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How to plan the perfect family movie night

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Kacie McCoy is a writer and social worker. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Turn up the volume on family night

Need something fun to do when the days are long? Turn up the volume on your family fun by hosting a family movie night.

1. Weather permitting, love the outdoors

Turn up the volume on family night

Movie night is extra-special when it's outside. Hang a white sheet against a wall and project the movie of your choice into the darkness for family fun that resembles a drive-in theater. We especially love the teensy lanterns and lights in this outdoor movie night from 100 Layer Cake-let.

2. Keep everyone happy

Before firing up the projector, make sure you have a movie that will please audiences of all ages. No joke, it's a bummer if a stray toddler abandons the movie night idea before the previews are even over. We totally loved The LEGO® Movie since it makes both kids and adults snort-laugh with gusto (not like that's actually happened or anything).

3. Make it official

Turn up the volume on family night

A movie night is so much better if it actually makes it onto the calendar. Pass out these adorable (and free) printables from Dabbles and Babbles so your little sweeties will look forward to movie night all week long.

4. Distribute goody bags

Turn up the volume on family night

Sure, you can cook a normal dinner before movie night, but what's the fun in that? Instead, hand out a smorgasbord of treats in a cute goody bag as your kids take their seats for the movie. Include standard junk food items like popcorn and chocolate, but round things out a bit by offering carrot sticks, apple slices and dry roasted nuts for healthy snacking.

5. Movie night, meet game night

Turn up the volume on family night

Just in case your littlest kids have the attention span of a gnat, keep them engaged by infusing movie night with game night. How cute is this movie night Bingo game from Complicated Mama? Go forth and use this new knowledge for good.

6. Add a healthy dose of make-believe

Turn up the volume on family night

Any idea that features tiny children in tiny make-believe cars sounds like a good idea in our book. Seriously, though, make the drive-in theater premise a pseudo-reality with these totally adorbs cardboard cars, via Love Sweet Love.

7. Light up the night

Turn up the volume on family night

As the credits fade to black, it's going to be really important to have some glow sticks available. Obviously. Set up a cute little display at the end of the night, like the bloggers at The 2 Seasons, so your kids will say "ooooh" and "ahhhh" before bedtime.

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