Have Fun with family Movie Night
By Joan Whetzel
When was the last time you had a family movie night? They can be a real hoot, especially if it includes food not normally provided at the local movie theater. Family movie nights can be held in any kind of weather and the family can even sit around in your pajamas, in the dark. The main idea here is to have fun as a family, watch some old family favorites, or maybe even some new-to-you oldies, and enjoy your favorite refreshments or meals.
Pick a Night
The first thing you need to do is pick a regular family movie night. It could be every Friday, every other Friday or the first Friday of the month; however you want to set it up. One option is to occasionally allow your kids to have one friend over for movie night and allow them to spend the night, especially if it's close to their birthday. Make it part of their birthday present or party.
Set Up a Movie Line Up
Movie line ups can be set up in any number of ways. One way is to have everyone write out their favorites on slips of paper to be pulled out of a can the night before movie night. Then the 2 or 3 movies chosen can be set aside from your personal movie stash, rented from Red Box or streamed over the cable through Netflix. If it starts feeling like you're always watching the same movies, why not try some of the classics from your childhood, or your parents' and grandparents' childhoods.
How about some good old fashioned comedies like Arsenic and Old Lace, The Absent Minded Professor (the original), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, Harvey, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Harry and the Hendersons, Mr. Bean, Wallace and Grommet, or Abbott and Costello. For somewhat older kids (middle and high school), go for some older mysteries like Sorry Wrong Number, Dial M for Murder, or The Trouble with Harry and dramas like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, 12 Angry Men, or The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. The only limitation is that the movies should be appropriate for your kids.
Snacks or Dinner and a Movie
As for movie night food anything goes. Yeah, there's the usual popcorn and soda. But why not make it a picnic in the living room, complete with picnic blankets and any kind of food you like. The usual picnic (grilled burgers and hot dogs, sandwiches, chips); order out KFC, Chinese or pizza; junk food (nachos, taquitos); or finger food night (fruits, veggies and dip, chicken nuggets, crackers and cheese, edamame - or anything you like as long as you can use your fingers, and some dipping sauces). Let the kids help you decide on the movie food fair, and help in the preparation as much as they want or are able.
Now that you've got it all set up, it's time to settle in, turn off the lights, chow down and watch the show(s). Start a fire in the fireplace if it's cold. Light some candles or turn on a lantern or two (like you're watching a movie in the park). Lounge around on picnic blankets (with plastic underneath to protect the floor) or sleeping bags and blankets. Or snuggle on the couch. And just have some fun.
There's no limits to the variations on movie nights but there's only one main point. The main point is to watch and enjoy movies together as a family - either some of your old favorites or some new to you oldies - and to have fun.