Dollar Tree also has those cute little popcorn containers – but I hate trying to an empty cabinet space for storing those things!
I've also seen folks recently using these school supply caddies from Target (or Dollar Tree!) and filling half with popcorn, and the other side with juice boxes, fruit snacks, etc… 🙂
(Thanks to our friend Amber Dawn for sharing this cute movie night caddy from her family's Trolls Movie Night!)
Right before movie time we pop a few bags of microwave popcorn to fill all the brown bags. I picked up some different spices and popcorn toppings so the kids can sprinkle some in their bag and shake it up – as spicy as they like it.
The Kernel Seasonings makes a Popcorn Seasoning Variety pack that's totally unnecessary but also completely adorable 🙂 It's the little things that make it feel extra festive right?
You could also create a movie night snackle box – that way everyone gets their own mix of snacks for the night.
What movies can you watch for family night?
I usually have my husband be thinking up a movie (since for some reason NONE of the boys want to watch South Pacific with me…..). He'll take suggestions from the peanut gallery, but ultimately we're probably going to be watching a Western, a Superhero movie, an Action/Adventure movie (think Indiana Jones) or an old comedy.
We have learned through trial and error that a lot of the movies we watched on tv as kids and remember fondly – are NOT PG when you watch the original unedited version (yikes!) So now we always run it by CommonSenseMedia (or even IMDB has a Parent Review section.)
The kids range 7 years apart, so it can make it hard to find something everyone will enjoy – but not impossible!
Some family movies that we have enjoyed over the years:
(I've included the Amazon link in case you want to rent or buy one to watch tonight!)
- Nacho Libre
- ALLLLLL The Marvel Movies
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Pixar Movies (We really love just about all of them! Kung Fu Panda, Incredibles, Nemo…)
- True Grit (Pretty violent – but for teens maybe)
- The Princess Bride
- The Emperor's New Groove (I think we've watched this one 100 times)
- Harry Potter
- Ponyo (or ANY Studio Ghibli movie really!)
- Newsies (my personal fave!)
- Lord of the Rings
- Cool Runnings
- Star Wars
- The Lego Movies
- Annie (the original)
- The Sandlot
- The Neverending Story
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- What About Bob
- The Sound of Music (well they sort of liked it….)
- Indiana Jones
- Mrs. Doubtfire
- The Parent Trap
- Swiss Family Robinson
- Night at the Museum
- Evan Almighty
- The Disney Movies (when they were little)
There are hundreds of others I could add to the list – but these are the first ones that come to mind. I'd absolutely LOVE to hear your suggestions in the comments! We also have a HUGE list of the best Amazon Prime Movies for Kids if you want to peek through those.
Keep in mind that the suggestions above are not all good for little kids, and you'll want to check it out on CommonSenseMedia to see if it's too violent, etc…. for your family 🙂
How do I make movie nights more fun?
Have your movie in the backyard with a projector and either a big sheet strung up on the fence or one of these projector screens. Want to make your outdoor movie night a more permanent fixture? Find out how to build your own outdoor movie screen!
BONUS: You can even turn this into a community event if you want! Reader Traci says her family grills out and watches a backyard movie most weekends – and the neighbors sit out and watch the movie too. Such a fun idea!
- Let the kids build a blanket fort in the daytime that they can hang out in during the movie.
- Set up an air mattress and make a giant comfy floor bed with lots of pillows for snuggles.
- Set up a pop up tent for the kids with the open door facing the television.
Share more of your family movie night ideas in the comments below!
Looking to combine a movie night with outdoors? My friend Laura put together a fantastic night for her friends with a fall themed backyard movie night. Check it out!