utah valley momsAuthor: Mary Kremer

After a hot day out in the summer sun, one of the best ways to cool down and spend some family time together is to have a family movie night. After all, have you ever had much trouble convincing your kids to watch a movie?

A family movie night, complete with a few classics and some popcorn, is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. Here are some movies your family should definitely check out this summer, as well as some tips on how to execute a successful summer movie night.

Must Watch Family Movies

Here are a few movies spanning the decades that are sure to please the whole family:

Classics from the 1940s…

  • Fantasia: This film was a landmark in animation and musical video, and its exciting stories still engross both children and adults. If you’d like to introduce your child to a few classical pieces and still engage their attention with a great story, Fantasia is the movie for you. Rated G.

The 80s…

  • E.T.: Now, admittedly, E.T. is an alien. His looks might frighten very small children, so judge accordingly. But still, this heartwarming and adventurous movie about a young boy and his friendship with an extraterrestrial being has delighted kids and adults since it came out. Rated PG.
  • The Princess Bride: This 80s classic is sure to please everyone! The humor and storyline will carry the adults right along, and the kids will love the sword fighting, the giant, and, of course, the evil prince and the six-fingered villain. Rated PG.

The 90s…

  • Toy Stories 1 & 2: The first two Toy Story movies are a product of the 90s, and both were instant classics. If you’d like, watch the whole Toy Story Trilogy over a few weeks. You and your kids will love every one, guaranteed. Rated G.
  •  The Secret Garden: This movie is one of my family’s absolute favorites. There has always been a consensus among everyone in the family (young and old), that this movie is wonderful. This movie (based on the classic novel), tells the story of Mary, a young orphan who manages to bring life back to a hidden garden and revitalize her family at the same time. Rated G.

The 2000s…

The 2000s were an incredible time for children’s movies! The list from this decade could go on and on. Here are just a few favorites:

  •  Freaky Friday: This remake of a 1976 film of the same title was a huge hit. Both children and adults are sure to enjoy Jamie Lee Curtis’s and Lindsay Lohan’s hilarious antics as a mother and daughter who accidentally switch bodies!
  •  Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit: If you watched the original Wallace and Gromit episodes in the 90s, then you’re sure to enjoy this 2000s revival of the characters. Join the bumbling Wallace as he and Gromit try to solve the mystery of the Were Rabbit!
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The animation of this movie will dazzle anyone, and its storyline has surprising depth and humor, which is sure to entertain both young and old. Plus, if your family really gets into the story, a sequel just came out that boasts great reviews..
  • The Lego Movie: If your family hasn’t watched this movie yet, it’s an absolute must! The layers of humor and the incredible detail of the lego world make this movie fun to watch over and over again.

utah valley moms Tips to Making the Evening Great

Once your family has picked a movie, here are some tips to making your family movie night really successful:

  •  Pick a dark, cool area to watch your movie. If it’s not quite dark enough when you start your movie, make sure to cover the windows and take other steps to reduce potential screen glare (for some extra tips, check out this great article on solving the screen glare problem).
  •  Let your kids get into their pajamas before you start. They’ll love to hang out in their PJs and you’ll like how much easier it is to get them to bed afterwards.
  •  Give every child a small water bottle and maybe even a small treat to eat during the movie. A popsicle might be a great way to cool off, or a fruit drink in a pouch.
  •  If you’re up to it, let your kids build a small tent or fort to watch the movie in. They’ll love love love the experience.
  •  If you’ve got a laptop with a great battery life, or a projector, consider taking your family movie night outside on cooler evenings. The results will be exciting for everyone.

Once you’ve pulled all the elements together (don’t forget the popcorn!), it’s time to settle down and enjoy a few hours of entertainment and relaxation. Enjoy!

utah valley moms