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5 kids and family movies on Netflix that are perfect to watch in the summer

The perfect way to cap off a busy summer day with the family is to sit, relax, and enjoy a good movie together. With the popcorn popped, the lights down low, and drinks at hand, a family-friendly movie will put everyone in a good mood.

Now comes the decision: what to watch? If you’re looking for a good all-ages family movie to watch in the summer, there are wonderful options on Netflix, including both new films and old favorites.

Nanny McPhee (2005)

A woman stands looking at 3 kids in Nanny McPhee.
Universal

Based on the Nurse Matilda character developed by Christianna Brand, Nanny McPhee is set in the 1860s when Cedric (Colin Firth), a widowed father of seven, is desperate to find a nanny who can help him raise the unruly kids. But each nanny he hires is driven out by the children and their pranks and bad behavior. That is, until Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) comes into his life.

Nanny McPhee’s special mix of discipline, kindness, and, of course, a little bit of magic, soon makes her a nanny the kids love, and can’t live without. It’s a heartwarming and entertaining movie with important life lessons for kids, too.

Stream Nanny McPhee on Netflix.

The Sleepover (2020)

Four kids stand outside in Sleepover.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Imagine finding out that your mom was actually once a notorious thief who is now living under witness protection. It sounds cool, and like any kid’s dream, minus the danger and crime, of course. This is the premise of The Sleepover, an adorably fun action comedy that’s suitable for the whole family.

Malin Akerman is Margot, the seemingly innocent mom working as a lunch monitor at the school. When her old gang threatens her at gunpoint to get back together with them, or else, her son Kevin’s friend, who is at the house for a sleepover, witnesses the whole thing. So begins an adventure with the family (and friends) who end up at the most epic sleepover ever. They follow clues Margot has left to help save Kevin’s clearly very cool mom. Ken Marino, Karla Souza, and Joe Manganiello also star alongside the cast of kids.

Stream The Sleepover on Netflix. 

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

Pee-Wee jumps in the air in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Any parent who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s recognizes sayings like “I know you are, but what am I?” and can’t help but jump on a table to do that signature dance whenever they hear the tune Tequila by The Champs. This is all thanks to Pee-wee Herman, the lovable, man-child character played by Paul Reubens. He returned decades later for this 2016 movie, co-starring Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello (playing an exaggerated version of himself) as the unlikely pair travel from Fairville to New York City.

For a family preparing to travel through the summer themselves, maybe even looking for something to watch in their hotel room, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is the perfect movie to watch. You won’t feel bad if you fall asleep before it’s over and will be laughing all the way through as you watch Pee-wee become a mesmerized fish out of water in the Big Apple.

Stream Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday on Netflix.

Home (2015)

A little girl and a purple alien climb on a spire in Home.
DreamWorks

A sweet movie about acceptance of those who are different, parents and kids, alike, can learn a lot from Home. The computer-animated sci-fi comedy from DreamWorks Animation is about a friendly alien who befriends a teenage girl who has been separated from her mother. The alien Oh (Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons) is an outcast among his kind, never quite feeling like he fits in. Gratuity “Tip” Tucci (Rihanna), meanwhile, is simply trying to find her mother after the Boov alien race has taken over, and she’s feeling awfully lonely. The two find solace, friendship, and compassion with one another.

A musically packed film that features songs from Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez (who voices Tip’s mother), Home received mixed reviews, but it’s a great feel-good movie to watch with the fam. Once done, you can follow it up with the Netflix original animated series, a follow-up to the movie, Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh, with Mark Whitten and Rachel Crow taking over as voices of the two main characters.

Stream Home on Netflix.

Yes Day (2021)

A family throws water balloons at each other in Yes Day.
Netflix / Grey Matter Productions

If the kids haven’t asked for a “Yes Day” yet after hearing about it from their friends, they will be begging for one after seeing this movie. Why not dedicate one day in the summer to entertaining the idea, with limits, of course? What is a Yes Day? According to this family comedy, which stars Jennifer Garner, Edgar Ramirez, and (ensuring your teens will watch, too), Wednesday‘s Jenna Ortega, it’s a day when the kids rule.

After being accused of not being adventurous anymore, parents Allison (Garner) and Carlos (Ramirez) decide to give in and let their kids make the decisions for a full 24 hours. Whatever they ask to do (within reason), the answer must be yes. The day begins with massive ice cream sundaes, a car wash with the windows down, and a flag competition. Things get progressively more challenging, however, as the kids push boundaries and the parents get out of their comfort zones. There are lessons learned on both sides, making Yes Day the perfect family watch.

Stream Yes Day on Netflix. 

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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