TGIF: Host Your Own Film Festival
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For several years the kids and I hosted a 3-Day, afternoon movie shindig for friends and neighbors. It was a great way to break up the winter blahs as well as socialize with other families. It doesn’t cost much at all to have a good time.
Invite your friends and neighbors – I made up a little flyer with the dates, times, and movie selections and passed it out to friends and neighbors. This kind of invitation doesn’t have to be elaborate. But, we invited a lot of people. I didn’t assume that every family would come every day, so it was fine to invite a crowd.
Pick your dates and times – We chose midweek afternoons during a one-week span of time, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Showtimes started late enough for families to get there after school, but ended early enough for them to get home for dinner or other evening commitments.
Select your movies – You can do this however you want. You pick. Let your kids pick. Or take a poll of friends’ preferences. (The latter option is obviously a litte more complicated and you won’t be able to please everyone.) We stuck with mostly G rated films, but there are plenty that also appeal to older children and adults. The most successful movie days were those when we played a movie that most guests had not seen before. A new DVD release is a good choice for this.
Acquire snacks – When you’re hosting something big that happens over a week’s time, it’s difficult to be “the hostess with the mostess” without going broke. Ask families to bring their own water bottles and a snack to share. You can pop some corn, too. Provide large plastic cups for kids to pile their snacks into.
Provide toddler toys – Inevitably there will be little ones who really aren’t interested in watching a movie. Have a bucket of Little People or Duplos nearby to entertain. Unless you really want to do “kid duty” all over your house, be firm that the crowd stay in the same location.
Enjoy time with fellow moms – Sometimes we watched the movie, sometimes we sat in the back and chatted. It was a great way to break up the week and relax while the kids had a good time.
Do you host a special get together for family and friends? Tell us about it.
What a great idea! I’m going to try to figure a way to organize something like this…we don’t really have neighbors out here, living on a rural country road (not any that have young children… a lot of older farmers, though!!) Maybe I could get some kids from my daughters kindergarten class to come by after pickup…since I’m friends with some of the moms that would be fun!! Thanks for the ideas!
I have hosted a Spring Party before. I made spring shaped snacks,we read spring/season books, played outside, and made seasons books. We read the books first so there would be fodder for the booklets they made. Spring’s my favorite and I think everyone had a good time!
What a fun idea! This would be great on a school snow day… not that you would know anything about that. 😉