If you are going to the movies with a toddler, you might have your hands full. Even if you have survived going to the movies before, there are ways to help this experience be less stressful and help everybody enjoy the movie.
Remember it will be dark. If your child is afraid of the dark, this might not work for you. Some theatres will show a theatre with very dim lighting, though this is a rare find. If it is essential you go to the movies, perhaps dress your toddler in glow in the dark attire to help with the anxiety. Worst case scenario bring a little bitty booklight and let him hold onto it so he has the light. Sitting close to the lights is also a good idea so you might get whatever dim light possible.
Bring a snack trap or something normally eaten out of. After all, $8 for a large popcorn is very expensive. The plastic trays might not work properly and if your little one doesn’t have his own cannister to eat from, it might result in the popcorn being tipped over. So fill up the snack trap and let him feed himself. Be prepared to have your child sit in your lap. Some movie theatre seats require a certain weight. This might make for a very tipsy seat if he keeps trying to sit properly. You might want to put something to weigh him down (such as a purse or diaper bag) or hold the seat down with your arm or foot. If all else fails, your lap will work sufficiently too.
Avoid getting there too early. If you get to the movies early, don’t go into the theatre. Let your toddler burn off some energy by running up and down the halls. A great spot to go in is after all the coming attractions, just before the movie begins. This way his attention span might also last through to the end of the movie. Also bring a jacket or long-sleeves to throw over in case the theatre is chilly. A blanket is also a good idea as some toddler might go to sleep in a dark theatre.
Finally, if your child is easily distracted and doesn’t mind the dark, try to seat towards the middle of the row of seats. This way traffic going up and down the aisles is less likely to distract your little one. They will wonder why others can get out of their seats and go up and down the fun stairs. If your child doesn’t like the theatre, don’t make him suffer through it until the end. You nor he will enjoy it and it will also take away from the pleasant movie watching experience the rest of the audience expected when they purchased their tickets. Take a deep breath, relax, and try to enjoy the show!