For kids, summer vacation means spending the days at the pool, the beach or summer camp. However, when none of those is impossible, the best way to entertain your kids is watching movies about hitting the pool, going to the beach or staying at the summer camp. With that in mind, we have listed best 10 summer movies for kids, a selection of films set during the year’s haziest days or in tropical locales ideal for summer viewing.
1. The PARENT TRAP
This lands at No. 1 because it meets the classic kids’ summer movie requirements: it’s partly set at summer camp, it’s light and it’s innocent enough to be enjoyed by a variety of ages. And for those young ones who can’t be convinced to watch a movie from the 1960s, there’s always the 1998 remake.
2. STAND BY ME
Yes, this is the one R-rated movie on this list, which earned that MPAA rating because of foul language and the plotline’s preoccupation with finding the body of a dead child. If your middle schoolers and high schoolers seem mature enough to handle it, though, do show them this sublime coming-of-age film; watching it has become a necessary rite of passage in itself.
3. THE MUPPET MOVIE
We don’t necessarily think of this as a summer movie, but with its road trip, sunny skies and campout featuring the vocal stylings of Gonzo, it actually qualifies as a pretty great one in our book.
4. FINDING NEMO
Given the focus on Nemo’s first day of school, it seems fair to assume the greatest clown fish movie of all time doesn’t take place during the summer. But with those vibrant coral reefs and all that beautiful ocean blue, summer sure seems like a great time to revisit Marlin and his flipper-challenged son.
5. THE GOONIES
It’s a film that’s still enormously beloved, and a reminder of a time when summer was all about searching for buried treasure with kids named Chunk and Data.
6. THE SANDLOT
A coming-of-age flick about boys who spend the summer of 1962 trying to hit line drives and catch pop-flies, The Sandlot has some fervent fans. Presumably some of those fans will relish the opportunity to share this comedy with their kids.
7. KARATE KID
One of the biggest box office successes from the summer of‘84, it opens with Daniel LaRusso’s summertime move to California and features enough beach-y imagery -including that unforgettable Pacific-side crane kick -to make it an ideal summer watch.
8. RACE FOR YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE BROWN
The Peanuts gang goes to camp and competes in an intense river rafting race in this‘77 feature, one of the few Charlie Brown efforts to merit a theatrical release.
9. SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
Ann Brashares’s novel spawned this film about four Maryland girls who swap the same pair of magical jeans while spending their summers in various corners of the globe.
Celebrate the good old-fashioned American road trip with this Pixar favorite; in which Lightning McQueen gets his kicks on Route 66.
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