Marriage can be challenging at the best of times, but when you have seven kids, five with special needs, it can sometimes feel downright impossible. Several years ago, we implemented a weekly date night and it has made a big difference. It gives us a chance to talk and be two humans instead of just two parents. But more than that, it lets us have fun again. We try to keep things interesting and are always on the hunt for new ideas. We take turns planning the dates which makes it fun because we sometimes try to outdo each other on the creativity.
Disclaimer about the pictures: The Husband was actually happy to be there. Really he was! We just aren’t any good at taking selfies and his face reflects the attempts to get both of us and the movie poster into the picture!
Date “night” might not be the best description of this particular date because this was a marathon date as well as a movie marathon! It took a full day and evening. We left our house at 9:30 in the morning and didn’t get home until after 10 at night! Fortunately, our second oldest is a great babysitter and the kids had a lot of fun while we were away.
What made this way more fun than an average “movie and dinner” date was that we could compare the movies and anticipate the next one. Scheduling four movies meant that if one movie was a stinker (and one was!), it wasn’t a bust because we still had another movie to look forward to. Seeing four movies in one day gave us a lot to talk about. It felt a bit like an adventure too as we had to be sure to get to each one in time to get good seats.
We had a good laugh about one particular movie short that played at the beginning of all four movies. We loved it the first time, liked it the second time, were annoyed by it the third time, and giggled about it together the fourth time.
Another element that made the date fun was that we took a selfie in front of each movie poster before the movies and posted them on Facebook so our friends and families were interacting with us during the day and asking questions about the movies.
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend being on social media during a date, but in this case, we did it together and had fun responding to comments together so it added a little something to our time.
Tips to get the most out of a movie marathon date:
- Go online to determine showtimes and calculate your itinerary. You will need to play around with the order of the movies in order to make the times work.
- Run times do not include commercials and previews but do include end credits. Most theatres recommend that you give an additional 20 minutes to account for the previews and commercials before the film starts. Keep this in mind when determining your itinerary.
- Buy all your tickets at once. When you first arrive, purchase all the tickets so that you aren’t disappointed later if a showing sells out and to save having to stand in line each time.
- Choose a location that has a lot of showings to get the most out of your time and to ensure that you can see a variety of movie genres.
- Plan ahead to save money. Look for coupons (sometimes on the back of cereal boxes) or discount codes. Ask for movie tickets for Christmas or birthdays. We used a combination of a gift card, a movie night out certificate that included popcorn and drinks along with two adult tickets, and free movies we had earned with points on our redemption card.
The shows we saw on our movie marathon date were Joy, Brooklyn, the Point Break remake, and Concussion. If you are afraid of heights like me, I wouldn’t recommend the 3D Point Break! The others were all very good.
Joy and Concussion were our favourites. We found both to be inspiring. The Husband and I both enjoy biographies and true stories so we are partial to that type of movie but they were very well done. It sure gave us a lot to talk about!
At the end of the fourth movie, there was one more movie that interested us that we would have had time to see but we decided to call it a day. We aren’t as young as we once were and we were afraid that five movies in a row may be pushing our ability to stay awake!
If you are looking for unique date night ideas to keep things interesting, you can read our list here.