by Nicole Loughan
Summer is exciting for two major reasons right now, schools out and big summer movies are in. In case you somehow haven’t heard Cars 3 is here, Captain Underpants is out, Despicable Me 3 is on its way. There is a small amount of excitement around The Nut Job Sequel and somehow there is even excitement about a preview coming out for a Frozen short called Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Through all this and the early DVD release of Beauty and the Beast, this is shaping up to be an epic movie summer. There are at least two highly anticipated kids’ movies coming out each month and the number of low cost and free entertainment options seem boundless. Read on to see how we are going to navigate our summer entertainment.
Age Appropriate entertainment – Somehow the people at Common Sense Media get an advanced screening of kid’s movies and give parents a good idea of what’s in a movie before they go. I love the resources at Common Sense though their age ranges are a little stricter than my guidelines. The good news is they break their ratings down based on several categories, such as educational value, positive messages, violence and scariness, sexy stuff, language and drinking or drug use. Knowing why they gave a movie a particular ranking allows you to know how the movie fits into your value system. For instance, I’m more worried about scariness and violence than language. CommonSense warned before Beauty and the Beast that the wolf scenes were scary. I was prepared and told my daughter in advance. When the wolf scene came, they were scary and she covered her eyes. To view ratings go to CommonSenseMedia.org.
Cheap movies – I’ve mentioned before that cheap movie tickets for new releases are available at township and city offices, but even cheaper many Regal Cinema’s do $1 movies all summer long through the Summer Movie Express. The discount movies show during the day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This year you can catch up on several Blockbusters you might have missed like Kung Fu Panda 3, Trolls, Penguins of Madagascar and Lego Batman. In Bucks County, the Regal Warrington Stadium is participating in the $1 movie program.
Free Outdoor Movies – Outdoor movies are a blast, the only hiccup is that it has to be completely dark in order for outdoor summer movies to start, which can mean kids are up past bedtime. Be prepared and come with jammies and sleeping bags ready. I also learned the hard way to come equipped to outdoor movies with bug spray. There are several free outdoor movies planned through townships and even organizations like the local Mason’s clubs. Some places offering free outdoor movies this summer include the Covenant Bank Amphitheater at Doylestown Central Park. They will be showing movies like Pete’s Dragon and Beauty and the Beast. Bensalem Community Park is also planning Summer Movie Nights featuring Paddington and The Lego Movie. There are also showings at Lincoln Memorial Park in Newtown.
Sensory Considerations – Movies like Cars and Transformers can be loud and scary. If you have a child who would like the volume a little less and a welcoming atmosphere to accommodate your needs check out AMC’s sensory friendly shows. During the shows the lights are up, the sound is down and guests are free to dance walk and shout. Family-friendly shows are the second and fourth Saturday of every month. Participating theaters near Bucks Bounty are the AMC in Neshaminy and Philadelphia Mills.
Living with Littles is presented by The Dance Academy. Since 1987, The Dance Academy in Holland, PA has been offering professional dance training with a personal touch, instilling the love of dance to students and families throughout Bucks County. Under the direction of Miss Donnajean Kline (BFA in Dance, Temple University) and staffed by a group of highly-trained instructors, The Dance Academy has acquired countless awards and accolades each year at local, national, and international competitions. Through recitals, competitions, advertising publications, professional companies, and tours; Dance Academy students are spreading their passion for dance both here in the States as well as on international stages. It’s not too late to register for their 30th Anniversary Season!