When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.
- Family movie night is a fun way to spend an evening at home together any time of year.
- With the right setup, including a small digital projector or television set, some snacks, and comfy seating, it can also be just as enjoyable as a trip to the theater and more budget-friendly.
- If you're considering which streaming services offer the best movies for your family's viewing preferences, you can try out Disney Plus, Hulu, and Netflix through their free trial periods.
Movie night is a big event in our house, and one of the few activities our schedule allows us to enjoy together almost every week. Besides dedicated family time, what makes it special is the setup. The first task is finding a flick we can all agree on, although we usually take turns picking one to watch on the big screen. After that is the next most important step: snacks, usually some combo of popcorn, candy, and cookies. Then, settle in, park it a comfortable chair, wrap up in cozy blanket, and watch the show.
If you're looking to make your family movie night into a running tradition, it's important to settle on a few essentials that will make it easy, except for maybe deciding what to watch. Below are some suggestions we've collected to help you enjoy a trip to the theater without leaving the comfort of home.
Here are 13 things to make a great family movie night at home:
The popcorn, of course
Popcorn is the best part about a trip to the theater, besides the movie itself. The Lukue Microwave Popcorn Popper makes it easy to recreate that experience — just add kernels and set the cook timer for two to three minutes. Unlike the bagged stuff, you won't be stuck with a bowl full of unpopped kernels either. It's also easy to clean and small enough to stow away in the cabinet. If you want something a little bigger, there are plenty of options available.
You can leave your popcorn in the bowl, or you can dish it out into one of these novelty popcorn containers that look just like the tubs you'd get at the theater. This way everyone can have the flavor they want too.
*currently unavailable at Target
Delicious low-sugar candy you and your kids will love
Finding the right candy to go with salty popcorn is the holy grail of movie snacking, but if you overdo it with too much sugar, it throws the whole thing out of balance. Besides, giving the kids anything too sweet before bedtime is never a good idea. Perfect Snacks Peanut Butter Cups have a lower glycemic index than most candy bars to keep everyone focused on the show and not bouncing off the walls. If you'd rather have a chocolate bar or sour candies, there are plenty of other tasty, low-sugar treats out there.
Cookies that taste great and even have some nutritional value
Just because a cookie isn't loaded with empty calories doesn't mean it has to taste like cardboard. Each of these cookies from Lenny & Larry comes packed with 16 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. There are other flavors available too, in case chocolate chip isn't you're favorite.
Refreshing beverages for everyone
You've got the popcorn and candy — now you need something to wash it down with. Whatever you're drinking, a set of Tervis Tumblers will keep everything cold for the entire movie. They're also durable to the point of being virtually indestructible, so there's no worry about pausing the move to clean up broken glass. You can get them in a variety of colors or even with some of your favorite movie characters.
Matching family pajamas make movie night an event
It's not unusual to see fans in costumes for the latest Star Wars or Marvel movie, so why not recreate that experience at home, too, but with matching pajamas. Even better, everyone's ready for bed when the credits roll. Sleep sets featuring characters like Marvel Fairisle and "The Mandalorian" start at $42 for kids at Hanna Andersson, and you can find plenty of other options at Target and Walmart. PJ's from Primary are another great option if you're looking for something that's not specific to a movie franchise.
The perfect seat for kids
Getting kids to sit still for the entire length of a film can be a challenge, unless you have one of these bean bag chairs. They melt right into its armchair shape, glued there for the next 120 minutes. It's lightweight, so you can carry it anywhere in the house, and large enough for a teenager.
A TV that gives you the theater experience
These days it's not hard to find fantastic values on large TVs with glossy high-definition picture quality, like this 65-inch model from TCL for less than $700. Besides the HD 4K resolution, what's great about this one is that it puts Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming services in one place with the built-in Roku software, and it's easy enough to use that you might not have to ask the kids to set it up for you. There are other great options if you're looking for something a little smaller or less expensive, like TCL's 43-inch Class 4 Series 4K UHD Smart Roku TV for just $230.
A projector that can make any wall into a movie screen
The great thing about a projector is that you can turn any place in the house, or outside it, into a theater — all you need is a flat wall. This one connects to a DVD or Blu-Ray player, gaming consoles, or even smartphone or tablet. And there's almost no limit to how big you can make projections. This one can go as large as 14 feet from corner to corner, as long as you have enough to space and a dark enough room.
Big sound in a small package
While TVs have evolved, their sound systems often aren't all that great. One minute, you'll be straining to hear a conversation; the next, a deafening action sequence starts. Soundbars are a great option for most home theaters because they don't take up much space, they're easy to set up, and they deliver an awesome audio experience. Vizio's 36-inch SB362An-F6 is a 2.1 channel model that uses Dolby and DTS technologies along with a pair of built-in subwoofers for a deep stereo sound that will fill most living rooms. It's also a great value. If you're set on a more robust surround sound speaker system, there are plenty of options.
Lights that make your screen stand out and save your eyes
A simple adhesive strip of LED lights that attaches to the back of your television can really make your home theater pop. The light helps reduce eye strain, so your eyes don't have to adjust between the dark room and the screen. This set from Power Practical comes with a wireless remote to adjust the colors to boost the picture contrast too.
A luxurious plush throw at a matinee price
One thing you can't do at the theater is snuggle up under a warm throw blanket with someone you love. L.L.Bean's Wicked Plush Throw is incredibly soft thanks to brushed fleece on both sides, and it's made to the exacting standards you expect from one of our favorite heritage brands. It's also machine washable, which comes in handy wherever kids and snacks intersect.
A small, powerful heater to warm up the screening room
If you're struggling to get the temperature right in your home theater, a space heater can take the edge off the chill, whether you're in the basement or just needing a break from winter. Despite a svelte 4-pound frame, this one cranks out plenty warmth on three different settings. It's also got an automatic shutoff feature in case you forget about it when the show's over.
Subscribe to our newsletter.
You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article