In a world with Netflix and Disney+, it’s hard to beat the comfort of your own couch and freshly buttered air-popped corn. Unless you’ve been cooped up in your own living room for far too long. Escape the confines of your home with a trip to one of these family-friendly theaters where kids are welcome and you don’t have to worry about who gets the “best” space on the sofa because all of the seats have a good view (and, if you’re lucky, they recline). Read on for the best places to escape your abode for a family flick.
photo: The Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market via Yelp
This dinner-and-a-movie concept (available in Ashburn and Woodbridge) showcases kids and family events with like Alamo for All, sensory friendly, all-ages screenings where the lights are kept on low, and nobody has to swap diaper changes for scene changes as you can duck in and out anytime. Check out Victory Vanguard, a film club and discounts just for teens, or PBS kids T.V. show screenings where the admission price benefits your local station.
20575 Easthampton Plaza
Ashburn, VA 20147
American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Arts Center
Typically catering to adult film fans, this cultural hub Imakes room for the occasional kid-friendly feature and series in their landmark theatre in downtown Silver Spring. Look out for runs like the Holiday Classic Series now playing, and special with first run showtimes on Friday mornings at an admission price of just $10 for parent and baby.
Most of AMC’s DMV locations now offer premium seating where everyone gets to put their feet up, as well as the traditional daytime discount for little people‘s favorite movie showtime—before 4 p.m. Also consider joining the chain’s loyalty program—AMC Stubs—and take advantage of when you purchase at the box office.
What’s that you say? Junior has been a bit of crybaby today? You said it, not us. But not to worry, this indie mecca with two locations in Northern Virginia, and the ultra-chic pop-up at Union Market, has you covered. Bring the babe to the movies for a mid-day on Wednesdays in DC and Mondays in Farifax. Check under the Programs and Events tabs for the latest showings.
photo: AMC Mountainside via Yelp
Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
Offering Monday discounts, Saturday morning birthday party opportunities, and special events like a Christmas movie marathon, this longtime neighborhood favorite is a go-to place for families. In addition to cinematic offerings, comedy nights feature live comics from Mad TV, Comedy Central and more. And have we mentioned the pub style food, or the adult bevvies?
Old Greenbelt Theater
This lively old fashioned spot in the heart of Old Greenbelt, itself declared a National Historic District in 1997, shows both first run and arthouse movies, and hosts film and other programs for all ages, including a bi-weekly Monday morning , free to the community, and an eclectic with a broad variety of performances film fest screenings for kids.
Tops on the list at this Chevy Chase Circle favorite is the series which features singing, magic actsand more, including occasional family-friendly films screened in front of an old fashioned stage. Under an art deco gilded painted ceiling, the Avalon’s foreign and domesticarthouse selections make for a great date night, or perhaps brunch at the nearby Bread and Chocolate.
Cinema Arts Theatre
Located in a Fairfax strip mall, this theater offers a great matinee price ($6.50/person) and on weekdays, crowds are super small. That makes it the perfect time to take your kiddo for their first movie, or if they don’t like crowds or you simply want them to have freedom to be themselves. They’ve also got a great selection of tasty concessions, and plenty of places for a meal before or after the movie, too.
9650 Main St
Fairfax VA 22031
photo: Regal Cinemas via Creative Commons
Cinemark Fairfax Corner 14 and XD
National chain Cinemark offers Reel Family Time/Family Day at Cinemark every Mon. Enjoy $1.25 discount on ticket prices when you have three or more people in your group. You can also check out their Early Bird program, which gives you an extra discount on matinee prices for the first matinee of the day before 1 P.M. There’s also Wednesday when they offer $5 tickets. Don’t forget Front Row Joe, the program that lets your kiddo celebrate their birthday with a private movie screening and a Movie Snack Pack of traditional movie treats.
11900 Palace Way
Fairfax, VA 22030
National Chain Regal offers a couple of kid-friendly options. The second and fourth Saturday of each month at 10:30 A.M. is their My Way Matinee, a sensory friendly movie with the lights turned up and the sound turned down. Let your kiddo wander, talk, or do whatever else they like. During the summer months, don’t miss their Summer Movie Express, two movies a week that are family-friendly with steeply discounted tickets.
701 Seventh St. NW
Cobb Village 14 Cinemas
Cobb Village 14 offers sensory-friendly films once a month where your kiddos can enjoy a great movie with brighter lights, lower volume, and no pressure to be still or quiet. They also have Cobbster’s Kitchen & Bar, a family-friendly full-dining service that allows you to take your food to enjoy during the movie or at the lobby tables.
1600 Village Market Blvd. SE
Leesburg, VA 20175
The Miracle Theater
This former vaudeville theater offers lots of kid-friendly entertainment, going above and beyond just movies. For example, they have a Polar Express Pajama Party in Dec., along with plenty of other family-friendly movies. Year-round, they have the Boogie Babes every Thursday, an interactive musical experience for kids.
535 8th St. SE