If you’re a parent, you have a busy life — no doubt about it. More and more parents nowadays, however, are longing for less busyness and more family time. Going to the movies is quite expensive for most families. If you typically have six to eight people with you like I do, it can run you close to $100. That’s before you buy treats or drinks! At-home movie nights can be just as much fun although it can be tough to find family-friendly movies.
Movie nights don’t have to cost so much
There are several movies that my family never seems to get tired of seeing. In fact, these movies have been through several generations of kids in our house. Enjoying a movie night is a great way to relax and enjoy some down time with your spouse, teens and little ones. When my kids were younger, watching family-friendly movies often led to having a family sleepover in our own living room. We’d stay up late, sometimes watching two or three movies in one night. We’d slide furniture out of the way to make more space. Then, we’d fill the room with sleeping bags, blankets and pillows, so our living room became an indoor campsite. (You CAN make s’mores indoors!)
Family-friendly movies for you to try
I highly recommend both movie nights at home and sleepovers in your living room. Especially if you don’t have a lot of spending money to go out to a theater or on vacation to a campground. The following list includes some of our old favorites to keep in mind the next time you break out the popcorn for some quality family time:
- The Princess Bride: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. ” This is definitely one of my all-time favorite family-friendly movies. If you have kids 10 or under, you’ll want to be aware that there is a a disturbing with giant rodents and also a dungeon, torture scene. The entire film is “fairy tale” style but still, a couple scenes definitely might frighten younger children. The story is about a farm girl and her true love. They must battle mythical creatures in an evil kingdom to save the girl from having to become “The Princess Bride” to a prince she does not love.
- The Sandlot: The boys in this movie say a few crude things, and there’s a scene involving a female lifeguard that is suggestive. However, it is easy to skip past those parts if you feel the need. Otherwise, it’s an adventurous, funny, exciting “coming of age” story that kids will love. This movie is likely to evoke nostalgic feelings in parents, particularly those who are baby boomers.
- Gordy: Younger viewers, especially, typically love family-friendly movies where animals can talk. This story, about a little piglet who is trying to find his family to help save them from becoming someone’s breakfast, is heartwarming, funny and suspenseful.
- The Karate Kid: If you were raising kids in the 80s, you’d likely know what I’m talking about if I say, “Wax on. Wax off.” A young boy befriends an old master of karate, who agrees to train him to help him learn how to defend himself against bullies. Ralph Macchio, the star of this film, is now 57 years old but the story he told with co-star, Pat Morita continues to entertain kids of all ages and their parents.
- Annie: Newer than any of the other family-friendly movies I’ve mentioned, this fabulous remake of an old musical was done in 2014. It stars Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis. This is one we simply can’t get enough of. It is our favorite version of Annie, by far!
In recent years, movies have grown more dark, more gory, more violent and more sexual. Hollywood definitely has its share of corruption, which seeks to rob children (and adults) of innocence and purity. As a parent, however, you don’t have to buy into that mess. You can choose family-friendly movies that you make laugh, cry or sit on the edge of your seat, sometimes all in one film!
These movies are older but are entertaining and timeless. Maybe you can’t take time off work. Perhaps you don’t have money to go out on the town. You can still have fun at home. Enjoy a homemade meal, some popcorn and an evening with the ones you love! Children love family time. They will remember the wonderful memories you build together. Keep a lookout for Part 2 of this post, which will include Christian-based, family-friendly movies to add to your collection!