Taking the kids to the movie theater is an enjoyable family outing, especially during the hot summer months. If you have younger children, there are some important things to consider that can make your movie watching experience much more enjoyable. Listed below are 10 tips for taking kids to the movie theater.
10 Tips for Taking Kids to the Movie Theater
1. Ground rules. Let your child know how they will be expected to behave in a movie. Set some ground rules, before getting to the theater. Will tantrums during the movie mean an early exit? Should talking be limited to a whisper and only when necessary?
2. Is your child old enough? It can be really tough to know if your child is ready for their first movie theater experience. Before forking over big bucks for movie theater tickets, consider these three things:
Is your child easily overwhelmed?
Can your child sit through a longer movie at home?
Is your child able to go great lengths of time without a bathroom break?
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3. Choose the right movie. Do a bit of research to determine if the movie is age appropriate. Also find out the movie’s running time, to be sure your child can sit through it.
4. Pick the right time of day. This one can get tricky. Try choosing a show time that does not coincide with your child’s nap time, but is a also during a time of day that your child is not most active. Matinees are often a good option.
5. Purchase tickets in advance. Nothing will kill your child’s excitement faster than standing in a long line to purchase tickets. Standing in long ticket lines will surely make your little ones bored and cranky. Most theaters offer the option to purchase tickets online, in advance.
6. Bring snacks and a jacket or blanket. Although the theater concessions stand will probably be too much to resist, it’s a good idea to have some healthy snacks on hand to keep your child occupied before and during the movie. Movie theaters are often cold, so it’s best to bring a jacket, sweatshirt or blanket.
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7. Get there on time. This might seem like common sense to you, but is still worth mentioning. Rushing to the theater will surely stress out both you and your children, not to mention it will make it difficult to get concessions and aisle seats.
8. Ask for a booster and get aisle seats. Most theaters now have booster seats available that will make it much easier for your child to see the film. In case you need to step out for a potty break, choose an aisle seat. If a booster is not available, seats closer to the screen are usually better for shorter people. Plus the extra light from the screen might be better for younger children.
9. Warn your child about the dark. Especially if this is your child’s first movie theater experience, it is important to warn them about the dark. Most kids get pretty surprised when the lights first go out, so it’s a good idea to let them know what to expect. So often I have heard children cry out in the theater when the light go dim, and more often than not a little preparation from mom would have prevented it.
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10. Be prepared to step out or leave. Don’t expect younger children to sit through the entire movie. Potty breaks will probably be needed, even if everyone goes before the movie starts. If your child gets too fidgety or vocal, you might need to step out or even leave. If you end up leaving, it doesn’t hurt to ask the manager for passes to visit at another time. More often than not they will appreciate that you did not disrupt the film and be happy to accommodate you.
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