Cheaper Ways to Take Your Kids to the Movies This Summer
It’s almost summer, and for parents, that means one thing: Yachting! Wait no, I mean finding something to keep your offspring occupied until that blessed day when school is back in session. And there’s nothing better for killing time—wait,...
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It’s almost summer, and for parents, that means one thing: Yachting! Wait no, I mean finding something to keep your offspring occupied until that blessed day when school is back in session. And there’s nothing better for killing time—wait, I mean providing an enriching educational entertainment experience—than a midweek movie matinee. Or as I like to call them, “air-conditioned napping opportunities.”
“But I’m no bazillionaire, Stephen,” I’m sure you’re saying, “How could I possibly afford to take my child to the movies multiple times in one season?” I’m glad you asked. If you do it right, taking your kids to the movies can be surprisingly inexpensive. Theater owners across the country have recognized the needs of parents to keep their children out of the sun and have provided a bunch of inexpensive deals made just for you. Here’s how to take your kids to the movies this summer for a lot less.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near an independent movie theater, start there—it’s good to support non-chain cinemas. Go to their website and look for summer matinee deals or kids movie clubs to see what’s on offer.
If your moviegoing needs are being served by a smaller chain, they might have better deals than the three largest theater operators listed below. For instance, if you live in the Southwest, you might be near a Harkins’ theater, where you can see a different family movie every week all summer for only $1 a ticket.
Nationwide chain Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse is offering $2 tickets to slightly dusty kids’ movies like Scoob!, Sing 2, and Tom and Jerry for eight weeks this summer, beginning on June 15. There’s even a $1 discount on kids’ snack packs or a popcorn and drink combo, for parents who are squeamish about sneaking their own food into the theater.
The Regal theater chain has screens all over the United States and is offering a sweet deal on kids’ movies for summer. Starting in June, Summer Movie Express will offer $2 tickets for a wide range of older family-friendly flicks every Tuesday and Wednesday. So if you missed out on The Lego Movie or Madagascar, here’s your chance. Check out your local theater for times and listings.
AMC, the largest theater chain in the U.S., doesn’t specifically feature children’s matinee offers, but the company’s “Fan Faves” promotion lets anyone buy a five-dollars-and-tax ticket to a second-run movie every day. Right now, AMC’s website says you can see Uncharted and Sing 2 for the bargain price, but check your local AMC theater’s listings for showtimes.
You can also join AMC’s loyalty program, Stubs, and get a discounted ticket for just about any movie every Tuesday. It’s free to be a low-tier member of Stubs, but the amount of your discount varies with your local theater, so it might not be an especially deep discount.
If you are a parent, you should definitely bring your own food and drink into every movie you take your children to, whether it’s to keep them from eating junk or as a cost-cutting measure, as the price of popcorn will certainly offset any savings your might realize from a discounted ticket. Some theater chains don’t have rules against bringing your own grub, but even if yours does, the bored 17 year-old taking tickets is not going to ask you to open up your diaper bag to check for contraband, I promise.