One thing that surprised me about motherhood was how weekends were just another day in the life. Especially before Ben went back to school and he was working a bizarre schedule, it was hard to have Friday really feel like a Friday.
The easiest way to make it feel like a weekend? A good movie and a big bowl of popcorn.
Speaking of popcorn, have you tried Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP? I’d only had the ready-to-eat kind from friends who RAVED about until recently. I didn’t realize they also have microwave popcorn! The microwave popcorn has the same combo of hugely flavorful and real, simple ingredients that I appreciate in the ready-to-eat popcorn and I have to make sure Ben doesn’t eat it during the week so we have a bag left for the weekend. Plus, guys, 35 calories per popped cup.
I also really like that it pops in a bag/bowl so there’s no popcorn bowl to wash post-movie. Win.
But back to Friday night movie nights…
Sometimes it’s me and Ben once the kids are in bed, but the kids are starting to get old enough to be interested in this tradition and it is such a fun one to include them in! I like finding movies we can watch together and it lets me snuggle with my kids, chatting about what we’re seeing, even if I’m exhausted by a busy week.
Right now the only requirements for our movie night is that we eat popcorn, but I’m excited to make this more a tradition and love these ideas from friends over the years on how to make family movie night more special:
- Pick a theme: Whether it’s a theme for snacks, a theme of movies for the month, or a theme for the whole evening with decorations, dinner, and costumes, a theme is a straightforward way to make the night extra fun.
- Dance it out: We made a rule at our house that when watching Adelaide’s favorite movie about a particular daughter of a village chief you have to get up and dance during the songs. How fun would this be during other kids classics or anything with a great soundtrack?
- Pajamas required: We like doing pjs just because it makes bedtime easier but your kids will also think its special if it’s part of your tradition. Have everyone get all ready for bed (minus brushing their teeth so you can enjoy popcorn) before the movie begins.
- Let the kids make their own seats: Our kids love doing anything in a fort and movie night is no exception. Even if there are no kids involved, it’s fun to make a cozy, creative space to snuggle up in for the evening. You can blow up an air mattress and snuggle on the floor, pile pillows high, or let each kid decorate a big cardboard box as their own seat.
- Get official and make it a movie theater: Let each family member earn their ticket throughout the week and then “purchase” concessions to go along with it. Give assigned seats and consider having each child be in charge of acting out a preview before the feature film begins.
- Wear costumes: Whether it’s finding another use for those halloween costumes, or just putting on a swimsuit to watch a movie about our favorite red-haired mermaid, mix it up with fun, themed attire.
- Add in activities: Last week the business school put on a movie afternoon for kids and in addition to snacks, they had coloring pages and crayons that went along with the movie. It was such a great way to keep little hands busy and entertain younger children who might not be up for a full feature anyway. You can google coloring pages for just about anything and I’m excited to try this the next time we try to watch a movie all together.
- Experiment with Popcorn: Play scientist and make your favorite popcorn creations. You can have different base options (we love the Real Butter, Seat Salt, and Lightly Sweet Kettle Corn from Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP), and then have mix-in options like M&Ms, cinnamon and sugar, or chocolate chips.
I want to know, do you have family movie night at your house? How do you do it? How do you make it fun?
And WHAT is your favorite thing to mix in to your popcorn? (or are you, like Ben, a purist)