Last week Bella, Elsie and I met with the lovely Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy for a trip to the Odeon cinema! Or, as Jenny and her beautiful boy like to say The Movies! So what did we think? Is the cinema an appropriate place to take a baby? Have you ever taken a baby to the cinema? What’s the idea behind it all? Read on to find out…

Odeon Newbies_ a

The baby and toddler cinema sessions are called Odeon Newbies, and the idea is to allow parents to catch the latest films when they’re on the big sceen, without having to leave the baby at home. As a parent, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve either missed a film I wanted to see, or had to wait for the DVD instead- mainly because one of the children has been too young to leave with a baby sitter. So for parents, the concept of Odeon Newbies is brilliant. But what about the babies themselves?

Odeon Newbies_ a review~

We went to see Shaun the Sheep the Movie (more on that later) and at the time of writing Bella was 2 years and 51 weeks (!) and Elsie was 15 weeks. You can see from the photo that The Toddler was VERY excited to be at the cinema. A new experience for her and as the Odeon at the Trafford Centre is in such a lovely, bright and open space it was at thrill from the start. So far, so good.

Once tickers were purchased (Only one adult ticket required as 2s and unders are free) we went through to choose some snacks. Obviously, only Pick n Mix would do for The Toddler and I and I was pleased to see that instead of the bags that seem to fill up so quickly and cost a FORTUNE no matter how much you put in, Odeon instead have cups you can fill. We chose the small cup and filled it to the brim for one price- a very good feature in my book!

Another feature I loved- Kids Pick n Mix bozes:

Odeon Newbies_ a review~

I LOVE this idea. Instead of being forced to buy the huge bags of sweets (Or sneak your own in… *ahem*) you can pick and mix a range of snacks to fit inside your own little box instead. The snacks are all child sized and there are healthier options there too. It’s a great way keep kids occupied while they wait for the film to start. We didn’t get a Kid Mix box because we’d already gone for the Pic n Mix but this is something I will definitely go for next time- saves arguments on which sweets to get!

Into the film, and the baby wakes up. How this will go is anyone’s guess. I’d always assumed that the loud noises and darkened room would be a match made in hell for babies and toddlers, but judging on the amount of other parents and kids in there it seemed my assumption was wrong. So how do Odeon keep the little ones happy?

Reduced volume

dimmed lighting, not darkness

Genius. A reduction or elimination of trailers and adverts would also have been a great addition to Odeon Newbies (especially when you have an impatient toddler asking when the film is going to start!) but I appreciate this isn’t possible. Apologies for the bad photo, but you can see from the next picture how calm the baby was. She sat mesmerised for most of the film and was relaxed enough to have a couple of feeds too.

Odeon Newbies_ a review~

And the film. Shaun the Sheep the Movie was awesome! The toddler literally did not move for the whole time it was on, and there was plenty of giggles for the adults too. It honestly makes such a difference being able to take the kids to a movie that has recently been released, rather than watching films that every man and his dog has already seen. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that- but sometimes a movie comes out that you really want to watch, and this was one of them. If you see any film this half term, make it Shaun the Sheep! And take advantage of Odeon Newbies because it’s a really fun way to watch, and such a lovely experience for the kids too.

Odeon Newbies_ a review~

The verdict

Odeon Newbies is fab! I loved that the baby and the toddler were welcome to sit and enjoy the film, and  knowing that we weren’t disturbing anyone else meant I could relax and enjoy the film too. There were plenty of other babies there too, so Odeon must certainly be doing something right! I love that the volume was reduced to protect little ears, without interfering in the quality of the film. And the lighting was just right too.

The seats we chose had plenty of leg room too, which meant that our car seat was able to fit down near my feet without an issue. Of you take a pram, please note that you’ll be asked to leave it in a secure place during the film- we weren’t required to do this as our Doona folds down into a car seat (thats another review!) but lots of other parents did, and as the film ended Odeon staff brought the prams back out again so there was no waiting around at all.

Best of all, the kids loved it and I can see this becoming one family adventure that they can ALL enjoy- from age 10 years to 4 months. Hooray!

A big thumbs up from us- we’ll definitely be back!

We were given an Odeon gift card to pay for entry to the film and snacks too. We are also being paid for this review. All opinions are my own.

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