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How to Host a Great Movie Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutMovieNight #CollectiveBias
Tips for a GREAT Family Movie Night. Lots of great ideas in this one. from www.onelovelylife.com

We’ve been chipping away at our 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days List lately, and I’ve got to say, #20 has been one of my favorite goals to date:

#20. Have weekly themed movie nights for a month.

Family movie nights are such a fun tradition, and both Michael and I have lots of happy memories of watching movies with our families. It’s something we want to pass down to our kids, so we’ve tried to turn it into a fun family tradition. It might seem silly to try to turn movies into a “thing,” but my homegirl Gretchin Rubin (and her piles of research) have me convinced that family rituals contribute to happiness. Here are a few things we do to make it fun…

How to Host a Great Family Movie Night - One Lovely Life

1. Set the Stage

Comfy clothes and a comfy spot are very important at this house. Both my kids love to make a “mest,” which is the most appropriate description of a messy nest. Mostly that means lots of pillows and blankets (which my kids call “fluffies”). I stick with pajamas and a soft blanket. Who doesn’t love soft things?

If fluffy blankets aren’t your jam, why not make a fort or get out the pop up tent? Or, lay out a special movie night quilt. Just a little something to get things going.

Tips for an awesome family movie night from www.onelovelylife.com

2. Build the Hype

We’ve mentioned before that Sophie has a hard time watching new things. That means that instead of just saying “Hey, I got a new movie for tonight,” we really get in there and build the hype. That means things like watching a movie trailer or clips from the movie, printing out some coloring pages, and talking about it a LOT beforehand. It’s something we need to do for Sophie, but it gets the rest of us excited about it, too.

It helps when you’re going to watch something that’s just coming out. Living so close to a Target has its perks, and movie releases are one of them. Every time we’re at Target, and they’ve got a new movie display up, we can’t help but check it out. The Inside Out display had my kids super excited. When they found out we got to bring the movie home with us? Even better.

Tips for a Great Movie Night! from www.onelovelylife.com

 3. Eat great snacks

Would it really be movie night without treats? Nope. It just wouldn’t. We try to choose healthy snacks all week long, so that when fun occasions pop up, we can jump in and enjoy them. Movie night is one of those occasions.

Most movie nights, we choose a few things and let people mix and match what sounds great to them. For the Inside Out movie, we walked through Target and chose a few brightly colored treats for a make-your-own snack mix. A few ideas…

  • popcorn
  • freeze-dried strawberries
  • dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt (these are my FAVORITE)
  • brightly colored fruity or chocolatey candies (in colors that match up with characters)
  • dry cereal
  • raisins or dried cherries

Serve everything up in fun cups, snack bags, or patterned paper plates for bonus points.

How to Have a Great Movie Night with the newly released Inside Out DVD! from www.onelovelylife.com

4. Make it Consistent

Friday night movie nights can become one of those traditions you don’t need to think much about. Maybe you have a set dinner you eat (pizza? tacos? breakfast?) or maybe you make something up that goes with the movie. Maybe you use a special blanket or watch with a special light on or candle burning. Choose one or two things that are simple, but consistent. As an adult, I can look back and see that some of the small things that are part of my childhood are the things I remember most. I hope setting up this small tradition is one of those things for my kids.

p.s. The Target blue ray/dvd combo of Inside Out comes with an extra 20 minutes of bonus content and deleted scenes. Anyone else love that stuff as much as I do? 

What were your thoughts on the movie?
Any favorite snack mixes at your house?
I’d love to hear about them! 


  1. We’ve been having weekly Friday night pizza (with your crust recipe) and movie nights with the kids for a couple of years. I really look forward to those relaxing couple of hours at the end of the work week. Thanks to the library we’ve shared many of our favorite childhood movies with our kids. We have also read chapter books as read aloud with the kids over several weeks and then watched the movie version on movie night. Yay for fun family traditions.

  2. Movie nights in our house always involve homemade pizza, comfy blankets and the fire (at least in the winter). We haven’t seen Inside Out yet, but it is definitely on the list! #client

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