If you’re planning on hitting the road this holiday season with your family, it’s probably a safe bet you will need to have something to entertain the children along the way. Why not pass an hour or two with a classic holiday film? Here are 20 of our favorite family holiday movies we love to watch together.
Best Movies for a Family Holiday Road Trip
*This posts contains affiliate links, all recommendations however are my own.
Nothing says Christmas like a classic from my childhood. I am thrilled my children enjoy this movie as much as I do, and who can forget the sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree!
Who doesn’t love The Muppets? Kermit and Miss Piggy are the Cratchits and Michael Caine does a wonderful job as Scrooge. There’s singing and silly jokes of course, but isn’t that what the Muppets are all about?
This collection includes 7 holiday favorites: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, The Little Drummer Boy, and Cricket on the Hearth. Some of our favorites here, your kids will definitely enjoy this collection.
If you can stand to listen to “Let It Go” one more time, bring this movie along for the ride. I know it’s not a Christmas movie, but it is set in the frozen lands of Norway, so that counts for something in my book!
I hate to admit it, but I get a little teary eyed every time I watch this movie. It’s about the magic of Christmas, the magic of believing, and if it doesn’t put you in the mood for the holiday season, I don’t know what will. Oh, and the animation is amazing!
How does Santa deliver all of those gifts on Christmas eve? With the help of his super stealth elf army of course. Unfortunately, they’ve missed a child and Santa’s son Arthur has to find a way to deliver the last present. Our kids love this movie and will watch it over and over again.
This is a remake of the 1947 classic, where a young girl doesn’t believe in Santa Claus until a man by the name of Kris Kringle convinces her otherwise.
Personally, I do not understand all of these movies about talking puppies, but my kids love them. In this movie, the puppies are trying to help Santa save the melting Christmas icicle at the North Pole. It is losing it’s power since people are losing their holiday “spirit”. I can’t keep track of all those puppies, but my kids giggle the entire time, so something good must be happening.
A team of super spy elves from a specialist unit known as ‘Prep & Landing’ travel around the world ensuring homes are prepared for Santa’s arrival. The elves and their hilarious hijinks will keep kids of all ages laughing as they watch the elves try and save the holidays.
In this holiday classic, Santa decides he is going to skip Christmas, leaving Mrs. Claus and two elves to cover for him (see below, Heat Miser and Snow Miser) and restore Santa back to his jolly old self. This DVD also features Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and the perennial hit Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.
Every year my kids ask to watch this show, which means it’s worth putting on your list. Two brothers, Heat Miser and Snow Miser are constantly fighting (sounds like my house actually), but now they have to stop their brother North Wind from ruining Christmas.
I’m just going to say it: This is our favorite holiday movie. We will watch it well into March (the kids keep it in the car and it is on constant re-play). A man finds out he is adopted and leaves the North Pole where he was raised by Santa’s elves. He heads to New York City to find his true identity. Hilarious from beginning to end. Will Ferrell is a comedic genius!
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town wants to join in the holiday celebration and spread some Christmas cheer. His choices however, create problems for Santa and nightmares for little boys and girls. Clever and typical Tim Burton silliness.
Not necessarily about Christmas, but a wonderful story nonetheless. The Guardians of the Galaxy: Jack Frost, Sandman, Tooth (a.k.a. Tooth Fairy), North (Santa), and E. Aster Bunnymund (Easter Bunny) are trying to foil the evil Pitch (the Boogeyman) from spreading fear and darkness in the world. As children stop believing in the Guardians, they start losing their powers and their ability to fight Pitch. It is up to Jack Frost to convince the children that the Guardians are real. Beautiful animation and a wonderful book series too.
Jim Carrey can be rude and crude as the Grinch a few times throughout the movie, but for the most part he just makes people laugh or cringe. This is a fabulous take on the book, but the Grinch may be too scary for younger children.
My kids love Disney’s version of the Charles Dickens’ tale. The animation is amazing, and the story is timeless. We watch this every year.
I waited quite awhile before breaking out this movie because I thought I remember there being some curse words (there are) and Kevin is pretty aggressive with the burglars trying to break into his home. That being said, my 7 year old watched it this year and I probably would have waited a year in hindsight. The older two (ages 10 and 12) loved it and wanted to watch Home Alone 2 and 3 as soon as it was over!
A running joke in our family is “You’ll shoot your eye out!”, so if you have seen “A Christmas Story” you can probably guess I watched this movie many times as a kid. My children however, are still a bit young to appreciate some of the humor. I tried watching it with the older two and I realized I should have pre-screened to remember there are some questionable scenes throughout the movie. Nevertheless, it is super funny and if you’re children are older, they will love this movie too.
Tim Allen is required to take over for Santa after causing him to fall off the roof and then trying on his Santa suit, enacting “The Santa Clause”. He is then required to fulfill Santa’s duties of delivering presents all over the world. This has some great laugh out loud moments and the kids watch it every year.
Another one of my favorite movies growing up, we used to watch this as a family every Christmas. I can’t wait to watch it this year with my family and hopefully the children will realize that we do have a pretty wonderful life.
Those are our family favorites. What’s your favorite holiday movie?