Can I Take My Toddler to the Movie Theatre?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

posted by Romy (@daddontlie)

Can I Take My Toddler to the Movie Theatre?

Tips for taking your toddler to a movie

With March Break in full swing last week, I thought I would take advantage of the $2.99 movies at our local Cineplex theatres for a few select children's movies. My son had never had a full theatre experience so we decided to take my 2.5 year old for his first time. We were limited with our choices but we decided to go with 'Paddington' as my son actually found the teaser trailer to be quite amusing. His favourite part was when Paddington the Bear put two toothbrushes in his ears and cleaned them out. He tried to re-enact it when he got home with his own toothbrush and his 10 month old sister's toothbrush.

It turned out to be a successful outing as my son had all smiles walking out of the theatre. Here a few tips if you decide to take your toddler to the theatre.

1. Select the right movie
My son is used to watching 2 & 5 minute YouTube clips of Peppa Pig on my iPhone so you need to get an idea of what kind of movies would be appropriate for a toddler. You also have to figure out if there might be any scary parts for a young son can get pretty scared with a simple scary villain in a cartoon. The best tool I had was my 9-year old nephew who has seen most movies and could tell us which parts might be a little intense for our son. The verdict was pretty simple: Peppa Pig was a British pig and Paddington was a British bear, so 'Paddington' was the right choice.

2. No need to sit through the trailers
With a toddler who can be pretty sensitive in a big, loud theatre - you never know what trailers come up. When we went to our early morning matinee, there was a trailer for the new, realistic Jungle Book which was a little too intense for my son. He jumped into my wife's arms and hid his face. Your  child is also going to be sitting down for a while, which can be difficult for a toddler. Get seats early but duck out for 20 minutes and skip out on the trailers.

3. Bring backup snacks.
Your toddler might not enjoy popcorn (at least mine didn't) and you probably don't want your toddler hyped up on chocolate before sitting down for an hour and a half. Sneak a few toddler friendly snacks and a sippy cup of milk when you go.

4. It's gonna be loud.
Keep in mind, this is going to be the largest screen your child has ever seen with the loudest sound system they've heard. It's going be overwhelming at first. Talk with your toddler beforehand and get them prepared for what's coming. My son was a little startled as soon as those lights went down and the first sound came blaring.

5. Be prepared that it might not end well.
I prepared for a couple of possibilities: he'll get freaked out about something and will leave crying, traumatized OR he'll fall asleep in my wife's arms or mine and miss the whole movie. We chose a 10:30 AM early matinee for $2.99, so worst case scenario we wouldn't be out much money in case we had to jet early. Book an afternoon matinee, they're a bit cheaper.

Overall, my first experience with my son was successful. There were no tears and he really enjoyed our movie selection. I'd say he's still a little too young to fully appreciate the movie but it was silly enough to keep his attention and the whole experience put a smile on his face which is all that matters.

Romy is a dad, husband and blogger based out of Halifax.  He also writes about hoops too at  For dirty diaper stories,  follow him on Twitter @DadDontLie and for hoops talk, follow @RomyAquino


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