Family movie nights are a great way for parents to spend some quality time bonding with their children. As every parent learns eventually, as kids get older hanging out with mom and dad doesn’t maintain the glamorous allure it had when they were younger. Extracurricular activities, invitations from friends to hang out, and kids own developing interests often tend to begin limiting them wanting to spend casual time having fun with their parents. By putting some extra effort into making movie nights special though, parents can create exciting moments kids will want to join in on providing special memories that will be fondly remembered by the whole family.

It doesn’t take a big budget to make a family movie night impressive, just some initiative and creativity can go a long way to having an extraordinary experience. Create a theme around a movie and have fun with it!  Make the evening more than just watching a movie together but rather a festivity to engage in.

Here are some tips on creating family movie nights that kids will be excited about participating in:


Don’t just flop on the couch and watch a movie together on the family TV. Make your screening space remarkable! For example, create a drive-in movie theater experience in your garage. Sit in a family car watching Back to the Future projected onto a sheet covering the garage door.

Other ideas include enjoying the outdoors by watching E.T. in your backyard being shown against your privacy fence under a full moon sky. Bring the outdoors inside by watching Yogi Bear on a big screen TV from inside a camping tent you’ve set up within your living room. Build a fort together with your kids and huddle inside it watching The LEGO Ninjago Movie together on a mobile device through a streaming service such as Movies Anywhere. Being imaginative in creating a special atmosphere around where you watch a movie can really boost the fun factor of your evening.


Add some things to do beyond just watching a show to your family movie night experience. When movies are arriving at theaters or are being released for home video, bloggers are often provided with themed coloring pages and activity sheets as part of promotional campaigns. Search online to see what you can find relating to your planned family movie night. These are free to download and print out providing some extra fun to the evening. Or you can get more elaborate by doing things such as learning tricks from a Thames & Kosmos magic kit before watching a Harry Potter movie, playing around with a WowWee Minion robot before a viewing of Despicable Me, or having a lightsaber duel in advance of watching Star Wars movies. Playing board or card games themed around a movie can also be an entertaining way to incorporate into your night of family fun.


Dress up as your favorite characters or in a fun style of clothing during your family movie night to up the spirit of enthusiasm for the evening. Watching Finding Nemo? Have everyone dress up in beach wear or clothes decorated with a fish theme. Wear historical themed outfits when watching Mr. Peabody & Sherman.  Put on superhero costumes when viewing AvengersCaptain America, Iron Man, or any of the Marvel comic book-inspired movies. You can often find some amazing Halloween costume deals online throughout the year from websites such as

Can you pretend to be a character from the evening’s movie and stay in character throughout the night? Letting your kids see a less serious side of their parents by being a bit goofy through dressing up for a family movie night is a great way to get them to relate to you. Lead by example that life doesn’t always have to be so serious!


Enjoy a meal or snack tied to the night’s movie selection. It can be something as simple as making sugar cookies with emoji faces on them to eat during the Emoji Movie or as elaborate as having a pig roast and eating Hawaiian shave ice to go along with Moana. Order Chinese take-out to go along with Kung Fu Panda or pick up fish and chips while viewing Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Stir up milkshakes and put them in baby bottles during a Boss Baby family movie night or make some blue milk to sip from a Star Wars cup while watching Rogue One. Be imaginative in serving food and drinks that will enhance the theme of your evening.

Family movie nights never need to be drab if you put some planning and effort into making them fantastic.  Make the most of time you have with your children while they are living at home before they fly out of the nest and off into the world on their own. Take advantage of these moments to make memories and build relationships while you can.  Have yourself enjoyable evenings where children want to hang out with mom and dad.  These light hearted fun times are a great way to cement family bonds for when you need to come together for the serious matters that we all have to face in life. Make the most of your family movie nights!

About the author

Tim Burns

Tim Burns

Tim Burns is the father of 9-year-old twins. He blogs about the adventures of parenting from a fun-loving dad's perspective at A connoisseur of comic books and remote control cars, he enjoys family road trips and is an avid Detroit Tigers fan.