Kids' Entertainment

Kick Off Summer With These Classic & New Family-Friendly Movies

For those rainy days when a day at the beach is out of the question. Or whenever.

If you’re itching for longer days, warmer weather, the smell of freshly cut grass, or just barbecuing some burgers and brats out back, nothing beats watching a fun summer-themed movie with your kids. (Or, ya know, popping your little ones on the couch for a couple hours so you can grill those burgers.) Whether you’re away on vacation, enjoying a staycation at home, or your kids are just relaxing after an exhausting day at summer camp, this collection of films — both classic and new — will surely keep the whole family entertained.

Some of the movies featured on this list celebrate the best things about the summer: baseball season, summer camp, fun vacations in the sun... you name it. (Be honest, when was the last time you watch Camp Rock or The Parent Trap?) Other movies on this list — like A Wrinkle In Time or Daddy Day Care, for example — will have you revisiting those lazy school days right before summer starts.

So put on something comfy, grab an ice cold lemonade, and escape to an exotic locale or musical camp for your family’s next movie night. Here are 25 great options to choose from — enjoy!

A Fairly Odd Summer

Drake Bell stars as Timmy Turner in this live-action adaptation of the animated Nickelodeon show, The Fairly Odd Parents. In this film, Timmy must travel to Hawaii, where he learns that the source of all fairy magic is in dangerous hands.

Watch A Fairly Odd Summer, rated TV-Y7, on Netflix or on Paramount+.

A League of Their Own

Tom Hanks stars as a washed up baseball player assigned to coach one of the first professional women’s baseball teams during World War II. This film is part history lesson, part family-friendly fun that will have your kids saying “there’s no crying in baseball” all summer.

Watch A League of Their Own, rated PG, on HBOMax.

A Week Away: A Musical

Netflix

When a troubled teen is forced to attend a Christian summer camp, he learns the powers of kindness, healing, and faith through music and new friends.

Watch A Week Away, rated TV-PG, on Netflix.

A Wrinkle In Time

After Meg’s father, a scientist, disappears, three mystical guides travel through “a wrinkle in time and space” to help Meg search for him in this fantastical film based on the 1962 novel by Madeline L’Engle. While the film does take place during the school year, Meg’s journey to the planets has plenty of sights fit for a summer vacation.

Watch A Wrinkle In Time, rated PG, on Disney+.

Back of the Net

YouTube Movies

A young girl prepared to spend a summer studying science at sea gets a rude awakening when she accidentally ends up at an Australian summer camp and has to make the most of her time.

Watch Back of the Net, rated TV-Y, on Netflix.

Camp Rock

In this Disney Channel original movie from 2008, Demi Lovato stars as Mitchie — a teen with an opportunity to attend the rock camp of her dreams. And when she is introduced to the famous members of the band, Connect 3, (played by the Jonas Brothers, naturally), her summer is changed forever.

Watch Camp Rock, rated TV-G, on Disney+.

Dolphin Tale

Dolphin Tale tells the true story of Winter, a dolphin who loses her tail in a trap, and the 11-year-old boy who befriends her and saves her life.

Watch Dolphin Tale, rated PG, on Hulu.

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Judy Moody, determined to have the best, most exciting summer ever, engages in thrilling dares under the supervision of her cool aunt while her parents are away. Your kids might also be delighted to know that this movie is based on the book by Megan McDonald.

Watch Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer on HBOMax.

High School Musical 2

School is out for the students at East High, which means spending their days working at a fancy country club. But things heat up when they start getting ready for the country club’s big talent night.

Watch High School Musical 2, rated TV-G, on Disney+.

Holes

When Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake, he realizes it’s less of a camp and more of a prison where patrons are forced to dig a hole a day to keep the warden happy. But when he meets the mysterious camper, Zero, his life is changed forever.

Watch Holes, rated PG, on Disney+.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

In this Hotel Transylvania sequel, the family of lovable monsters take a break from running their hotel to go on a family cruise. Naturally, chaos ensues when the ship’s captain has secret motives.

Rent Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

It Takes Two

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen star as Amanda and Alyssa — two girls who meet at a summer camp and discover that they’re each other’s double. The duo decides to switch identities to conspire to bring Amanda’s social worker and Alyssa’s father closer together.

Rent It Takes Two, rated PG, for $3.99 from Amazon Prime.

The Karate Kid

After making a move during the summer with his family, Daniel is the new kid at a Southern California school who finds himself as the target of a group of bullies. But when Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi, a martial arts master, he takes Daniel under his wing and prepares him to compete against his bullies.

Rent The Karate Kid, rated PG, for $3.99 on iTunes.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

When an 8th grade graduate is mistaken for an international pop star on her class trip, she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime in this 2003 movie sequel to the Disney Channel series, Lizzie McGuire.

Watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie, rated PG, on Disney+.

Moana

In order to save her people, Moana sets sail on a dangerous solo mission to the center of the ocean. But along the way, she meets some pretty interesting characters — including the demigod, Maui.

Watch Moana, rated PG, on Disney+.

Miss Juneteenth

A single mother and former beauty queen enters her 15-year-old rebellious daughter in a beauty pageant during the summer against her best wishes.

Rent Miss Juneteenth, unrated, on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Katie Mitchell and her family members embark on an epic road trip before she starts her freshman year of college. But their plans get interrupted thanks to a technological revolution, and it’s up to them to save the world.

Watch The Mitchells vs. the Machines, rated PG, on Netflix.

The Parent Trap

Identical twins, Annie and Hallie, who were separated after their parents divorce, unexpectedly meet for the first time at summer camp. Once they reunite, they hatch up a plan to reunite their beloved parents.

Watch The Parent Trap, rated PG, on Disney+.

The Sandlot

The new kid in town befriends a group of neighborhood kids and joins their baseball team, which causes him to have the most epic summer ever.

Watch The Sandlot, rated PG, on Hulu.

Soul Surfer

Soul Surfer tells the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a teenage champion surfer who relies on her faith, family, and friends, after losing her arm in a shark attack. This film will transport you to the open waters of Hawaii, even if you can’t get there on your own.

Watch Soul Surfer, rated PG, on Hulu.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

SpongeBob Squarepants makes his way to the shore to save the Krabby Patty’s secret formula in this animated film from 2015. While SpongeBob is such a fun watch for every season of the year, it feels particularly appropriate to watch SpongeBob Squarepants and his movies during the summer, you know, since he lives in a pineapple under the sea.

Rent The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, rated PG, on YouTube Movies for $3.99.

Surf’s Up

Teenaged penguin, Cody, leaves his home in Antarctica to compete in a surfing competition in search of fame and fortune. Along the way he meets some new friends and learns the true meaning of success in this animated film from 2007.

Although Cody’s demeanor might be a little chilly, his favorite summer appropriate activity, surfing, will have you wanting to pick up a board and head to your nearest beach this summer break.

Watch Surf’s Up, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video.