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Creative Ways to Up the Fun Factor on Summer Family Movie Night

Things to Do Parenting

As temperatures heat up and summer vacation kicks into full gear, it’s easy to get swept up in the season’s many extracurricular activities. We forget that this is the one time of the year to spend quiet, quality time with our family before the rat race of the school year returns.

With homework on hold and bedtime bumped back, one of the easiest, and most relaxing ways to bond this summer is family movie night. We’ve teamed up with Disney in celebration of their new live-action movie Dumbo (On Digital, Movies Anywhere, Blu-ray™ & 4K Ultra HD™ today!) to bring you some creative ways to take a high-flying adventure from the comfort of your couch. Let your "dreams take flight" with these unique and budget-friendly ideas for summer family movie night.

Disney's Dumbo on Blu-Ray

This post is sponsored by Disney. Bring Disney’s new live-action Dumbo home now!

Bring the Great Outdoors into Your Living Room. Summer thunderstorms got you stuck indoors? No problem! Trade in cuddles on the couch for a cozy sleeping bag experience instead! You can even set up a tent and sleep overnight in the living room. No camping equipment? Use sheets and furniture to set up a fort. Turn out the lights and illuminate the room with flashlights. Of course, no camping “trip” is complete without s’mores! Wrap up your movie night with this Indoor S’Mores recipe from Like Mother Like Daughter that uses the oven instead of an open flame.

Easy Indoor S'mores from Like Mother Like Daughter
Photo Courtesy of Like Mother Like Daughter

Set Up a Drive-In Movie Theatre at Home. Though drive-ins are few and far between these days, you can treat your kids to this favorite pastime by recreating one right in your own backyard! To make a big screen, you’ll need an at-home projector. You can purchase one for as low as $25, but you can also turn movie night into an educational, STEM project by converting your smartphone into a projector. All you’ll need is a magnifying glass and a few items found around the house. Check out this tutorial from The STEM Laboratory designed specifically with kids in mind. For the screen, a frosted shower curtain secured to the garage door or another flat surface will do the trick. Pull up the car, pop the tailgate, and pile in to watch the movie together. We recommend inviting the grandparents over; this can be an incredibly nostalgic experience for them, leading to treasured storytelling and family bonding.

Family Movie Night Backyard Drive-In Movie

Get Adventurous with Your Popcorn. Don’t settle for boring, buttery popcorn. Spice up the routine (literally!) with a new twist on the classic movie night favorite. When we searched the Internet for recipes, we literally found hundreds of ideas. From savory to sweet, there’s an option for every taste bud (wasabi popcorn, anyone?). Get your kids involved by having them help in the kitchen!

Here are some of our top picks, which we think kids and grownups alike will enjoy:

  • Peanut Butter Lover’s from Taste of Home - Pictured below, this is a twist on trail mix that looks to die for!
  • Marshmallow Popcorn from Oh Sweet Basil - Kind of like Rice Krispy Treats but with popcorn. ‘Nuff said.
  • Ranch Style Popcorn from Mom Junction - Kids love to dip their carrots in it, and now they can have it on their popcorn too.

Taste of Home Peanut Butter Lover's Popcorn
Photo Courtesy of Taste of Home

Whether you opt for an adventurous indoor camping trip, a 1950s themed drive-in event, or a yummy popcorn-filled night on the couch, showing an uplifting film that promotes acceptance, love, and understanding is a great way to start conversations with your family. Disney’s new, live-action Dumbo involves the same themes as the original cartoon, including the idea that different is beautiful, and that we should embrace and accept those who may be unlike ourselves. Opening up conversations through movies is a fantastic way to talk with your children about themes that are relevant to them in the world around us. So grab the popcorn, turn on that TV (or projector!), and get watchin’. 

Tags: Family Fun Indoor Outdoor Summer Family Movie Night Fun


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