Best movies for a happy Family Day weekend

It’s a big week around my house. Sure, Valentine’s Day was great and all, but the kids are worked up about four. Days. Off. In a row.

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It’s a big week around my house. Sure, Valentine’s Day was great and all, but the kids are worked up about four. Days. Off. In a row. String together a Friday P.D. day, the weekend, and then the Family Day holiday on Monday and that’s enough of a carrot to get our family through the week.

For us parents, it also means we’re in planning mode—what are we going to do for those four days? We have to have some tentative plans in place for weekends like this because otherwise we’re all stir-crazy by Saturday noon. So first up is planning a happy family tradition—our movie night. While we do have a Friday night pizza-popcorn movie night every week, this weekend giddiness floweth over about the prospect of a few movies to enjoy together. Right after getting into our pyjamas, lining up pillows and blankets, setting out big bowls of salty popcorn and flicking off the lights.

With that in mind, here are some movies we’re mulling over for our Family Weekend flicks.

1.  Toy Story: Any one of the series really (although my personal preference is Toy Story 3). This latest instalment tells the story of what Andy’s toys are up to once they realize their owner is college-bound. If you haven’t seen it yet, keep Kleenex handy because the sniffy moments catch you by surprise.

2.  Finding Nemo: Kids love Nemo and his buddy Dory. Parents love the story about how far a father will go to rescue his son—this movie make you cuddle your kiddies just that much closer.  

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: We love the Roald Dahl books around our house, with this book is a classic. Now while I’ve seen both versions and don’t mind the Johnny Depp one, some people are purists and say the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is the way to go. Either way, it’s fun to walk through this amazing factory and wish, just like you probably did as a kid, you could really be there.

4.  Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: We love this movie—and since it’s set in a toy shop (think FAO Schwartz come to life), how could we not? Watch what happens when the eccentric Mr. Magorium decides to leave his shop.

5.  E.T.: I’m not sure my kids are quite ready for this, but I can’t wait to show them the wonderful story of this alien who makes his way into our hearts. Still makes me want to bike across the sky.

6.  Home Alone: So much fun to watch Macaulay Culkin take on his intruders in this classic. Albeit a Christmas movie, who cares? It’s slapsticky humour that will get your kids.  

7.  Horton Hears a Who!: It wasn’t a smash at the box office, but this animated Dr. Seuss movie is quite sweet and carries a message worth sharing—a person is a person, no matter how small.

8.  Big: Every kid will be begging to go see the toy piano they can actually jump on…but the bigger story, of Josh wishing to grow up and he does overnight but with a kid’s sensibility, will have your kids laughing and you watching it through new eyes as a parent.

9.  The Wizard of Oz: A fantasy adventure following Dorothy through her dream trip in Oz. Just make sure your kids are ready to handle the flying monkeys….they still kind of freak me out. 

10.   Up: This one sits in our permanent PVR collection—the lovely story of Carl fulfilling his wife’s dream of seeing South America by flying his house over there. He just wasn’t counting on a cute little eight year old stowaway named Russell.  

Not exactly what you’re looking for? Then check out the Internet Movie Database’s Top 50 Family movie recommendations here.