Okay. Recap. I’m at the movie theater with 14 kids. I made some mistakes. Learn from me.

What not to do at a movie with kids

1. This doesn’t have so much to do with the actual movie as it does the process of getting the kids to the theater.

Unfortunately we don’t have enough room in our two cars combined to take 14 kids so we had to carpool. I assumed 20 minutes before the movie preview and advertisements actually started would be plenty of time for all the kids to arrive and get seated. It wasn’t. We were so scattered and so stressed trying to lead kids through the theater building that we really did need another 15-20 minutes.

So if you’re going to meet at the theater, just know that 20 minutes ahead of time is not enough time. Something always comes up and you will be late.

And then you’re that crazy group with 14 kids, trying to get them all into the movie with the lights already dim as they’re tripping over stairs and spilling their drinks.

2.  Get the kids popcorn, yes. Don’t, however, get them all cups of water right before the movie begins.

At first I was thinking I was a genius. Popcorn is salty, therefore, most kids will be thirsty after eating the popcorn so if I make them all in charge of their water cups ahead of time, I won’t have to get up during the movie to get them water.

Okay. I was mostly genius except I forgot two facts:  one, the kids are going to drink all their water immediately and two, what goes in, must come out. And the worst part? Not every kid needed to go to the restroom at the same time so I spent a good majority of the middle section of the movie walking children in and out of the movie to use the restroom. And of course no kid had to go at the same time.

3.  Do not give kids as much potential garbage as I apparently gave the kids. Yes, I had broken the rules and snuck in a couple of treats for each kid, packed into a cute little bag. Little did I know, not only would the younger ones get up in the middle of the movie to have me open these treats, but almost all the kids would come to me at some point during the movie to give me their garbage.

At first I wanted to be a good friend’s mom and take all of their garbage but are you kidding me? I had so much trash around me five kids in, I was out of foot space!

Maybe the trash wasn’t a problem. Maybe you should just warn them ahead of time to use the complimentary popcorn bags that you got at the front counter as their own little garbage bag.

4.  If one of the kids happens to bring her most favorite, beloved flashing necklace, don’t let her keep it through the movie.

This one girl showed me her necklace before the movie and showed me how it flashed a bright pink color, alternating colors twice every second. I reminded her to not turn it on during the movie but of course, why would she not turn it on at least five times during the movie?! And of course I was sitting ELEVEN seats away from her so I had to quickly walk, bent in half so I didn’t disturb everyone behind me, to her every time. Not being her mom (and her personality), I couldn’t get her to give me the necklace so I just had to pray that she didn’t turn it on again. My prayers were finally answered after four times.

5.  If you’re going to take 14 kids with you to the theater and you get tickets ahead of time, sit on the back row!

Poor rows behind me in the theater. I probably took 1,000 steps during the movie alone! This kid spilled their popcorn. This other kid is scared. This kid is standing on his seat. This kid is yelling my name because he needs something. This kid needs more popcorn. This kid has a question. This kid needs to use the restroom. And now this one. And now this one. And now this one.

Holy crap.

Just sit on the back row.

So tell me, what has happened to you with kids at movie theaters? What should we be prepared for if we ever take a kid to the theaters again?


  1. You are far braver than many other parents! I think I’d limit it to 3 kids if we were taking young ones….

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