For a child turning 7, a movie party is a great idea….. they are starting to get beyond the age for treasure hunts and other silly party games that they adored when they were younger…. and they aren't quite old enough yet for a sleepover party (according to our house rules anyway!) One of the nice things about this kind of a party- it takes very little effort to pull off- and there is a very small amount of clean up! This past weekend we hosted a “Rise of the Guardians” Birthday Party for my son Alex and 6 of his closest pals!
“Rise of the Guardians” Go-Out-to-the-Movies Party
Creating the invitation can be a little tricky for a movie party, because you need to get the invites out to the guests before the movie theatre even knows the showtimes (although if you call the theatre they usually know whether or not they will be showing the film at their location). I just put on the invitation an approximate party drop off time, and let them know that I will confirm via email the week of the party.
The Drop-Off-and Getting the Guests to the Theatre
Since I already drive a Mommy bus as my main vehicle… it is easy for us to transport all of the party guests in the big van (seats 12) to the theatre, and then one of us follows behind with the rest of our kids in Steve’s car. Steve and I are very comfortable taking our family and 8-10 party guests with just the two of us (adults) there. However, if you drive more of a normal-sized vehicle (!), or the idea of you and your husband having to manage a dozen or more kids seems to be overwhelming, then you might want to recruit a parent or two of the party guests to accompany you on this adventure!
When we arrive, we shepherd the kids into the theatre lobby, pick up the tickets (which we buy in advance), stop by the concession stand to buy the popcorn, and then go into the theatre to find seats. We always try to arrive 20-30 minutes before the start of the movie, so we can easily find a large group of seats together.
A note on popcorn and snacks (and if you are a theatre owner, kindly skip reading this paragraph)…. we usually purchase several large tubs of popcorn for the guests, and then bring along our own paper bags to give each guest their own bag of popcorn. We also bring along and pass out small-sized water bottles. This saves us some money, which helps to make this a more affordable adventure!
During the Movie
During the movie, one of the parents is the “runner”…. which means they get refills on popcorn, escort kids to the bathroom, and so forth (so if it is one of my son’s parties, Steve is the runner, if it is one of my daughter’s parties, then I am the runner). The other parent stays in the theatre, sitting in the row behind the party guests, and makes sure that all of the kids behave (and truly, this has never been an issue), and that a parent is there if anyone needs anything.
Head Back Home for Pizza and Cake
Since we drove two cars to the theatre, I made a quick stop at our local pizza place to pick up the pizzas that I had ordered in advance, and Steve headed back with the kids to the house, where he sent them down to the basement to play ping pong and bubble hockey for a few minutes while he mixed up a big batch of our famous “Party Punch“! We then asked all of the kids to wash up before sitting down for pizza!
Alex requested an all-blue cake…. meaning layers of blue cake topped with fluffy blue icing- and decorated with paper cut-outs of the some of the characters from the movie!
The Party Favor:
We decided to give out Lego kits as Alex's party favor… even though Legos have nothing to do with the film- they are Alex's favorite thing to do in the world… so it was perfect for him! And we “themed” the favor by adding a Rise of the Guardians tag!
Thank You Notes
I created two different thank you notes for Alex to use, one for friends that attended his party and a different one for family members who sent him birthday gifts, using PicMonkey and artwork that was available for downloading on the Rise of the Guardians website.
A Few Other Tips on Planning a Movie Party:
You want to pick a movie that appeals to your child’s age group, and has an appropriate rating that your guest’s parents will approve. Now this does not necessarily mean a G rating…. a PG rated flick can be fine if you know in advance why it has earned that rating, and for that advice I recommend researching your film options on Common Sense Media. Try to pick a movie close to its opening weekend so that most of the party guests will not have seen it yet…. but skip wildly popular movies (like Harry Potter) on opening weekends!
Party Planning Options at the Theatre
There are two ways to hold a movie party at your local theatre, you can rent out the entire theatre so that it will be closed to the public and reserved only for you and your guests…. of course this can be pretty expensive, but I know of some families who celebrate siblings birthdays together at the same party by reserving the entire theatre and allowing their kids to invite all of their friends. The second way to do this is to call the theatre in advance and let them know how many guests you will be bringing along to the party. They usually won’t reserve you a section of seats, but often they are willing to work with you on a group discounted price for the movie tickets and a kids snack combo (small drink, small popcorn, and candy).
Looking for Some More Ideas?
Rise of the Guardians is a fantastic movie…. and my son really enjoyed his special day!
Do you think that your 7-year old would enjoy a go-out-to-the movies party? If you are looking for some additional ideas for a 7-year old’s birthday party, you might want to check out these posts too:
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