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100 Best Christmas Movie Night Ideas for Kids and Family

100 Best Christmas Movie Night Ideas for Kids and Family


Hosting an annual Christmas movie night at home is a wonderful, memory-making tradition for the holiday season. There are more than enough suggestions here to cover all 12 days of Christmas, or the entire month of December! Find out the best Christmas movie night ideas for kids and the entire family.

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Christmas Movie Night Ideas for Kids

A family movie night is one of our favorite year-round activities. Setting aside time in our busy holiday schedule to enjoy a favorite family Christmas movie is at the top of our seasonal checklist.

This article includes a list of the best new and classic holiday movies for a variety of different ages. You’ll find old classic Christmas movies, new favorites, and the best kids’ Christmas movies you might have forgotten about. I’m also sharing fun activities, decor, and snacks to spruce up your next Christmas movie night!

Which holiday movies are best for children?

Choosing movies we enjoy as a whole family is easy. There are so many to pick from, available on streaming services or DVD.

This article will cover some of the best choices for toddlers, kids, and teens. I’ll also share some insight on what to know about certain films before you watch.

Make it a Christmas movie night party

We not only enjoy watching our favorite holiday movies annually during this time of the year, we also really get into the holiday spirit!

This article will include some fun tips for decorations, meal ideas, holiday snacks, and ways to incorporate Christmas magic into your theme.

Keep the event simple…or go all out!

We all have a lot on our plate this time of year. If you don’t have the bandwidth for anything over-the-top, use these ideas sparingly.

If you’re creating an ultimate Christmas movie night, it’s fine to go all out. Use these Christmas movie night ideas for kids as a way to build excitement leading up to Christmas Day. Or consider hosting a viewing party with friends and family for new Christmas movies or beloved classics.

Check out the additional links for tips about building a seasonal snack board, meal recipes and extra Christmas activities. Keep reading for the great Christmas movie ideas and show suggestions for all ages.

Peppermint sticks stuck inside powdered doughnuts

How to Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

Christmas movies are available to stream on a variety of popular sites. Some require sign-up, while others may offer a complimentary trial period. Other sites may offer the movies for purchase or rental.

Need a budget-friendly option? If you have a DVD player, consider borrowing discs from your local library.

Penguin and Snowman Christmas mugs filled with cocoa and marshmallows

Best Holiday Shows for Little Kids

Toddlers and young children can’t always sit through an entire movie. When choosing for little ones, try a 30 minute formatted show to hold their interest.

In addition to these suggestions, on Disney+, search for “Disney Junior Holiday Episodes”. There you’ll find animated short features that are best for toddlers and preschoolers.

  • Dr. Seuss The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas and Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
  • Santa Buddies
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • Winnie the Pooh A Very Merry Pooh Year
  • Prep and Landing
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

Best Christmas Movies for Families

The best family Christmas movies evoke the Christmas spirit for all ages. This list of favorite movies are a mix of both animated movies and live-action.

There may be some questionable topics that are more appropriate for elementary aged children. If you’re not familiar with a movie, always watch it ahead of time to ensure it’s a good fit for your family.

  • The Santa Claus
  • Home Alone
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Disney’s A Christmas Carol
  • Arthur Christmas
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Polar Express
  • Prancer
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • The Christmas Chronicles
  • Klaus
  • Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
  • Dr. Seuss: The Grinch
  • The Nutcracker: The Motion Picture
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Looking for ideas to bring the Nutcracker to life? Check out these Nutcracker Party Ideas for Christmas.

Box of candy canes with a wooden Nutcracker and dancing ballet ornament.

Timeless Christmas Movies

These are truly the best movies that include a heartwarming story and the full spirit of Christmas. This list of Christmas movies are recommended for elementary school ages and older children who can follow a more involved storyline.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • White Christmas
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Little Women
  • A Christmas Story

The holidays are tailormade for movie marathons! Watching movies at home is one of the most budget-friendly things to do with kids on winter break

Fun Holiday Movies for Older Kids and Teens

Family Christmas movie night needn’t end when kids grow up. These family favorites bring holiday cheer to adults and teens. Be aware of PG-13 ratings and that these films may include inuendo, bad language, or mature themes.

  • Elf
  • Spirited
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Scrooged

Movie Night Christmas Decorations

If it’s the Christmas season, your house is likely already decorated for the season. The Christmas tree is up and the stockings are hung on the mantel. There’s not too much extra that needs to happen in the way of decor for a movie night event.

No need to spend a lot or get too detailed with additional decorations. To stay frugal, try moving decor that you already have from elsewhere in the house to decorate the table setting.

Cozy Holiday Pajamas are a Must!

Get prepped for a Christmas movie marathon by staying comfortable in holiday pajamas. Our favorite family pjs come from Primary.

These pajamas are made of soft cotton fabric that doesn’t pill after washing. Use code AFF20PCT for 20% off your first order at

Warm Blankets for Cuddling

A cozy blanket or two is essential for cuddling together on the living room sofa! Choose this super plush throw blanket to stay warm all winter long.

Simple Christmas Movie Night Decorations

  • Choose a color scheme based on your film choices for the evening. Red and green is a simple choice for a merry Christmas theme.
  • Add mood lighting with battery-operated fairy lights or flameless votive candles.
  • Shop the Dollar Store for inexpensive table decorations that can be reused year after year. I bought a roll of red wrapping paper to use as my table cloth.

Favorite Christmas Themed Snacks for Movie Night

Traditional Christmas treats, like candy canes, are easy to add to the snack table. Expand your search outside of the usual holiday foods to find a sweet treat that fits your theme. We used white powdered doughnuts, red and green licorice bites, white fudge covered Oreos in our cheerful spread.

Consider a combination of both sweet and savory Christmas movie night snacks. Look for festive colors, like guacamole chips with salsa for a red and green effect. Popcorn with red and green M&M candies are a hit!

Don’t forget to offer beverages, including hot cocoa or berry punch. Hot chocolate is a must-have when viewing The Polar Express!

Holiday Movie Night Dinner Ideas

Extend your Christmas movie night into a full experience, with a special pre-film dinner. Prepare a dish that’s representative of the film, like meatloaf and mashed potatoes if you’re watching A Christmas Story.

Make It a Christmas Brunch Party

Expand on the family night night by hosting a breakfast or brunch instead of a late night event. These Elf on the Shelf North Pole breakfast fun ideas are excellent for all ages.

Christmas table top set for the holidays with Elf on the Shelf

Pre-Movie Christmas Activities

If you’re stretching out your holiday movie night to include other activities, these are some of our favorite things to celebrate the season. Add in one of these ideas to create a new family tradition!

Ornament Craft

Look for relatively mess-free crafts, especially when including toddlers and preschoolers. Peel and stick foam pieces, like these Ornament Crafts are ideal.

My favorite sugar cookie recipe and decorating tips come from Sweet Sugarbelle. There is an entire line of cookie decorating tools, including these holiday cookie cutters.

Christmas Storybooks

For the perfect night of well-rounded entertainment, pull out your favorite Christmas books, like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.


Play Christmas music for a family karaoke session.

Write a Letter to Santa

Have kids write their wish list before movie watching. Get the free Letter to Santa printable to print out for each child.

Gift or Food Donations

If you’re inviting friends to join you for the holiday movie event, request that each child bring a donation. Drop off the items at a local food bank or school that is collecting items for donation.

Christmas-themed Games

My friend Britni at Play Party Plan has so many wonderfully themed family games. Try this fun Christmas saran wrap game at your next event!

Looking for more ideas? Read more in this article about simple Christmas traditions to do with kids.

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