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Tips for choosing movies for family movie night

Family movie night is a fun tradition that kids of all ages enjoy. It provides an opportunity for the entire family to spend quality time together while being introduced to new films and classic favorites. Follow these tips for choosing movies for family movie night, and enjoy the show!

Family watching movie at home

Set a theme for the month

At the beginning of each month, select a theme for your family movie nights for that particular month. For example in October, you can watch ghost movies. In December, Christmas classics are perfect. And in February, romantic comedies are ideal.

Consider the ages of your children

You will need to choose movies that your whole family can understand and enjoy. If your kids are far apart in age, pick two films for every movie night. The more juvenile film can be viewed first with the entire family. At “intermission,” you can put the younger children to bed and then watch the other film with your older children.

Pick a recent release

If you want to watch a new movie, visit, or where you can browse the latest DVD releases. These websites allow you to sort the movies by genre to help find the perfect flick for your family.

Select an animated film

A large number of animated films have been released — and re-released — in recent years. These movies are fun family choices that children of all ages love, but are particularly suited for younger kids. Select one of these animated favorites:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Brave
  • Finding Nemo
  • Ice Age series
  • Kung Fu Panda series
  • Madagascar series
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • The Lion King
  • The Lorax
  • Rango
  • Shrek series
  • Toy Story series
  • WALL-E

Check out one of the classics

Have your kids seen all the classic family movies? Introduce them to one of your childhood favorites or a movie from decades gone by. We suggest:

  • A Christmas Story
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Escape to Witch Mountain
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • Freaky Friday
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Mary Poppins
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • The Absent-Minded Professor
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • The Love Bug
  • The Parent Trap
  • The Sound of Music
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Watch a series of movies

Your family also may enjoy watching a series of films over a month or two of family movie nights. Pick from one of these series (and remember to consider the age of your kids):

  • Back to the Future series
  • Batman movies
  • Jaws films
  • Pirates of the Caribbean series
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark movies
  • Rocky films
  • Star Trek series
  • Star Wars films
  • The Harry Potter series
  • The Twilight Saga

Take a vote

Once the parents have narrowed down their movie ideas to three or four choices, allow the entire family to vote and decide which film you will watch on family movie night. Take the vote several days before family movie night so that you can secure the DVD from Netflix or the video store.

More tips to make family movie night fun

  • Pick a day and time to host family movie night each and every week.
  • Provide plenty of comfortable seating, including bean bag chairs and cozy pillows.
  • Watch vintage cartoons before the movie begins, like many theater-goers used to do.
  • Turn off cell phones, computers and other distractions.
  • Buy oversized boxes of movie theater candy — Raisinettes, Red Vines, Milk Duds, etc.
  • Make popcorn and sprinkle it with different flavors — cinnamon sugar, nacho cheese, Cajun spices, Parmesan and garlic, and chili lime.

More tips for family movie night

Tips for finding family friendly movies
5 Ways to make family movie night fun

Make your own movie night tickets

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