We’re always the travelers – the military group that moved away from home - in our family. Every holiday, without fail, we pack the van to the brim and head North (and some years West) to our home of record to be with our family for the festivities. Thankfully both of our families live close to one another and so we only make one trip (and several short ones) vs. having to travel to two separate destinations.


We have a schedule we live by that has served us well over the years. We typically spend Christmas Day with my family, heading to my husband’s family the day after. Which means that Thanksgiving is with my husband’s family with my family getting the day after. No one really feels like stuffing themselves with turkey all over again the day after, and our tradition of Black Friday shopping died several years back, so once my children were born we made a tradition of going to the movies.


Someone asked the other day, “what do you do for Thanksgiving?” and I replied, “We go to the movies!” It’s funny, we’ve done it so many years now that movies are almost synonymous with Thanksgiving to me. (I think what they really wanted was a different answer – like ways I celebrated, food we enjoyed, or traveling that we did.)


My children are so used to this tradition they scrounge the latest movie listings to see what they’re going to put on their list to go watch with Grandma and Grandpa. It’s pretty fun seeing them get so excited. Especially given that going to the movies is not foreign to them. I guess this little trip is just special.


If you’re planning a trip to the movies, check out these movie savings tips:


• Go to a matinee – shows that run earlier in the day are usually a few dollars cheaper per ticket.

• Check for Value Days – Some theatres offer a certain day of the week where movie showings and/or popcorn are discounted.

• Ask for your Military or Senior Discount – most theatres have a special discount available for certain showings.

• Buy the Popcorn Bucket – if you are a regular moviegoer it behooves you to purchase the one time popcorn bucket (if available in your area) and get the discounted refills.

• Share the Love (popcorn & soda) – It’s not cheating the movie theatre to get a large popcorn and bring a few extra paper bowels to divvy it up and share or to go with the large drink and pop in a few straws – you’re family after all.

• Skip the Special Effects – You can see the same movie without 3D, IMAX etc. for much less cost per ticket.

• Look for a Loyalty Program – at our theatre you can join the rewards program that gives you free movie bucks for every dollar you spend.

• Save with Big Box/Grocery Stores – Some SAM’S CLUBS or COSTCO or even your local grocery stores offer discounted movie tickets.

• Buy Tickets at the Box Office – skip purchasing tickets ahead of time online and purchase at the box-office to eliminate the extra service fee.

• Purchase Movie Gift Cards Online – There are gift card swap sites where you can purchase movie theatre gift cards for discounts and save when you use them to purchase your tickets. 


I hope that you find value in these suggestions and maybe even head out to a theatre over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend!


What is your Thanksgiving or Black Friday tradition?