Another fun Disney Movie Night in the books! Our Splash Family Movie Night featured a surf and turk main course and mermaid-inspired crafts, cocktails and dessert!
Splash Movie Night
One of my all-time favorite Disney movies from my childhood was Splash, so I was so excited to plan this Splash themed movie night for my little mermaid to introduce her to the movie.
This 1980s classic features Ella’s crush Tom Hanks as Allen and Darryl Hannah as Madison – a mermaid who comes to NYC for a week to find the boy that she first saw as a young mermaid. I will caution you that the movie features a bit more grown-up theming than other Disney movies (most went over my head as a child and definitely went over Ella’s head – you can read the specifics over on Common Sense Media).
These Family Movie Nights are a fun tradition that I try to keep up about once a month and they always get Ella so excited – it’s like a mini party for just our family!
If you’re planning a Disney trip anytime in the future, this is a fun way to build anticipation and count down to your trip. If you have kids with distinctly different movie tastes, try alternating who gets to pick the movie and get everyone involved in planning the menu and activities.
This same menu and itinerary would also work for a family movie night for:
- The Little Mermaid
- Finding Nemo (or Finding Dory)
- The Secret of Roan Inish
Or, if your kids haven’t seen H2O or Mako Mermaids yet, they are Ella’s current favorite shows. The characters are teenagers but there are no mature themes.
Check out the bottom of this post for a printable shopping list to make planning your own family movie night easier.
Disney’s Splash Movie Night Menu
You don’t need plenty of time or a crazy elaborate meal to make a fun, themed movie night extra-special. We generally do a craft or sensory activity – either while I’m making dinner or I have it ready in case Ella gets a bit bored watching the movie, and then I plan a simple menu inspired by themes in the movie.
I also love using our movie nights to introduce new foods. (For example, you can introduce Arabic flavors on an Aladdin movie night, or Caribbean flavors on a Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Night.) You can use a mermaid movie night to introduce a new seafood or even seaweed salad to your kids!
Ella is already a huge seafood (and seaweed salad) fan, so I did a fun homage to Allen and Madison with a surf n’turf meal.
For our movie night, I served:
- Parmesan Steak and Cajun Shrimp (an Applebee’s copycat recipe)
- Garlicky Broccoli (pan fried in a bit of olive oil)
- Blue Hawaiian Float Cocktails
- Blue Hawaiian Punch Float (for Ella)
- No Bake Mermaid Bark
Ella was able to make the dessert bark completely independently, which is always a bonus on our movie nights. It needs to harden for a couple hours in the fridge, so ideally make it the night before to build up some excitement for movie night.
Other meal ideas that would be great for a Splash Movie Night include:
- Lobster Rolls
- Anthony Bourdain’s Clam Chowder recipe
- Steak Oscar (with Crab Meat, Asparagus and Bearnaise sauce)
- Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi
- Spicy Fish Tacos
Also, check out some of our other mermaid recipes:
Splash Movie Night Decor
As usual, I just searched the house for items that could be repurposed as decor for our movie night.
I had a decorative fishing net left over from Ella’s Mermaid Birthday Party and a cheap dollar store blue tablecloth. Ella then scattered a variety of seashells around the table for an added mermaid touch. (Some of the seashells were dip-painted gold for the party.) You could also scatter mermaid treasure on the table – random pieces of jewelry, or pretty gold or silver decorations from around the house.
It would be really cool to use a ocean wave projector to set a fun ambience for the night, and if you are looking for some special pieces to make the night even more special for your little mermaid, I loved:
- A Cozy Mermaid Tail Blanket – can be used over and over for future movie nights
- Transparent Bubble Garlands – I’m not going to lie, I would LOVE to add these to my office – they’re so whimsical!
- Jelly fish Hanging Lanterns (you could even try to DIY these)
- Mermaid String Lights – would be cute to put outside or add to a kid’s bedroom afterwards
Disney’s Splash Craft
For her craft, Ella made a non-messy slime that looks like mermaid treasure! It was squishy, stretchy but not drippy. More of a flubber texture than a goopy slime.
Materials for Floam Slime:
Parmesan Steak and Shrimp Recipe
A decadent surf and turf recipe with cajun-style shrimp and a Parmesan cream sauce.
PARMESAN STEAK AND SHRIMP INGREDIENTS
- Steaks, your preferred cut
- Salt & Pepper
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Basil, chopped
- Old Bay or cajun seasoning
Mermaid Float Cocktail
I gave a fun twist to a classic Blue Hawaii cocktail to make this Mermaid Float cocktail. Ella’s version was just pineapple sorbet and Blue Hawaiian punch.
How to Make a Blue Hawaiian Cocktail Float
- Coconut Rum
- Blue Curaçao
- Pineapple Sorbet
- Pineapple Juice, optional
Mermaid Dessert Bark
This no-bake dessert is perfect for kids to make for a mermaid movie night. You can swap out the pretzels and OREOs for your preferred crunchy snacks.
MERMAID BARK INGREDIENTS
- Candy melts in mermaid-inspired colors
- Mint OREOs
- Mermaid Sprinkles
- Edible Glitter, optional
Planning Your Own Family Movie Night
I’ve made this free Family Movie Night planning sheet for you to plan your own movie night – whether that be for Disney’s Brave or another family favourite.
The first couple times you host a family movie night, try to take it easy – stick to recipes that you’ve tried before, pick a craft or activity well within the kids’ skill level, and don’t over plan the night. The movie will probably get started later than you expected and the kids might be a little over-excited at the new family tradition (especially if eating supper in front of the TV)!
We originally tried to do these weekly, but for now doing them every 2 weeks has allowed them to still be a fun family time that we look forward to, without feeling like just another thing I have to schedule and plan for.
Does your family host movie nights, or have any other fun traditions for spending time together?
What movies would you like to plan our next family movie night for?