The Odd Squad: Cineplex's Family Favourites Program

My daughters are avid TVO Kids fans. It helps that we don't have cable, so the choices are limited based on what our antenna can pick up!

Several weeks ago while watching Saturday morning cartoons, my daughter ran upstairs yelling, "The Odd Squad movie is coming! The Odd Squad movie is coming!!" She had seen the promotion for the release of a full-length Odd Squad movie, based on the super popular show about kid agents who solve math-related problems CSI-style.

So I went online to check it out, and discovered the movie was being shown as part of Cineplex's Family Favourites Program - a weekly Saturday morning (11 a.m.) movie for only $2.99 - with a portion of the sales being donated to Free the Children. I bought the tickets immediately and we counted down the days.

I've taken my kids to a couple of movies in the past, but at 6 and 3, there haven't been too many. I was a little worried about how my youngest would handle the length, but was glad to see that the movie ran only 1 hour and 5 minutes. She happily clutched her bag of popcorn, and sat through the whole thing, with only one or two loud questions!

You may imagine a "family movie" to be loud and annoying, with little ankle biters kicking the back of your chair, babies crying or children talking loudly. I was pretty surprised that it was anything but! The theatre was packed, and despite a few questions, we were mainly all sharing the fun of watching a hilarious movie. There were many adult laughs too :)

It helped that the Odd Squad movie was brilliant - a racially diverse cast, with a strong girl ("Ms. O") in the "chief" role. Fun math problems are snuck into the story about creatures who can multiply themselves, and the hilarious "Weird Tom" adds some zany adult humour to the mix. Many of the lead characters are female, which is a great because it encourages girls to experience math and science as fun activities!  

The Odd Squad movie continues to play at select theatres around the city, but I've been informed that you can catch the movie on Monday, August 1st on TVO Kids! Don't miss it!

Have you been to see a movie at Cineplex's Family Favourites? Did you enjoy yourself?


Birthday Parties at Cineplex Odeon Theatres

A couple of weeks ago, my son celebrated his 6th birthday. We had decided weeks before to seek out a relatively simple option for celebrating his birthday. When we saw The Lego Movie trailer, the idea light bulb clicked on. My son was thrilled when I suggested we watch it for his birthday. We called up Cineplex Odeon and booked the party that week. The standard party package includes admission to the movie (birthday child is free), a kid’s tray combo per child, a party host, reserved theatre seating, and one hour in the party room. The premium party package includes all of the above plus additional food from the concession stand.

Overall, it was an awesome party! A good option if you’re looking for a simple birthday party with only a few details that require your attention.


  • Ready-made invitations that can be picked up at the theatre.
  • Since no outside food was aloud, the only thing I needed to bring was birthday cake. They provided all cutlery, napkins, plates, etc. 
  • I could have brought in some of my own decorations if I wanted to but they assured me it wasn’t really necessary as the party room was already pretty festive. I opted not to and, in the end, was content with that decision.
  • The staff noticed us as soon as we came in, took the cake into their fridge, and gave us a bin for our coats and another for the gifts. They were exceptionally friendly with us and the kids.
  • When everyone had arrived, our party host led us to our reserved seats and once everyone was settled, handed out the popcorn and juice to each child (and even asked us adults if we’d like some complimentary coffee). 
  • The party leader checked on us several times throughout the movie, asking us if there was anything we needed.
  • After the movie, she was there to lead the group to the party room. There was an activity booklet and crayons waiting on the table for the kids. The food arrived soon after and they brought the cake when we requested. The gift and coat bins were also there waiting for us. We really had very little to do!


  • The only real negative I can think of is that no outside food is permitted except birthday cake and their food options aren’t too healthy (fries, chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs).

Some other considerations:

  • A good movie is key: I think this worked out so well in part because The Lego Movie was a hit with all the kids; they were all really into it. No one stirred throughout the entire movie.
  • Number of kids – we had 7 kids at the party (including our own 3) and I’m glad we didn’t invite more. It was a bit stressful making sure we didn’t lose any on our way to the party room (even with the party leader’s assistance). Also, the party room is big enough, but not huge. We had just enough room to move around comfortably. I would say the ideal number would be 5 kids.
  • I didn’t think an hour in the party room was very long but it turned out that we had some spare time after eating, birthday cake, and gift opening. I wished I had planned a simple party game or 2 to keep them entertained and active at the end.

My son really enjoyed himself. It was nice that he got to share the experience of watching The Lego Movie with a few of his friends. They enjoyed reliving some of the movie’s funnier moments in the party room afterwards. Now if I could only get that song out of my head!

Delta Jones is owner of Just Play Toy Rental, a local online toy rental service that delivers toys within the greater Ottawa area. Check out the website, and you can find Delta on Facebook and Twitter.