Surviving the Movies with Kids {Our Top 5 Tips!}

When my twins reached the all-magic age of 3 and I felt like they had some ability to sit still for an extended period of time, my husband and I couldn’t wait to take them to the movies. If I recall correctly, their first movie was Planes, and I was absolutely shocked at how well they did! We all thoroughly enjoyed our experience and the kids didn’t stop talking about it for days. {Or asking us to buy them everything Planes-related…but that’s neither here nor there.} Now that they are 5 {yikes!}, we’ve visited the theater multiple times, and it’s one of our favorite family activities. With temperatures soaring and knowing we can’t sit in a pool all day, every day, I am looking so forward to summer movies, air conditioner, and yummy popcorn. And you can’t beat our friends at Santikos Theatre and their Free Summer Movie Series to fill that fix. Did you hear that? FREE! Every Tuesday and Wednesday through summer, their super convenient Houston locations will host kid-friendly movies, with showings of everything from Annie, to Penguins, and the ever-popular Lego Movie. Sign me up pronto. Even better? The entire series will benefit the Child Advocates of Fort Bend, and you know we LOVE supporting companies with charitable hearts. Check out all of their showings and mark those calendars for a morning of fun!

And because you want your trip to the theater to be relaxing and fun for all, here’s our top 5 tips for heading to the movies with kids in tow too…

Kids Movies - Featured

Summer Movies - 21} Choose the right movie

It seems like a no-brainer, but seriously – pick a movie that you know will keep them entertained, laughing {kid laughter is the BEST, is it not??}, and maybe even runs shorter than most adult films. First, you can guarantee that if you pick a great animated feature, there will be tons of other parents and kids there, so SOLIDARITY. Secondly, nothing will get you frown faces more quickly than if you are in an adult feature and have little ones clambering about.

2} Plan for the time of day

We’ve found that morning shows work best for our family, while the kiddos are fresh and not as crabby. That’s why I love that Santikos Theatres starts their Summer Movie Series at 10am. It’s the perfect time of day to catch a flick, grab a quick lunch afterwards, and head home for naps {wishful thinking on my part?}. I can tell you, we’ve tried the whole afternoon/evening timing, and it just doesn’t work as well for our kids. By that time, they are already over-stimulated for the day and their ability to stay seated for a longer period of time is somewhat compromised.

Summer Movies - 33} Purchase tickets in advance

Want to guarantee whining and impatient kiddos? Stand in a line to purchase your tickets when all your kids want to do is grab their popcorn and head to the seats. That’s why I love that Santikos allows you to purchase tickets online before you even have to leave your house. Even better? You can reserve your seats. Yes, actually pick the seats so you know exactly where to go when you arrive at the theater. Umm, hello, does it get more convenient than that??? {I love picking aisle seats closest to the exits whenever possible because who needs to trample over other movie goers when someone needs a break?}

4} Set expectations and be prepared

Before we go to a movie, I always set the expectations for the day. For example, I’m definitely not opposed to the kids enjoying a snack, but I’d prefer them not to eat an entire jumbo-sized bucket of popcorn. So I remind them that each kiddo will get the wonderfully convenient {and perfectly portioned} kids’ snack box that Santikos offers. They love the size of it and the compartments for their drink, popcorn, and snack, and I happen to love the incredibly reasonable price – just $4 during the Summer Movie Series. We also visit the bathroom before entering the theater, make sure that each child has a sweatshirt in case they get chilly, and get plenty of napkins. {And a little secret :: for your littlest ones, grab a booster seat on your way into the movie. It allows the kids to prop up and sit more comfortably in the over-sized chairs. Santikos keeps a full supply of these and every.single.time I grab them, I am always amazed how clean and freshly sanitized they are.}

Summer Movies - 15} Go with the flow

Hey, things are going to happen. The child that said they didn’t have to potty inevitably will have to go 10 minutes into the movie. Spills can happen. A child may cry as they get used to the dark and/or loud noises.! All mommas have been there, and they understand…trust me. When my kids were a bit younger and I noticed they were getting a little fidgety, I would just take them out to the hallway and let them get their wiggles out before returning to the movie. You’re not likely to miss a huge plot point, and they won’t know the difference. Better to have happy kids than those who are frustrated by not being able to move.

So what other tips do you have when taking your kids to the movies? Sound off below! And see you at the theatre this summer. I’ll be the one with the extra large bucket of popcorn and super-sized Diet Coke, because, hello caffeine!

Please Note :: While we may have partnered together with Santikos for this sponsored post, all experiences and opinions are my own.

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Meagan is a Dallas native who has lived in the Katy area for over a decade. She kicked a soccer ball all the way to Louisiana to attend college at her family’s alma mater of LSU, where she promptly fell in love with a Texas Aggie in Baton Rouge for an internship. After swimming back to Texas following Hurricane Katrina, Matt and Meagan fell in love with the Houston area and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Following several years of infertility, their miracle twins Ryan and Quinn were born in June of 2010. She believes there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, a large Sonic Diet Coke, sushi take-out, Girls Nights Out, and a mindless book to curl up with. Besides playing chauffeur and catering to the whims of her children, Meagan also is the Co-Owner of Houston Moms Blog. You can keep up with Meagan at The Clanahan Fam and on Instagram @meaganclanahan!


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