I love watching movies. However, going out to the movie theater these days can be a pretty expensive proposition. Movie tickets range from $8-14 each depending upon where you live (where I live it’s about $12). Add in a soda and a snack you could be talking around than $30 for just one person! Bring the kids and you could be spending close to $100 to see the latest blockbuster.
There are ways though to indulge your love of film without emptying your wallet, such as hosting a family movie night at home.
We have family movie night about once a month. During the summer we watched our movies outside under the stars with a projector/screen/amplifier set-up The Hubs perfected. It was the talk of the neighborhood. Hey, maybe I should have sold tickets to it! There was never a bad seat on the lawn to watch. Now that winter is settling in, we’re curling up on the couch with blankets, getting the fireplace going and watching movies in our living room.
Creating your own family movie night isn’t hard to do and it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are lots of ways to get creative and add some personal touches to create a fun family tradition. Here are my tips in creating a successful family movie night:
- Set a date – Schedule a day and time for your family movie night. Make sure it’s on everyone’s calendar and doesn’t conflict with any activities, errands or play dates. If you have a family calendar like we do in our kitchen, circle the date with a bright-colored marker so it stands out and everyone can remember!
- Set the scene – Make sure your viewing space is clean and clear of toys, books, magazines and video games – you don’t want anything to distract you from the movie. Make sure that everyone has a comfy place to sit. Use blankets and pillows to create cozy nesting places. I like to make little movie stubs out of construction paper and give them to the kids and The Hubs finds old drive-in intermission ads and movie trailers that we run before the main event, so it feels like we’re in an actual theater.
- Pick a movie – While scheduling a date that everyone is free can be challenging, I think that picking a movie that everyone can agree on is the toughest part of this process! Sometimes it helps if you have a theme for your family movie night such as animals , animation, comedy or princesses – to help narrow down movie choices. Just make sure that you pick a movie that is age-appropriate, you don’t want your kids to have nightmares.
- Get snacking – It’s not truly a movie experience without popcorn, snacks and drinks. Unlike a movie theater, you’re not limited to the foods in the concession stand case. Here’s where you can get super creative making anything from finger foods to gourmet popcorn. You could also match up your food/snack choices to the movie you’re watching. Bonus Tip: Since you’re sitting in the dark watching the movie, use squeeze bottles for your drinks to lessen our chances of spillage.
Right now Walmart is making it easy to have your own family movie night with its #MovieNight4Less promotion. It brings together all the elements of a fun family night in by combining Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn, M&M’s® and Warner Brothers movies (please note that all movie titles available in this promotion are not appropriate for children under 13). Select titles of Warner Brothers movies are on sale for $5 for DVD and $7.88 Blu-Ray, which is cheaper than even one movie ticket!
I picked up a 6 pack box of Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl Movie Theater Butter Microwave Popcorn, theater-sized boxes of both plain and peanut M&M’s® and for our movie selection — Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
For our latest family movie night I decided to make a popcorn candy cake to snack on. It combines my favorite taste elements of sweet and salty — popcorn, pretzels, chocolate and marshmallows. It was super simple to make.
Here’s how I did it:
Popcorn Candy Cake
1 bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl Movie Theater Butter Microwave Popcorn
1 cup plain M&M’s®
1 cup Peanut M&M’s®
1 cup pretzels, broken up into small pieces
1/2 cup butter
10 oz (about 40 large) marshmallows
1/4 cup chocolate chips (for melting)
Non-stick Cooking Spray
- Take a cake or bundt pan and spray with the non-stick cooking spray.
- Follow the directions on the Orville Redenbacher’s Microwave Popcorn bag. Once the popcorn is popped, pour into a large bowl and remove the kernels that didn’t pop.
- Mix in the two cups of M&M’s® and pretzels.
- Melt ½ cup of butter over medium heat, then add in marshmallows. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Once butter/marshmallow mixture has cooled (you don’t want to melt your M&M’s®) pour over the popcorn/candy mix and stir until evenly coated.
- Press combined ingredients carefully into the prepared cake/bundt pan.
- Let cool for about ½ hour before removing from pan. Use a knife around the edges to loosen sides of cake to get it out of the pan.
- Place on a large dish.
- In a double boiler, melt ¼ cup of chocolate chips over medium-low heat until melted.
- Take a fork, spoon or silicone basting brush and drizzle chocolate over popcorn candy cake. Let it set for 5 minutes.
- Place on a clean dish and dig in!
Looks yummy, right?
With our snack complete, all that’s left is to sit back, relax and enjoy the show! We’ll be leaving the Muggle world and following Harry Potter’s latest adventures at Hogwarts.
Looking for more inspiration to host your own family movie night for less? Then check out and connect with Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and M&M’s® on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for yummy treat ideas and Warner Brothers on Facebook & Twitter for great movie titles at great prices.
Now it’s your turn to share. What kind of movies do you like to watch as a family? What do you like to snack on?
Copyright © 2014 The Harried Mom. All Rights Reserved.