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How to host a movie-night dinner

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Family-style dinner & a movie

Between work, school, extracurricular activities and friends, getting the family together for a meal can be difficult, even just once a week. Set up a time for a movie-night dinner, though, and even your most rebellious teen is bound to show up.

50 Days of family fun

Family movie nightChoose a movie

You can't make everyone equally happy, but try to pick a movie the whole family will enjoy (at least a little). If age differences are too much of a factor, do a double feature so the adults and older children can watch something a little more age-appropriate when the little ones are in bed. (Get the young ones to bed during intermission.) 

Try one of these top 10 family-friendly movies >>

Design your menu

Come up with a theme for the food that goes with the movie, such as campfire food for an outdoors movie or Chinese for an old Kung Fu flick. Try to make foods that everyone can eat easily so you don't miss any of the action. For example, if you're going for an Italian theme, think pita pocket pizzas instead of spaghetti.

Dinner idea: Try one of these top 10 fun foods for kids >>

No movie night is complete without popcorn. For that real movie-theater feel, hand out individual servings in paper bags. You can even buy boxed candy just like that offered in theaters.

How to make the perfect microwave popcorn >>

Enjoy your night

Don't spend your whole night waiting on the family. Use paper plates and plastic ware so cleanup's a snap. This is a also a great time to serve sodas, even if you don't normally allow them. Keep them cold in a cooler so no one has to get up during the movie; control quantity by limiting the number of soda bottles and adding bottled water to the mix. Then just relax and enjoy some quality time with your favorite people in the world.

More family fun ideas

How to have a murder mystery dinner
How to plan an educational game night
How to play charades

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