12 answers

What Age Is the Right Age to Take a Child to the Movies for the 1St Time?

I have a 2 1/2 year old son who enjoys watching Disney movies at home - is he old enough to go to a movie theater to see a movie? He is able to sit and watch a movie with me at home, from start to finish, but I don't really allow that much, I usually break it up after 15 minutes or so because I don't want him parked in front of the TV, but I thought it would be fun on a hot day to go see a movie and have a popcorn together.

What do you think, is he too young?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My advice is to arrive AFTER the previews. Previews can take up to 20 minutes these days. My daughter would have lasted at her first movie if we had skipped the previews. Get some popcorn, sit by an exit, and enjoy!

More Answers

Check out the movies for moms. I know that both the Kirkorian in Monrovia and the Pacific Theaters at Paseo in Pasadena have movies for moms - cheaper tickets, softer sound, lights up a little bit - designed especially for moms with infants and toddlers.

Have fun!

In my experience, 3yrs old. but if your son has not watched more than 15 minutes at a time, then he might be in for a shocker at the theatre. Have a practice run at home first.

Depends on the child. Depends on the movie. My daughter was ready at 3.5. Her best friend was not. Neither were most of her peers. She can sit through the whole thing, no problems.

Check out these sites for reviews of films for children. I LOVE these sites, especially the first (personally).

When my son was about 4 we sat down to watch the Wizard of Oz (one of my favorite films of all time. He seemed fine, did not react. Now (age 8) he tells me he hates that movie and doesn't want to watch it because he was terrified and had nightmares. Common Sense Media says the movie is best for 6+ year olds. Makes sense.

Even some Disney movies give me pause. We started to watch Dumbo and my daughter started to cry and scream when the mom was being "attacked" by the circus crew and subdued. Someone told me that Disney himself said his movies were geared for 7 + year olds.

The first time he won't know what to expect and will want to explore, get up and down, play with the seat, etc. Sit down near the exit in case you have to leave early. The first time might be a little tough but the following visits will be easier once he knows what to do. I say give it a shot. Both my kids were around 2 for their first trip to the movie. Check the run time and start with a short movie.

Hi E., the way you will know if he is ready, is to give it a try. As far as watching Dinesy movies with you, you should let him watch the entire movie, not pulling him away after 15 minutes, one movie a day will not hurt him. J.

My advice is to arrive AFTER the previews. Previews can take up to 20 minutes these days. My daughter would have lasted at her first movie if we had skipped the previews. Get some popcorn, sit by an exit, and enjoy!

Um, hmmmm... well each child is different. BUt I think maybe that is too young.

With my daughter... she didn't like the movie theater, she said it was much too loud, and too cold in there, and she did not want to sit through it. After about 40 minutes, she wanted to leave.

You need to be prepared to leave in the middle of the movie if that is what the child needs to do or what not. A movie is usually too long for them to sit through it. But then again, maybe some kids are okay with it.

I don't know....but this is what happened with our girl.
All the best,

It really depends on the child. Our first, a girl, handled most of Finding Nemo (her first movie), our son, a boy (he is 3), has yet to sit still for a whole movie - even at home. You can always try. The worst thing that might happen is he may need to take a little break.

Here is a great site to check out all movie reviews to find out if a movie is age appropriate.

Have fun!

Hi E.:
Well in my opinion,a practice run at home ,is not going to tell you a thing.Home is a whole different experience.He may sit and watch a movie with you at home, but you don't have the distractions,the loud speakers,your not completely in the dark. If you want to take him forfun and the experience of it,go ahead and see how he does. You must be prepared,for him to ask to leave early. As long as you don't get to rapped up in the movie lol, you won't mind right? If it doesn't work out, awww well..you give him a little more time,before trying again. Have a great time.J.

Hi E.,

I have to echo some of the other mom's in that it really is dependent on the child. I've taken my son to the movies along with a girlfriend and her little girl. My son loved it and sat through the whole movie (of course my having to tell him to sit down or not talk on rare occasion), but her daughter said it was too loud, put her fingers in her ears, and eventually asked to leave after about 1/4 of the movie. Like other mom's have mentioned, I've heard that there are kids showing of movies at some theaters during the week. Being a working mom, I don't have the luxury of taking advantage of those but I hear they are much more kid friendly with children even running around. Seeing as it's designed for kids, I hear that no one really minds the distractions if that occurs.

You'll be the best guage as to when she is ready, but go without any expectation of actually watching the movie the first time! That way you won't be disappointed if you spend half of the movie focused on your daughters enjoyment of the movie or having to leave early!

In our case, my son was three, probably closer to 3 1/2, before he was really able to enjoy the movie all the way through. We tried once when he was around 2 1/2 and while he made it through the movie, I had to take him out a couple of times because the noise did scare him - it's a whole new experience watching a movie in a theater versus at home! He really enjoyed the experience though and asked to go back again afterwards!

Best of luck and have fun! We've only gone to the movies a handfull of times, but it always makes for a very special treat!


My daughter was about 2 and a half when we went to our first movie. I went to the dollar theater matinee--so I only spent 50c apiece! She lasted for about half the movie and then lost interest and started running around, so we left. No big deal, I was only out $1. I would say try it. If she looses interest or is scared of the loud noises, be prepared to leave.

I took my son to see Kung Fu Panda a few days after he turned two. We went during the week in the morning when there wasnt a lot of people. I brought him his favortie stuff dog & a couple of snacks. He was really good, he got a little restless for about the last 15 minutes.

I dont think he is too young. Take him & see how it goes. If things dont work out then you will know to try again in a couple more months. Good Luck.

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