I'm a huge movie fan. Not just watching movies, but the whole process of going to the theater is something I've always enjoyed throughout my life. I love going by myself to see that movie no one else wants to see with me. Our first dates with my now-husband were movie-related, and even now—after three children—our date nights always involve a movie theater. The last thing I did before having my twins was... (you guessed it!) going to the movies.
I was really looking forward taking our toddler to the movies for the first time. Well, actually, third time but the first two he was an infant—we found a movie theater that played films at a lower volume and with the lights on to make it more baby-friendly, but I don't think he has any recollection of those two. But then the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world and I don't think we are stepping into a theater any time soon.
Instead we decided to bring the movie theater to him so we could all enjoy one of our favorite activities without the fear of exposing ourselves to the outside world. Our first featured film was Toy Story 4Toy Story 4 and it was a total hit. I see a lot more movies in our future with the set up we built, so if you are like me and are looking for a family-friendly activity to keep everyone entertained this summer, below are my recommended products.
Here's what we used to make an at-home movie theater:
Let's start with the basics: a projector. We went with this one because it's super small and portable, which means we can bring movies with us wherever we go. Eventually, when our kids are older and can stay up past summer sunsets, we can all watch movies outdoors together. You can watch anything you want from Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Disney+ content. You don't even need an internet connection to make it work so you can take it anywhere you want. The battery lasts about 5 hours, it can connect to headphones or speakers and you can limit the amount of time it can be on to cut back on screen time.
We bought one of these when our toddler expressed some jealousy over his baby sisters having the baby versions of the DockATot—and it was an instant hit. He calls it his "Daniel Tiger DockATot" and loves lounging in it. Before we created our little movie night, our son would read books or play with toy cars in it. It is, however, ideal to watch a movie lying down, which really helped with his attention span.
For the adults, I love these floor cushions for sitting comfortably on the floor. Plus, they are so beautiful they can be used in the kid's room or even the living room once movie night is over.
Every movie deserves popcorn for the family and these bowls are ideal to serve your little ones some snacks. They are designed for everyday use and super durable. Plus, the colors are adorable.
This popcorn comes with butter and is organic, perfect to make at home for the entire family
My son is obsessed with his Slumberkins narwhal. He sleeps with it, plays with it, takes it on car rides, goes to school with it in his backpack, so narwhal came to watch a movie with us. They are super soft and durable and each snuggler comes with a book to help your little one talk about big feelings.
Avoid having your movie night interrupted by your kids asking for water for the millionth time with these YETI water bottles. They are super durable, keep drinks cold for a long time and the colors are beautiful.
We took it to the next level and set up a tent outside to take advantage of the warm weather and fresh air (we all really need the fresh air) and watched movies projected inside the Veer tent. It has a sun and rain cover so you don't have to worry about your setup getting ruined.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.