You’ve decorated your tree and started sampling all the holiday cookie recipes but the season won’t be complete without watching some holiday movies! We’ve rounded up a list of the best Christmas movies to watch with your little ones, from classic to modern and animated to live action. Time to get cozy! 

The Snowman

Based on the classic picture book by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman is totally worth a watch with your tiny tots. This wordless movie follows the adventures of a young boy whose snowman comes to life. It’s a simple but whimsical story that still offers a healthy dose of holiday magic.

Rated: Not Rated
Recommended Ages: 3+
Available at: Amazon.com

ADVERTISEMENT

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

Narrated by Fred Astaire, this classic holiday flick tells the story of Santa’s humble beginnings. The kids will get a kick out of seeing the movie’s take on how certain Christmas traditions began (like the flying reindeer and why Santa comes through the chimney).

Rated: Not Rated
Recommended Ages: 5+
Available at: Amazon.com

Prep & Landing

At just 22 minutes, this short and sweet flick is perfect for short attention spans. It’s about the Prep & Landing team, the group of elves who gets all the houses around the world ready for Santa’s visit. It’s got clever Easter eggs for adults along with plenty of giggles for the little ones.

Rated: G
Recommended Ages: 5+
Available at: Amazon.com

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

The classic story of It’s a Wonderful Life gets a kid-friendly twist thanks to the Muppet gang. In this version, the Muppet Theater is in trouble and a stressed-out Kermit wonders if the world would have been better off without him and his friends. Luckily, his guardian angel (David Arquette) shows him what matters most—with the help of fun musical numbers and a star-studded cast, of course.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 6+
Available at: Amazon.com

Arthur Christmas

What’s the lovable youngest son of Santa to do when he discovers that one child hasn’t received her Christmas present? Go on a madcap mission, of course! You’ll love the family spirit of this movie as we meet Arthur and the whole Claus clan. Plus, it’s made by the very same animators who came up with Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 5+
Available at: Amazon.com

The Polar Express

If you like your holiday movies to have an extra helping of adventure and Tom Hanks, it may be time for a trip on The Polar Express. This warm-hearted story about a boy’s journey to the North Pole features Mr. Hanks as the voice of the train’s conductor (along with several other characters). Be warned: it is an adventurous ride with dangerous obstacles and big-time special effects.

Rated: G
Recommended Ages: 6+
Available at: Amazon.com

Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year

Oh, bother! If your youngsters can’t get enough of the Hundred Acre Wood crew, this movie is a must. It’s actually a special bundle that includes the made-in-1991 Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too and the newer film Happy Pooh Year. Both have all the highlights you expect from Winnie the Pooh: friendship, sweet moments and an emphasis on loving your friends no matter what.

Rated: G
Recommended Ages: 3+
Available at: Amazon.com

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Are your little elves torn about whether their favorite holiday is Christmas or Halloween? Then give ‘em a dose of both. This holiday classic is a little offbeat, a little spooky, and full of a whole lot of crazy stop-motion visuals. It’s perfect for kids who crave a different kind of Christmas movie—and those who are old enough to enjoy the eerie effects.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 7+
Available at: Amazon.com

A Charlie Brown Christmas

For wise kids (and those who have a soft spot for Snoopy), you can’t go wrong with the Peanuts gang. Charlie Brown has some deep thoughts about Christmas commercialization and the holiday blues, but the end is all kinds of merry: the true meaning of Christmas and snappy music to boot.

Rated: Not Rated
Recommended Ages: 3+
Available at: Amazon.com

The Santa Clause

Older kids will get a kick out of watching Tim Allen (a divorced, uninvolved, turkey-burning dad) take a turn as Santa. The scenes at Santa’s workshop and the North Pole are definitely amazing, but practice some Christmas caution: Allen gets the Santa gig because the original takes a fatal topple off a roof, there’s a lot of talk about divorce and even a slightly scary scene with police.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 9+
Available at: Amazon.com

Home Alone

A member of the John Hughes movie family, Home Alone is a full-fledged faceoff between eight-year-old Kevin and a couple of witless burglars. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen this one, you may not remember just how violent the slapstick gets. Still, it’s worth a view for older kids who understand the Christmas consequences.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 10+
Available at: Amazon.com

Elf

Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins (pardon our language) and miss out on watching the story of our favorite innocent “elf,” Buddy! This is another holiday movie you'll be quoting all season long. Though there are a few spots that may run a little boring for little ones, they’ll still love seeing the holidays through Buddy’s enthusiastic eyes.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 7+
Available: Amazon.com

Miracle on 34th Street

This 1994 remake of a 1940s classic has all the tried-and-true favorites of a Christmas movie: a precocious kid, a lovable Santa, and a smiley ending. But keep in mind, Mom and Dad, that the little girl in the movie does question the existence of Santa Claus—so if this isn’t a hot topic in your house yet, you might want to skip this one!

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 6+
Available: Amazon.com

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

We can’t settle the age-old debate of old Grinch vs. new Grinch—but we’ll admit that the classic ‘toon version holds a special place in our “two sizes too small” hearts. Add it to your holiday movie lineup to get your yuletide dose of Seuss and Whoville.

Rated: Not Rated
Recommended Ages: 4+
Available at: Amazon.com

Christmas Classic Gift Set

It’s too hard to pick just one of these delightful holiday movies, and thankfully, you don’t have to. Somebody was smart enough to bundle them all together into one DVD collection that includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman, and Frosty Returns, plus a few more. That’s a whole lot of stop-motion, cartoon, and Christmas-y fun.

Rated: Not Rated
Recommended Ages: 3+
Available at: Amazon.com

The Muppets Christmas Carol

There are a lot of versions of this story out there, but how many of them feature Michael Caine as Scrooge and the big-hearted Kermit as Bob Cratchit? Throw in all the fun musical numbers and Gonzo as the Charles Dickens narrator and you’ve got yourself a movie sesh to remember. Fair warning: his job is to scare Scrooge, so the Ghost of Christmas Future is pretty scary.

Rated: G
Recommended Ages: 5+
Available at: Amazon.com

A Christmas Story

Warning: Watching A Christmas Story is likely to result in nonstop quoting of all those hilarious one-liners. (Go ahead and say it with us: “You’ll shoot your eye out!”) Double warning for the younger tots: “Fudge” is substituted for the F word, one poor kid gets his tongue frozen to a flagpole, and let’s not forget that fishnet stocking leg lamp.

Rated: PG
Recommended Ages: 8+
Available at: Amazon.com

White Christmas

Dreaming of a white Christmas? You can’t get much more classic than a Christmas movie featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and tunes from Irving Berlin. It may not have cartoon adventure, but it does have musical numbers and an emphasis on love and family.

Rated: Not Rated
Recommended Ages: 8+
Available at: Amazon.com

 

— Abigail Matsumoto

All movie images via Amazon.com

 

RELATED STORIES: 

Target Releases 18 Brand-New Matching Family PJ Sets for the Holidays

These 10 Reasons to Love the Holidays Are Just Too Real

Here Are the 15 Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Right Now

holiday movies