Make the next family outing at the movies. We have compiled our four best tips for keeping the staggering price tag of a night at the theater (transportation, tickets, concessions—oh my!) under control.
Save more money before the movie by having a light snack. Print or load coupons to get deals on healthy goodies below.
Know the details. With theaters offering package deals designed to fill seats, it is easier than ever to bring along your tots for less money. Be aware of the promotions offered at your favorite theater, and if there are no special discounts, call ahead and ask. Many deals are only valid for certain times and showings, so plan accordingly to keep costs down. Deals that offer free kids’ tickets more than often require a minimum number of adult ticket purchases, so be sure you do a head count before you leave the house!
Go early. If there are no special family-friendly promotions in your area, consider taking advantage of matinee pricing. Most theaters offer a significant discount to all showings before 5 p.m., and the less-crowded venue makes it easier for young children to enjoy the film.
See the classics. While it is always exciting to see the newest blockbuster debut, there are some advantages to waiting it out. With second-run theaters offering tickets as low as 50 cents, large families can see a show with little damage to the pocketbook. Major movie chains usually offer summer movie programs that allow free or almost-free tickets to G and PG-rated films that may have already come out on DVD.
Snack lightly. By filling up on healthy meals or treats before leaving for the theater, you can cut down on requests for extra butter and large sodas. If you look forward to a few movie treats, consider having children share the kids’ packs and refill drink containers with water from the drinking fountain.
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Updated by Jennifer Frye.