The adventure of trying to make a house a home that we built for our family of six plus some craft, home décor, recipes & any family fun we might have.

Friday, 27 September 2013

6 Steps for a Successful Trip to the Movies with Young Children.

In my little part of the universe it's school holidays, this means that I have two weeks to fill with fun, food, activity and excitement. In order to achieve these goals I need to have planned something FUN to do for every day. And as you would have guessed I haven't planned anything FUN or EXCITING for the children as the holidays sort of snuck up on me.

So it was great when my mother (Oomie) asked to take Caelan for a week because at the moment he really wants some one on one time and with three other siblings it's extremely difficult to give him that time. So while he's away I know he'll be going to the movies with his uncle which means he'll talk non-stop about the movies when he gets home and this will upset his sisters. So with this in mind I took the girls to see The Smurfs 2. My girls are 5 and 3½ years old and this means that I have to work within certain limits otherwise a trip to the cinema can go horribly wrong. So here are my 6 steps to a successful trip to the movies.
1. Purchase your tickets on-line.
Until yesterday I'd never purchased a movie ticket on-line so I was somewhat surprised when I had 10 minutes to complete my transaction. My local cinema had charges that went along with this service but because our telephone company has a special deal with the cinema we were able to get our tickets cheaper and there was no booking fee attached. I saved a total of $17 which is a great saving. The other great thing about buying on-line you get to jump the cue at the cinema to pick up your tickets.

2. Arrive about 15 minutes before the movie starts.
During this time pick up the tickets at the box office, take your children to the toilet, find your seats in the movie theatre and talk to them about the behaviour you expect of them during the movie. Also when you talk to the children during this time I'd whisper as it allows you to help them realise how loud they might be talking prior to the movie starting. I was able to pick my own seats when purchasing my tickets so I had the opportunity to pick seats up the back and no one would be climbing over us to get into their seats.

3. Take advantage of the booster seats provided.
Our local cinema offers booster seats that have cup holders and food holders built in so that the children don't have to pass thing back and forward all the time. It also helps if you've picked an easy to access seat otherwise you might hit people with the booster seats you're carrying.
4. If possible sit between younger children.
This method works beautifully if you have two children with you. If you have more than two children I would suggest sitting between the younger children as this allows you to monitor their behaviour and to address problems before they get to big. Also have your handbag available in case you need to find something while the movie is playing.

5. Bring your own small snack with you.
Come prepared. If you have children who like to eat while they're watching a movie and you know that the cinema's candy bar is really expensive then bring your own food.  As our cinema is within a shopping centre, the cinema has an expectation that people will bring their own food and drinks into the theatre. However, a number of parents purchase from the candy bar and if each child get a drink and popcorn you can easily spend an additional $30 plus on refreshments. I took a packet of biscuits, a popper each and a small selection of lollies to share between the two girls. I'm happy to reports that I came home with everything I'd bought with me as the cinema was hosting an event.
NOTE: the cinema was celebrating the release of Diana and they were giving away pink lemonade, biscuits and cupcakes for each patron and my girls got a small drink, mini cupcake and biscuit each.

6. When picking a session time work within your children routine.
I would have to say that this is the most important point to remember when picking a movie. I chose a 6.20pm session last night and that's the start of Viveca's tired time. As I needed my husband home to babysit Quinlan I choose a late session thinking that as she'd had a big sleep during the day I'd get away with it. However, I was wrong and about 40 minutes into it she wanted to lie down and have a sleep. So if you work within their routine you should have a successful visit to the cinemas.

If you follow these six steps you should have a successful movie experience. However, I think that one of the most important things to remember is to select a movie that you know your children want to watch.  Also 'if you're unsure whether or not a visit to the cinema will work with our children' then you can always have a movie experience at home. I hope that these six steps can help you when you get to go to the cinema with your children. If you have any other tips I'd love to hear what has worked for you.



  1. I am thinking for taking my foursome to see this. Should be interesting.

    1. Its a good movie a bit darker than the first one. Some of the jokes are a bit above a 5 year old but otherwise its good viewing. Good luck with your visit and I hope you enjoy your time at the movies. If you learn something helpful I'd love to hear what helped as I always need to improve my parenting skills :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Mel they really helped this time and I'm hoping that I'll be able to use them just as easy when I've got the three kids with me when we go to the movies at Christmas time. Thanks for visiting xx

  3. These are some great tips, you are invited to share this with Show Your Stuff:

    1. Thank you Julie for the invite to Show Your Stuff I'll come on over now for a visit. Glad you liked my tips. xx