Traveling with kids can make or break a marriage. I love my wife, I love my daughters, but a six hour car ride to Great Grandmas tests the bonds of family. That’s why we have a portable DVD player in the family led sled. But that is only half the battle. Knowing which films will keep the kids occupied is most important.
I’ve gathered 5 films for 5 different road trip scenarios parents all face.
Scenario 1: the “I don’t want to go, I want to stay home!!” plea.
Solution: Home Alone
Look what happened to Kevin! He wanted to ditch his family too. Is that what you really want? Two “wet bandits” breaking into our home and only you to fend them off? In actuality, it’s a great film that should keep the kids laughing as you approach the first of many rest stops on your trip.
Scenario 2: the “will Santa know where we are?” question.
Solution: Ernest Saves Christmas
How much of your car ride do you want to spend explaining how you sent a forwarding address postcard to Santa weeks in advance, so he knows where to find the family? Let Ernest show them how wise Santa is, and how we should all still believe in Christmas magic. It’s not the most viewed holiday movie, but that’s what makes it great. The kids have not seen it seven times this year alone!
Scenario 3: the “I wish they’d just fall asleep already!” moment
Solution: The Polar Express
Oh silent night! A sleeping kid is a quiet kid. My kids love this movie, despite how slow it moves. That’s why it is the perfect film to let them fall asleep to! All the main characters are in PJ’s, the whole movie could all possibly be a dream, and the plot is so soft you could nap for an hour and not miss a thing.
Scenario 4: the “let’s show them the true meaning of Christmas spirit” twinkling
Solution: The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, a frog, a pig, whatever Gonzo is, and Fozzie the bear. It’s a timeless Christmas tale, and a cuddly children’s movie. It’s the best of both worlds! The kids will love it, watch it, and you’ll save your sanity for 86 minutes.
Scenario 5: the dreaded “are we there yet” rant
Solution: Are We There Yet?
This film focuses on the next holiday on the calendar, New Years. The main character ends up on an unhappy road-trip with children who seem to have an agenda of their own. It may hit too close to home for mom and dad, but the kids will think this film is hilarious, and that means less time ranting, and more time watching.
Best of luck on your travels, and hope this list helps!