When do parents take their kid to the movies for the first time? That’s a question I asked myself a few months ago. This past Sunday, my husband and I took our daughter to the movie theater for the first time! Based this experience, I share with you my top tips on how to survive going to the movie theater with a two-year-old.
Disclaimer: I’ve heard of people taking their child to the movies at just a few months old, but everyone is different. My daughter is almost 3 and several of my close friends who are parents told me that they took their children for the first time at age 2. Going to the movies is a want and an experience, families are welcome to do this when their kids are young or wait until their older. Everything in this blog post is my personal opinion.
I was surprised to see that the movie theater charges everyone 1 year and up. We paid for the three of us, bought our snacks, and headed to the theater room. We watched Ralph Breaks The Internet.
I decided to skip offering my daughter to go to the bathroom since we were running late (mistake). The movie didn’t start until 30 minutes after its start time and Elena wanted to go potty about 30 minutes into the movie. I took her to the bathroom during the movie.
My two-year-old stayed seated for majority of the movie (snacks helped!). 20-25 minutes before the movie ended, she was in and out of her seat. She was either dancing, going down and up the stairs or just walking in our row. There were only 2-3 other groups of people in the room, so it wasn’t a big deal. The whole row was empty. She didn’t make noise and she walked very carefully down and up the stairs so I just let her be a kid. My husband moved to the end of the row to be with our toddler when this happened.
Here are my 7 tips to survive going to the movie theater with a two-year-old.
1) Do a test movie at home
We didn’t do this, but I did play a long trailer of the Grinch cartoon movie (I thought we would watch The Grinch) for her to see if she could sit for that long watching it. She loved it and that’s how I concluded she was okay to take to the movie theater.
I would suggest for you to make a mini movie theater at home (lights off, snacks, quiet) and watch a movie to see how your two-year-old reacts if you’re unsure of taking him or her to the movies.
2) Explain expectations
Most two-year-old can understand a good chunk of what you tell them. Explain what a movie theater is, what you will be doing and your expectations of them at the movie theater.
I forgot to inform my daughter that there is no talking during the movie, and she began talking as soon as we got comfortable in our seats (good thing was that it was during the commercials).
3) Go early in the day (1st movie)
We went to the first movie of the day because it’s cheaper, but I’m so glad we did because there were only about 10 other people in the room with us. We had the whole row of seats to ourselves and no one was seating in any of the rows in front of us.
4) Take your toddler to the bathroom before the movie starts
I planned to take my daughter to the bathroom prior to the movie, but because we were running late, I decided to skip it and hope she wouldn’t need to go during the movie. Although, we were right on time for the movie, there were still 30 minutes of commercials before the movie started. Then, 30 minutes after the movie finally started, I had to take my daughter to the bathroom.
If you don’t want to take a bathroom break during the movie, go right before it starts! 🙂 AND show up to the movie a few minutes late to avoid having your toddler sit through 30 minutes of commercials.
5) Have lots of snacks!
Keep your toddler occupied with food!
We bought a large tub of popcorn, and my daughter kept eating one by one for the longest time! We also had M & Ms for her plus soda. Snacks are a must!
6) Sit at the end of the row
You won’t block anyone’s view if you need to get out for a bathroom break or whatever reason. And if your kid wants to go down the stairs and back again minutes before the movie ends (like my toddler), you can keep an eye on them.
7) Let your toddler enjoy it!
They will probably forgot to be quiet when they get really into the movie and start laughing or say something out loud. It’s fine. Just remind them to be quiet. Let them enjoy it.
I let my daughter dance on the floor by her seat when she felt like dancing and she loved it and I enjoyed seeing happy.
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