7 Tips for Visiting the Movies with Kids!

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Thinking about venturing out to the movies with the kids in South Jersey? Freaking out about it? Scared? Worried? Totally chill, but still want tips for visiting the movies with kids? Don’t worry, we got you! The movie theaters are one of those magical family attractions that can make every member of the family happy. A dark room, a huge screen with a movie, comfy seats, snacks and drinks? I mean, what’s not to love? The first few visits with kids can be….er…um…interesting, though, if you don’t have a game plan. Read on, and I’ll fill you in with some of the ways I’ve made movie-going with my own kids easy as pie!

Know when They’re Ready

Can they sit through an entire tv show, commercials and all? Are they comfortable in the dark? Can they keep their voices down? These are just a few things to think about before finally taking the plunge and taking your child to the movies. Make sure their attention span can handle a movie an hour-and-a-half in length. Chat with them about the dark atmosphere in the movie theater and let them know you’ll be right next to them, so there’s no reason to worry. Practice using quiet voices and whispering so they know how to appropriately speak during a movie.

Reserve Your Seats

Seat reservation is a freaking amazing advancement in the world of movie-going. I mean, long are the days of arriving at the theater 30 minutes early to ensure you get a good seat, right? If you’re able to plan ahead, reserve your tickets and your seats ahead of time to save time and frustration. If your kiddos are prone to multiple bathroom breaks, you may consider reserving seats on the end.

Take Advantage of Specials & Rewards

Love me a great deal! There are many FREE rewards programs available through various movie companies. Sign up for them and take advantage of the special offers they send your way. Many of them offer free snacks and/or tickets on your birthday, the ability to rack up points with purchases to redeem for rewards at a later point, and lots of them have special pricing and events!

Here are some rewards options for movies in South Jersey:
AMC Stubs
Regal Crown Club
Cinemark Movie Rewards

Some sites, such as Fandango, offer a percentage back on ticket purchases made through Ebates. (Read all about why I love Ebates in this article: Why you need to sign up for Ebates)

Check the South Jersey Family Calendar for special offers through local theaters such as $5 and $6 ticket days!

CostcoBJ’s Wholesale, and Sam’s Club offer discounted movie gift cards and packages. BONUS – save even more purchasing from BJ’s and Sam’s Club through Ebates.

Visit the Bathroom

Sweet mother of all things wonderful, I swear we spend more time in the bathrooms than at attractions sometimes. While there’s no foolproof way to make sure there won’t be any bathroom breaks for your kiddos (or you!), make sure to visit the bathrooms *RIGHT* before you enter the movie theater to watch the movie. Heck, you may even want to make one last stop during the previews. If you want to take it one step further, consider downloading the RunPee app on your phone! This app will tell you the best times to use the bathroom in movies. (Genius, right?! Why didn’t I think of that?)

Share Snacks

So, I don’t know if ALL movie theaters offer this, but I’ve been to quite a few that offer a little box or bag so that parents can divide one of those jumbo buckets of popcorn up among all the children. Those boxes/bags are WONDERFUL! Each kid gets their own and you don’t have to worry about fighting during the movie and “he got more popcorn than me!!” If you’re not sure if the movie theater offers this option, throw a few baggies or plastic bowls in your bag and divvy up that popcorn yourself. It’s SO nice to not have to worry about the fighting and passing a big tub of popcorn back and forth.

Stay Cozy

Call me crazy, but, if I’m watching a movie, I want to get comfy and cozy even if it’s summer time. Now that most theaters have reclining chairs and stadium seating (how did we survive going to the movies when we were little?! These kids don’t know how good they’ve got it!), I figure it’s just a matter of time before movies start selling blankets themselves. Bring a few blankets from home and cozy up in those reclining seats. When you get home, make sure you wash those blankets, though, because…yeah…you know.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave Early

We get it. Really, we do. If the kids are having an off day or if you somehow feel a movie is inappropriate, don’t be afraid to leave. Don’t worry if people will look and don’t worry about being embarrassed. You do what is best for you and your family and consider trying the movies again another time. It’s ok!

Looking for a movie theater nearby? Check out our Guide to Movie Theaters in South Jersey!

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