Want to get your tweens super excited for movie night? Start with the best movie menu and a great list of movies for tweens. This post is sponsored by Farm Rich. All thoughts and opinions are our own. #TastyTimeOut
One of the greatest ironies of parenting a middle schooler is that when the chilly weather of fall finally arrives here in the south and we want to snuggle down for a family movie party, our schedule ramps up so much it feels impossible to find the time!
Between sports practice, homework, and other family obligations, every day of our week seems to have something penciled in lately.
We've barely scratched the surface of what it will be like parenting a busy teen. I know from mom friends with older kids, the next few years are going to rush by in a total blur. I've been warned I'm about to spend half my life in the car driving her everywhere.
So how does a busy family-on-the-go make time to connect over a good old fashioned movie night these days??
Gone are the days where all I had to do was suggest we watch a movie to get the kids running to the sofa. Now my busy tween requires a little more enticing to spend the evening with us.
I've found the solution requires three steps:
- Find the time--Scratch that. MAKE the time.
- Serve totally delicious tween-friendly food.
- Pick just the right movie.
I've got everything you need right here for squeezing in an awesome family movie night asap.
3 easy tips for squeezing in a movie night with your busy tweens:
1. Make each hour count! How to find time for Dinner AND a Movie:
Dinner AND a movie? We so do not have the time for that. When sports practice runs into the evening and she wants to shower up before sitting down, it would be more like dinner OR a movie. If we want to do both, I get creative with what I consider "dinner" for the night.
When the kids were little, we used to do popcorn for dinner as a special treat. Now, my growing girls need more sustenance than a bowl of popcorn will provide.
We'll eat dinner while watching the movie but I like to make a big movie snack board for them. I'm sure to include items with protein to help fill them up.
We love the Farm Rich Time Outs™ microwaveable snacks for movie night because they come with at least 21g of protein per serving. There are four awesome flavors to choose from and each one can be made in just 2 - 3 minutes:
- Fiesta Chicken Roll-ups with a Mild Poblano Ranch Sauce
- Pepperoni Pizza Roll-ups with a Marinara Sauce
- Boneless Chicken Bites with a Sweet BBQ Sauce
- Mozzarella Bites and a Marinara Sauce
For our last movie night, I combined the Fiesta Chicken Roll-ups with the Boneless Chicken Bites and Mozzarella Bites that I picked up during a trip to Walmart. I simply added a few handfuls of baby carrots and a sliced green apple (tossed with a splash of pineapple juice to keep it crisp) to round out the board.
I took each of the convenient dipping sauces from the Farm Rich snacks and just put them in little dipping bowls for the snack board. In addition to loving them mixed and matched with the microwaveable snacks, the girls loved having three options for dipping their carrots, too.
Though we prefer to serve food family-style and share a variety of nibbles, I loved that each of the Farm Rich Time Outs™ came in individual-sized serving boxes. On nights when sharing isn't going well between the girls, I could let each kid pick their own movie night snack to enjoy, too.
2. Keep the food easy! How to make a movie snack board in just minutes:
While Tim was off picking the kids up from sports practice, I prepped everything we needed for the snack buffet except for the warm appetizers.
- Pre-pop the popcorn
- Chop the apple into slices and toss with pineapple juice to keep it crisp
- Prep the carrots (or just use a bag of baby carrots)
- Set out plates and napkins
When we were ready for movie night, I just quickly microwaved the Farm Rich Time Outs™ and added them to the snack board. With a variety of 3 different appetizers, I had them all heated up in just 10 minutes and we were able to sit down for the show.
3. Keep it munchy. You're eating in the living room!:
No one wants to be dealing with utensils in the living room. Keep everything easy-to-eat finger food.
With a few different varieties of the Farm Rich hot snacks mixed with easy-to-grab fruits and veggies, it will be easier for everyone to focus on the movie.
Bonus: My kids have learned to equate snackable appetizers with holiday celebrations. Serving them for movie night makes the whole evening feel like a party.
Pro Mom Tip: I set out the protein-packed snack board with fruits and veggies first. I let everyone nibble away on the more filling foods first. Once they are done, only then do I bring out the popcorn or movie candy.
How to pick just the right movies for tweens:
You've found the time, you've made the snacks. Now, the big question: What to watch??
Here are 30 movies our family has recently loved to watch with our tween girls:
- Yesterday: We just watched this during our most recent movie night, SO sweet!
- Aladdin, the Live Action version
- Napoleon Dynamite
- The Princess Bride
- Ant Man
- Ant Man and the Wasp
- Black Panther
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- School of Rock
- The Princess Diaries
- Jumanji (both versions!)
- The Harry Potter series
- The Lego movies
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Back to the Future
- Star Wars, the entire series
- Ground Hog Day
- Beauty and the Beast, live action
- Cinderella, live action
- Star Trek, the Chris Pine versions
- Hidden Figures
- Spiderman, we prefer the 2002 versions
- High School Musical
- Teen Beach Movie (I LOVED this one, maybe even more than the kids)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
If you're ready to host the best-ever movie night for your busy tweens, be sure to check either Walmart or Publix for the tasty Farm Rich Time Outs™ snacks. They're about $3.49 - $4.49 and you'll find them right in the frozen entertaining snacks section.