20 Movie Night Ideas to Make Your Next One Extra Special! + Printable Movie Checklists

  • Find ways to create the ultimate movie night at home.
  • Discover unique movie night ideas for family movie night and movie dates.
  • Create your own movie night memories with free printable movie watchlists and a Movie Night Journal.
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family movie night at home

If you know me, you know how much our family loves family movie nights. It’s a tradition we count down to every week and it always includes lots of laughter, discussion, and of course, fresh popcorn. This post will give you some great movie night ideas to take your tradition to the next level.

Continue reading below to find some ideas for starting a movie night tradition, keeping the peace when choosing a movie, and making it a fun experience for all invited. We’ll also break down ways to tackle a specific type of movie night:

Why Start a Movie Night?

I’ve been sharing our movie reviews and checklists for years. I love helping families come together and created the Family Movie Night Journal as a fun way to keep track of the many movies we watch and add in some fun activities to liven up the night. Inside there are ideas for gettin your movie night tradition started, and ways to spice it up with some guidelines, recipes, and of course lots of movie ideas.

Whether you’re looking for ways to start a family movie night or if you’re a seasoned pro at this point, I still wanted to share some of my fun movie night ideas so you can make your tradition a little extra special.

Here are 20 movie night ideas to make your next showing extra special!

20 ultimate family movie night ideas

Movie Night Snack Ideas!

Who doesn’t love some good pizza or a family-sized bag of rainbow skittles? Snacks are a quick and easy way to spruce up a movie night. 

1. Rotate Snack Choices

Let each member of your family contribute their say by picking one snack each, or take turns picking the treat. That way everyone is happy! Are you worried it may be too unhealthy? You can swap sugar-free alternatives into a bowl before giving them out.

2. Make a Fun Potato Bar

Want an easy and fun idea? Check out the perfect potato bar that my family and I enjoy putting together for a special family movie night.

3. Spice up the Popcorn

Here is another fun family movie night idea – throw in some of that candy with your popcorn! The sweet and salty combination is sure to rattle things up. A favorite is mixing in some M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces. Or perhaps you want to try something new with Honey Popcorn. Check out this easy DIY recipe.

4. Make Making Popcorn an Experience

Making popcorn itself can be a fun activity to do before the movie starts. I love teaching my kids how to make the perfect batch of popcorn, whether it be on the stove or in our movie-style popcorn machine.

Make Choosing the Movie Fun

When you’re part of a family, it is not uncommon for quarrels to break out over who gets to choose the movie. Whether you take a vote, decide over a quick game of rock, paper, or a random raffle someone always loses. Eventually, we settled on the most straightforward option.

5. Rotate Who Chooses the Movie Every Week

Everyone gets their say on which movie the family should watch together. It makes the person feel heard and seen and opens up the rest of the family to new content they otherwise may never have given a try. With the Movie Night Journal, there’s space to keep track of who’s turn to pick the movie and makes it easy and error-proof!

6. Have a Movie Marathon

Want to make it through all of the Marvel movies in order? Or watch every single Disney Classic in release order? Schedule a regular movie night to watch one a week, or more!

Record Your Memories

Family traditions are a special thing, so be sure to document them! Time flies by way too quickly, and a day will eventually come where not everyone lives at home or near each other to make movie nights possible. Cherish them while they’re happening.

7. Keep track of what you watch

Jot down what you watch, who picked it, and when.

8. Record Your Favorites
family movie night journal on a white background with popcorn in a bowl

One way I document these precious moments is with the Movie Night Journal. It is a great tool to keep track of the movies you watched, the date you watched them, your favorite parts or characters, even funny moments that happened with your family during the viewing! We don’t treat it like a chore. We just take some time to talk about the movie while the end credit play (and it’s a good chance to see if there are any end credit scenes.)

9. Movie Trivia

How good are you at naming “who said it” with popular movie quotes? Can you quote lines from the movie you watched? Play guess the movie with music, quotes, or using the trivia pages in the Movie Night Journal.

Make it a Theme Night

Our movie nights are mostly low key but now and then, when there’s a movie we’ve been anticipating for a long while, we will do a themed night for the movie. Here are some other fun movie night theme ideas:

10. Coordinating Movie Snacks

We did Jasmine donuts for the live action Aladdin, purple and green cupcakes for Descendants 3, and Alien Rice Krispy treats for Toy Story 4. There are countless ideas of movie night food to match the theme.

11. Movie Night Under the Stars

Hang up a white sheet and plug in a portable projector, hang some string lights and make the night all cozy under the night sky. Some ideas of movies to watch that fit the mood:

  • Over the Moon
  • Hidden Figures
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Interstellar
  • Mars Attacks!

Consult a Movie Night Idea List

Movie checklists are a great way to keep track of the movies you and your family have enjoyed, together with giving you options you may not have even thought of. From romantic comedies for a date night, to films to celebrate Black History month. We have many free checklists for your viewing pleasure. Here are 9 more free movie night idea lists (ideas 12-20).

Be sure to check out the free movie checklists I have available! Here are some of my favorites:

Favorite Free Movie Checklist

Enjoy the Show!

If you put in a little time and effort you can create a fantastic movie night at home. No fancy theaters or expensive tickets needed. Grab a cozy blanket and some fluffy pillows and you’re sure to make a movie night to remember.

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