adhd at home, crazy thoughts

Movie Night: ‘Go Big & Stay Home’ with Netflix

movie night, movie, party, outdoor, netflix, streamteam, birthday, Canada, outdoor

Our Favourite Family Time is Movie Night

The family time every person in our family looks forward to most is movie night. Friday is pizza and movie night every week. Offering old favourites, newer releases, and even originals to watch together that are family friendly, Netflix makes it even easier to keep our Friday night family time!

This month, Netflix asked the #StreamTeam members to get creative with family movie time and show readers how and what we’re watching on Netflix.

Tell me, how do you get creative with family movie time? What could possibly be better than chillaxing with family and our BFF Netflix?

Once a year, our mADD family does it by making movie night BIGGER and inviting MORE families!

movie night, movie, netflix, #netflixstreamteam, #streamteam, outdoor, party, birthday, Canada

Annual Outdoor Movie Birthday Party: 

‘Go Big And Stay Home’




“[O]ur movie night brings so many people together, all of us watching the large screen so clear in the darkness with just the twinkle of stars above and city lights behind in the distance”

We recently held our 3rd annual Outdoor Movie Birthday Party. This movie night event offers us an opportunity to jointly celebrate our kids’ birthdays and to be inclusive too. We invite all the children’s classmates and their families to join us. All of them – even the mean kid and the jerk parent (isn’t it often apple and tree?) – gets an invite because that’s what inclusive means: ALL. It’s a chance to let our actions teach our children that it’s important to be welcoming to all kinds of people when possible.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a lot of work to be inclusive on such a large scale. Every September, the absolute chaos and costs associated with Back to School and routines make me see red* on so many levels. I think, “I can’t do more. I just can’t pull off a large event. It’s just too much.”

I know you get it. September is easily coined Cheque-tember or Sick-tember for a reason. It is the month that kicks our collective parents’ butts.

But then friends at school start asking about the party, talking about what movies they want to watch, and my kids start their pleading in earnest. So I take a deep breath and agree to do it all again.

Like many ADHDers, an impending deadline is a strategy that works for us. So we send out Last-Minute-Mary, short notice invitations, I start searching for my To Do list I have created for planning the party, and we get to it!

*Do you know or use the Zones of Regulation? The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be experiencing anger, rage, explosive behaviour, devastation, or terror – or strong feelings on the opposite scale such as elation – when in the Red Zone. You can find out more about the Zones and Emotional Regulation on my Pinterest board HERE.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

outdoor fire, fireplace, antique, vintage, warm, flames, fire, keep warm

In true Canadian style, the cool temperatures don’t stop us! We held the movie night event on a cool evening in October.  Yes, October! Our guests brought their favourite blankets and wore their warm toques, mittens, and fleece. We lit multiple fires and served warm bevvies to take the chill off.

First up, loud birthday songs and wet wishes on candles three times over. Then, we lined up the kids and herded them through a frenzied assembly line with all adult hands pitching in: Some frantically glugged mulled wine and hot apple cider in cups with their trusty lid assistant at their side. Others built teetering towers of popcorns, chocolate, licorice, and cupcakes. The tallest parent ‘Where’s Waldo’ed the Gluten Free and allergy kids in the crowd. Remaining parent helpers attached glowing sticks of jewelry to kids madly dashing to their carefully chosen seats and laser lights onto fingers that tightly clutched their treats.

And then, finally, we settled in all cozy – all 100 or so of us – to watch a movie together.

I feel such contentment as I peer around in the dark at all the lumps and bumps huddled under blankets, organized into haphazard rows of mismatched chairs, dog piled onto huge bean bags, and tucked snugly into sleeping bags. Silly scenes invoke shared laughter and I feel gladness wash over me. Glancing at parents chatting by the fire or snuggled together with their partner, enjoying the mini date night, I feel genuine pleasure knowing that they enjoy the party as much as the kids. When I see such happiness on my kids’ faces as they watch the movie surrounded by friends who have come to spend the evening with them, I can’t help but feel so very fortunate .

I love, love, love that our movie night brings so many people together, all of us watching the large screen so clear in the darkness with just the twinkle of stars above and city lights behind in the distance.

Our annual Outdoor Movie Birthday Party is worth every effort. The yearly event has become almost as important to us as the quiet movie nights spent every week with just our family, a pizza, and Netflix that take no planning at all. 

blogger, Joan Chand'oiseau, happy, fun, silly, mad, ADHD, parent

Disclosure: I am so darn happy to be a part of the Netflix #StreamTeam. I receive promotional items and a Netflix subscription in order to find great content that I can share with YOU. As always, all opinions are my own. But really, who doesn’t love Netflix?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Hannah N Spray October 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I would LOVE love love to do a big outdoor movie night! One of these years…
    Netflix is the only way I watch anything that doesn’t pop up on my Facebook feed, so GO NETFLIX! Such an awesome service.

    • Reply Joan October 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      We love the event and definitely worth the effort to have a big event but it would be fun on a smaller scale too!
      And Netflix is really the only way we watch anything too! I love being part of the Netflix #StreamTeam.

  • Reply Julie October 6, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    You guys were so brave and kind to host such a huge and super fun birthday party. We had so much fun and thank you so much to bring so many friends together to have this awesome movie night.

    • Reply Joan October 6, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      We are so glad your family could join us and had fun with us! We really appreciated how willing all the parents were to pitch in and help during the chaotic periods!

    Leave a Reply