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Date night: seven rules for doing movie night at home

Woman eating popcorn on movie night

Without the strain on the purse-strings or that last-minute scramble for a babysitter, a home movie night might just be the perfect date night for parents. But how to make the most of that sacred time? With these top tips from Mumsnetters, we've got your next night in sorted.

1. Pick the film without falling out (or asleep) Couple fighting over the remote control

“Whenever we see a trailer for a film, we write it on a slip of paper and it goes in a dish. When we have film night, we pick one out so that there are no disagreements.”

“Agree on and find the film before you sit down to relax. Many a night has been spent trying to agree on one and then falling asleep halfway through it.”

2. Set the mood Lighting a romantic candle

“I like to light a nice smelling candle (my fave ones at the moment are some lovely beachy ones for summer).”

“Lights off, curtains closed and lots of blankets.”

3. Get the snacks in

From the simple…

Amy Schumer drinking wine

“Wine. Lots of wine.”

“Nibbles that can be eaten without looking at them and that don't make lots of noise.”

“A sack of chocolate and a dustbin of popcorn.”

…to the fancypants

Fancy snacks

“Canapés always go down well with us! Oatcakes, smoked salmon and dill sauce, or beetroot crackers with soft cheese – a little naughty treat for the occasional evening in.”

“Good chocolate. The sort that costs a small fortune, is very dark and is hidden from children.”

4. Choose the company

Geographical separation is no barrier to a good date night

“Our date nights are very important to us because my other half is 5,000 miles away with work! I stay up late nursing a whiskey and lemonade, and he rushes home from work and grabs a beer and pizza. Then, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we settle down to watch a film 'together'.”

Or it could be just you and the wine remote…

How I Met Your Mother's Robin enjoying a night in

“Date night with myself! My son in bed at a reasonable time, quick soak in the bath and jammies on, a nice snack or pizza, wine at hand, lights down. The remote control – and choice of film – is all mine!”

5. Establish some ground rules Friends heads at the door

“Don't answer the door! It's usually the neighbours wanting us to go around theirs (which is nice but NOT a date night).”

“All tech switched off (not just on silent) and don't forget to unplug your home phone too.”

6. Schedule an interval Woman drinking tea

“About halfway through we have a tea break.”

“I prefer a night in to going to the cinema now – we can eat what we like and hit pause for toilet breaks!”

7. Keep the romance alive

Romantic night in

“Most importantly, we sit next to each other ON THE SAME SOFA! Shock horror! We're normally on opposite sides of the room.”

“We snack on tortilla chips with onion dip – we're only kissing each other, so onion breath doesn't matter.”

…if you can

Dog with couple

“In my head it's always tapenade and focaccia, G&Ts, lit candles, lying on the sofa together, alone – with children and dog in bed. The reality is crisps, dips and cider accompanied by wafts of dog butt every now and again < bitter >.”

“1) Ensure kids are asleep
2) Put film on
3) Put kid 1 back to bed
4) Put film back on
5) Put kid 2 back to bed
6) Put film back on
7) Repeat process.”