In our house, Movie Night is Friday night. It’s been going strong for about a year. The girls live and die by movie night. We don’t normally let them watch TV or have screen time in the afternoons, especially before bed, so Movie Night is particularly exciting. It’s a throw-the-rules-out-the-window kind of night. Not only do we let them watch movies, they usually stay up way past their bedtimes to see their selection through until the end. And we let them eat snacks by the handful on the couch— which is normally a no-no too. So what if I have to clean up a few million crumbs at the end of the night?

We used to be all about popcorn on Movie Night but lately, we’ve been mixing things up with Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®. Mike and I love the Garlic Parmesan while Mazzy and Harlow’s favorite is the Original flavor. Have you ever spread some chocolate or peanut butter on a Pretzel Crisp? It’s DELICIOUS. My family must not be the only ones who do this because we just discovered their  holiday flavors— Dark Chocolate & Peppermint and White Chocolate & Peppermint.

Yes, that’s pieces of candy cane stuck in the chocolate. It’s a hotly contested debate in my house but I’m just going to go ahead and say, I like the white chocolate better.

The only stress of Movie Night is deciding what movie the girls are going to watch. Sometimes they are on the same page (“SING!!!!!!!”) but other times, trying to get them to agree is a power play of epic proportions. I usually tell them that I am not doling out snacks until they reach a decision which hurries them along to common ground. When they’ve settled on the couch with their snack of choice in their lap, Movie Night officially begins and peace starts to descend over the Wiles household.

When it started, Movie Night was more about giving the kids something to do so that Mike and I could relax and not have to deal with them. We both had the work week behind us, a weekend of kid-centric activities in front of us and Movie Night was a way to take the evening off in the middle. This was back when Mazzy and Harlow would watch only animated movies and didn’t mind viewing each one a billion times. I love Moana but I only need to see it once or twice. On the 67th viewing, I’ll be in the other room doing something else, thank you very much.

Recently, Movie Night dynamic has shifted because the kids’ entertainment tastes are growing up and the movies they like to watch have expanded beyond cartoon trolls and princesses. They also like the live version of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Descendants and Alice in Wonderland. Once they started watching live action movies, Mike and I realized that we could start to introduce them to the movies we loved as a kid— Goonies, ET, and Star Wars.

Sadly, both ET and Star Wars were considered too scary and we had to turn them off. The resolution on Goonies was so bad that we couldn’t even watch it. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was so boring, it could not hold the kids’ attention. Harry and the Hendersons was more inappropriate than I remembered. The one movie so far that both kids seem to love is the original Parent Trap.

Turns out, finding a family movie sweet spot is not as easy as I thought it would be, but with the holidays approaching, that opens up a whole new arena of holiday-centric movies. In previous years, we’ve watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, I think we might be able to move on to holiday movies like Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone, and Elf.

We might not be in Bad Santa territory quite yet but the future of Movie Night is becoming clear. Instead of it being something to get the kids to be quiet and out of our way, it’s becoming something we can all do as a family. Cuddled under a blanket on the couch, passing bowls of Pretzel Crisps® between us and enjoying the window of time between the work week and the weekend, all together.

Plus, since the kids will be off from school, maybe we can make Movie Night a little more frequent than once a week.


I’m giving away a Movie Night prize pack that includes two cases of Snack Factory® Pretzel Crisps®, including the new holiday flavors. Pretzel Crisps® are made with simple ingredients, using no artificial colors or preservatives, so it’s a better-for-you snack that I feel good about giving my kids. They are great for dipping, topping or pairing with other foods, whether it be as an after-school snack, mixed into a festive holiday treat or poured into a big bowl for family Movie Night.

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me your favorite family holiday movie that you can’t/couldn’t wait to introduce to your kids! (I’m just looking for recommendations, obviously.)

Winner will be announced on December 22nd. Good luck!


Congratulations to Susan Harter! Please email to claim your prize!