• My husband is on vacation this week. Instead of spending the money of taking a trip we opted for the ‘stay cation’ this time around. But just because we aren’t actually leaving our home doesn’t mean that we cannot have lots of fun family time. One of our favorite ways to do this is with family movie night. I’m not a huge fan of taking my willful two year old to the movie theater, but we can rock out a feature film here at home.

    There are a few things you can do to ensure your family movie night is a success. The first thing to consider is of course, the movie! Now, you don’t have to get the latest releases, but it sure does help to get a movie that no one has seen. Of course, the exception to that rule would be exposing your kids to some of your favorite childhood movies. The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Back to the Future, ET, Trading Places and even Honey I Shrunk the Kids have all been successful here.

    Next is hype. I like to tell my kids well in advance that we will be having this movie night just to built up the anticipation for them. Then in the days beforehand they earn movie money. They do extra chores in order to get the movie snacks that they want. You want that packet of M&Ms? Mommy wants the counters washed. Win, win. A lot of times, my husband and I will pre buy those snacks from Walmart or the like and have them visible to the kids. We will also put price tags on them so they know how much they need. (Hello math lesson!). This way they can do their “concession” shopping just before the movie.

    We also enjoy making up tickets on the computer for the kids. Yes, they have to “buy” those too. Just for fun.

    When it’s show time, we move our couch a bit closer to the tv. Makes the tv feel bigger, and it just makes the act of watching a movie more fun than it normally is. Another must for us, is lights out! And no pesky cell phones.

    All of these add up to an easy and quite inexpensive night for your family from the comfort of your own home.