Going to the cinema is a special event that is enjoyed by all ages. Kids love looking up at the big screen with a box of popcorn, couples enjoy a good rom-com on date night, friends love to see the latest flicks together and the older generation enjoy the tradition of going to the cinema, just like they have been doing for decades. It is one of the few activities that all ages can do together and genuinely enjoy. If you have kids in particular, the magic of the big screen is a mystical and wonderful escape from every-day life - and it is also a relaxing time for the parents and grandparents too!
There are a few movie cinemas around Canberra which are particularly popular with kids, as they offer reclining chairs, cheap kid's deals or family screenings with face painting, dress-ups and crafts. Keep these venues in mind on the next rainy day, weekend or school holidays in Canberra - it is guaranteed to be met with a "YAY! We're going to the movies!" every time.
You never know who you may see at Hoyts Belconnen and Woden! Image: Hoyts Facebook
Hoyts at Belconnen and Woden have powered reclining seats and XtremeScreen - which is the biggest and loudest cinema experience on offer. Going to see a movie at Hoyts is made easier for families, as you can buy your tickets online, skip the queues and just go straight to the Candy Bar. Also look out for opening night events and festivals at both cinemas, which often have goodie bags or extra freebies to take home. There is also the Hoyts Junior section on their website, with news and the latest offers coming up. This is a favourite cinema for many families, as the kids enjoy the novelty of putting their feet up on the furniture and parents are happy to finally have a rest!
Best For: Cheap Deals and Family Screenings
Event Cinema Manuka often has cheaper ticket deals for kids in the school holidays, as well as events and Disney Festivals throughout the year. They often show kids movies that aren't at mainstream cinemas - such as The Wiggles or kids movies in other languages. See here for details.
Limelight Cinema is located inside Tuggeranong Hyperdome shopping centre, 20 minutes south of the city. It may not have reclining seats, however their comfy chairs and surround sound make the whole movie experience fun for the whole family. This cinema is a personal favourite for watching kid's movies with the family, as they have cheap kids ticket prices, sing-along sessions and kid's events with free face painting and dress-ups. Kid's tickets are $9.50, however check their website for $8 deals on Tuesdays and the school holidays, as well as $6 Disney Movie Classics. See here for details. For photos of all the fun from their previous Family Screenings, see the Limelight Cinema Facebook.
Fun for kids at Limelight Cinema Tuggeranong! Image: Original photos from Limelight Cinemas Facebook
Best For: Babes in Arms - Every Cinema in Canberra
Hoyts offer Prams at the PIX each Wednesday, with adult tickets costing $11 and kids under 5 are free. See here for details.
Tuggeranong Limelight Cinemas have BYO Babies twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays, for $7.50 an adult ticket. It's not just mums who are invited - dads, aunties, uncles, grandparents – any adult carers are welcome. The session time starts at 10am. See here for details.
Event Cinemas Manuka have Bring Your Baby sessions throughout the year, excluding the school holidays. Look on their website to see the latest movies for Manuka. They also offer a Bring Your Baby multi-pass, costing $40 for 5 tickets. See here for details.
Dendy Cinema in the CBD have sessions for babies and their carers called Reel Bubs, with dimmed lights and reduced sound on Thursday mornings. Adult tickets cost $10 and children under 5 are free. See here for details.
Palace Electric Cinemas in the NewActon precinct offer Babes in Arms sessions on Thursdays. Adult tickets cost $10 and children under 3 are free. See here for details.
Years ago, when you decided to go to the movies, the choices of what to see, where to see it and how to see it, were fairly straight forward. Today we have a range of fun and creative ways to experience the magic of the movies, with a whole new generation to enjoy it. Whether you go to a session where the kids dress up, pick up a goodie bag, enjoy a craft activity, get their faces painted, relax in reclining seats or take advantage of a cheap ticket deal - you are sure to have an afternoon of fun with the kids in your family.
It is never too young to introduce your kids to the magic of cinema...
Cosy up together at the Bring Your Baby sessions at Event Cinema's Manuka. Image: Event Cinema's website