Best Family Movies to Watch in the Summer


When the weather’s nice, chances are your kids are going to spend most of their days playing outside with neighborhood friends. But when the rain starts to pour or the sun sets, that’s the perfect time for a break from the sunshine. This is when you should usher your kids indoors and set up a family movie night—complete with popcorn and sweet snacks, if you want to go all out. Have these quintessential summer movies on hand for your next impromptu family movie night:

  • The Sandlot (PG). No summer would be complete without a trip down memory lane to The Sandlot. Even though it debuted now more than 20 years ago, your kids will probably still take to Scottie, Benny, and the rest of the team. The bonus? You’ll get to relive your childhood while you watch the boys get into mischief. Another plus is that The Sandlot promotes play and physical activity, so it might inspire indoorsy kids to go outside for a game with friends.
  • The Goonies (PG). Another oldie but a goodie, The Goonies throws it back even further to 1985. That was the year that a fresh-faced Sean Astin and Corey Feldman teamed up with other future stars for a summertime adventure. Snuggle up with the kids and get lost in the classic, following the gang on their quest for pirate treasure—which inevitably comes with a side of intrigue.
  • The Adventures of Milo and Otis (G). If you have a family of animal lovers, introduce them to the furry heroes of Milo and Otis. Filmed long before the cutting-edge special effects that fill animal movies today, the director of Milo and Otis had to actually keep real, meowing actors in check. True, the animals won’t mouth their dialog like your little one might expect, but that shouldn’t keep him from becoming completely immersed in Milo and Otis’ series of adventures—and eventual homecoming.
  • The Parent Trap (PG). Whether you opt for the old-school classic starring Hayley Mills or the more modern recreation headlined by Lindsay Lohan, The Parent Trap incorporates a summery motif: camp. But going to summer camp doesn’t quite end up the way for a set of twins separated at birth. Kids will enjoy the constant comedy of The Parent Trap—especially over-the-top stunts pulled by the twins during their iconic camping trip—as well as its fresh storyline.
  • Finding Nemo (G). If you can’t get your kid to sit still for anything filmed before the Toy Story era, then break out a tried-and-true family favorite: Finding Nemo. It’s the perfect film for summer given that the majority of the action takes place in the ocean, and the goofy antics of Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory will keep your kids in knots for most of the showing.
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13). If you have older kids, maybe it’s time to introduce them to the shenanigans of a young Matthew Broderick. Let them follow along as he heads up a parade in Chicago, impersonates a well-to-do patron at an upscale city restaurant, and dodges his villainous principal every step of the way.

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