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50 of the Best Christmas Movies for Kids

Here comes Santa Claus (and friends) with awesome kids Christmas movies that are just right for a variety of ages

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Best Kids Christmas Movies Gridrd.com, via streaming sites

’Tis the season for the best kids Christmas movies

Jack Frost’s nipping at your nose, and kids everywhere are amping up for Christmas—and the kids Christmas movies that come with the season! Plan one or several holiday-themed movie nights to get everyone in the spirit. Snuggle up on the couch with the kiddos, serve some hot cocoa (extra marshmallows, please!) and screen a Christmas classic made just for the little ones for the sweetest Christmas tradition. Choose one of these family Christmas movies for a cozy Christmas activity or have a marathon with all of them—we won’t judge!

For even more movies, check out our list of the best Christmas movies of all time and the funny Christmas movies that’ll keep everyone laughing. If you’re looking for kid-centric entertainment, try our selections of kids Christmas movies on both Netflix and Disney Plus, as well as the best Christmas cartoons. You’re sure to have tiny tots with their eyes all aglow!

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A Charlie Brown ChristmasVia Tv.apple.com

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Released: 1966

Rated: G

A true joy for all ages, A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the most enduring kids Christmas movies, and it features a wonderful soundtrack, a heartwarming story, the Peanuts gang and the cutest little Christmas tree ever. Keep it classic with Christmas movie quotes that will take you back.

Best for: Kids age 3 and up. There could hardly be a more appropriate choice for any kid, but toddlers might nod off.

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The Muppet Christmas Carolvia amazon.com

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Released: 1992

Rated: G

The classic Dickens Christmas story gets a joyous Muppet-powered update that makes it one of the best kids Christmas movies. Stream it alongside these favorite Christmas movies on Amazon Prime.

Best for: Kids age 5 and up

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How The Grinch Stole Christmasvia amazon.com

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Released: 1966

Rated: G

Nearly 60 years old, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is still one of the top kids Christmas movies because of its unique animation and musical score. Don’t be surprised if your kids are singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” until New Year’s Day. Give your kids extra holiday dreaming and streaming with the best Christmas movies on Hulu.

Best for: Kids age 4 and up

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Tom Hanks as the Conductor in The Polar Expressvia amazon.com

The Polar Express

Released: 2004

Rated: G

Based on the classic Christmas book for kids by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express easily makes our list of best kids Christmas movies with its magical journey to the North Pole.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf in Elfvia amazon.com

Elf

Released: 2003

Rated: PG

Will Ferrell plays Buddy the Elf in this hysterical kids Christmas movie about a human raised at the North Pole by elves. Make it a fun family evening with the best Christmas games everyone enjoys.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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The Nightmare Before Christmas Movievia disneyplus.com

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Released: 1993

Rated: PG

Christmas aesthetics merge with Tim Burton’s gothic whimsy in this delightful, ever-watchable animated yarn about a Pumpkin King determined to take over for Santa in what is also one of the best Halloween movies for kids.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Miracle On 34th Streetvia amazon.com

Miracle on 34th Street

Released: 1947

Rated: G

This award-winning, heartwarming classic movie original is where true Christmas spirit lives. Miracle on 34th Street is the perfect family Christmas movie: A child meets the real-life Santa and ends up inspiring the adults around her with her belief.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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Home Alone movie stillvia amazon.com

Home Alone

Released: 1990

Rated: PG

This slapstick Christmas blockbuster is one of the best movies of all time. Strap in for a ton of fun as a youngster forgotten by his family fends off holiday burglars.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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White ChristmasParamount Pictures/Getty Images

White Christmas

Released: 1954

Rated: G

Wow the kiddos with this technicolor Hollywood spectacle featuring over-the-top costumes, dance numbers and classic Christmas songs. “White Christmas” tops the list of the best Christmas songs ever—is your favorite on the list?

Best for: Kids age 10 and up

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A Christmas Story Movievia amazon.com

A Christmas Story

Released: 1983

Rated: PG

Put on your pink rabbit onesie and snuggle up with the kids for one of the best family Christmas movies to watch again and again. A Christmas Story always comes up in Christmas movie trivia, so pay attention to win the next round.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Rise of the Guardiansvia amazon.com

Rise of the Guardians

Released: 2012

Rated: PG

A rare treat, this Christmas movie is best for kids who’d rather imagine Santa battling dark forces alongside the Easter Bunny than nibbling cookies and milk. Check out these stocking stuffers for toddlers your little ones will absolutely love. 

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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Olive the Other Reindeer screengrab from YouTubevia Dino Disco/youtube.com

Olive, the Other Reindeer

Released: 1999

Rated: G

This animated Christmas special features a determined pup as fresh as the season’s mistletoe.

Best for: Kids age 5 and up

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Dreamworks Holiday Classicsvia netflix.com

DreamWorks Holiday Classics

Released: 2011

Rated: PG

Kids can spend the holidays with their favorite DreamWorks animated characters, including Shrek, Toothless the dragon and the wacky animals from Madagascar. They’re all part of this roundup of four holiday specials.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Christmas With The Jokervia amazon.com

Christmas with the Joker

Released: 1992

Rated: PG

Here’s an animated Christmas short for the tiny superhero in your life, starring Batman himself. Episode 2 of Batman: The Animated Series focuses on Christmas.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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Little Womenvia amazon.com

Little Women

Released: 1994

Rated: PG

This endearing period piece, based on the young adult novel by Louisa May Alcott, features inspiring acts of generosity at Christmas that will challenge kids to think beyond holiday gifts to acts of Christmas charity.

Best for: Kids age 10 and up

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Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Wayvia amazon.com

Jingle All the Way

Released: 1996

Rated: PG

There’s an undeniable appeal to seeing the Terminator hoisted into the manic Christmas Eve shopping season. Anyone who’s ever scrambled through the aisles at Walmart after Thanksgiving should be able to relate to this tale of a last-minute toy hunt that’s also one of the best family Christmas movies.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Alone For Christmasvia amazon.com

Alone for Christmas

Released: 2013

Rated: PG

This cute adventure plays off the Home Alone premise, but this time it’s a pooch who’s left alone to battle present-stealing burglars.

Best for: Kids age 5 and up

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Christmas On Mistletoe Farmvia Netflix.com

Christmas at Mistletoe Farm

Releasing: Nov. 23, 2022

Rated: PG

In this family film, a widowed father of five inherits a farm in the British countryside just in time for Christmas. He quickly decides rural life isn’t for him, but his feisty kids think differently and hatch a plan to stay on Mistletoe Farm forever. Prepare for a ton of adorable animals (miniature horses, anyone?) and cute kids that will make you want to move to a farm yourself.

Best for: Kids age 4 and up

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Christmas Oranges Movievia amazon.com

Christmas Oranges

Released: 2013

Rated: G

Set in the early 1900s, this heartfelt story follows a young girl who loses everyone she knows and finds herself in a harsh orphanage run by a grumpy man who despises Christmas. Speaking of the past, here are some old-timey photos to show you what Christmas looked like 100 years ago.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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A Magic Christmasvia amazon.com

A Magic Christmas

Released: 2014

Rated: G

A family embarks on a holiday vacation to a wilderness cabin in A Magic Christmas. The dad’s childhood friend shows up, and they find a treasure map to a magical Christmas tree from years before.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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Curious George A Very Monkey Christmas Movievia amazon.com

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

Released: 2009

Rated: G

Your favorite adorable monkey, the beloved book character, is here with the Man in the Yellow Hat for Christmas adventures in A Very Monkey Christmas.

Best for: Kids age 3 and up

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Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miraclevia amazon.com

Mrs. Miracle

Released: 2009

Rated: G

Two youngsters keep scaring away nannies, but then Mrs. Miracle arrives right at Christmas and offers unexpected help to their widowed dad. If you love Hallmark Christmas movies, you’re going to want to add this one to your yearly rewatch.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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The Princess Switch Movievia netflix.com

The Princess Switch

Released: 2018

Rated: PG

In The Princess Switch, Vanessa Hudgens plays two women who look exactly alike—except one’s a princess-to-be and the other’s a visiting American. Naturally, they switch places over the holidays. Keep your holiday swoon moments going with the best romantic Christmas movies.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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Holiday Rush Movievia netflix.com

Holiday Rush

Released: 2019

Rated: PG

When a widower loses his job over the holidays, he has to convince his kids that a move back into his childhood home is the best thing. It’s a heartfelt Christmas comedy filled with lessons about what really matters. This one’s ready to stream along with our other favorite Christmas movies on Netflix.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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48 Christmas Wishes Movievia netflix.com

48 Christmas Wishes

Released: 2017

Rated: G

Elves try to pass as real human kids in order to save Christmas in this adorable feel-good comedy. If your kids are precocious smarty-pants, challenge them with these Christmas riddles that are fun to figure out.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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A Cinderella Story Christmas Wish Movievia netflix.com

A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish

Released: 2019

Rated: PG

Teens at work at a Christmas theme park find themselves falling for each other in this heartwarming rom-com that’s perfect for every Christmas mood. If you love feel-good, heartfelt stories, here are the best Christmas movies on Lifetime.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Mickeys Once Upon A Christmas Wishvia disneyplus.com

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

Released: 1999

Rated: G

This classic animated special brings together Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the gang to celebrate the magic of the season.

Best for: Kids age 3 and up

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Mickeys Twice Upon A Christmas Movievia disneyplus.com

Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

Released: 2004

Rated: G

This sequel to the early classic cartoon reunites the Disney pals for more Christmas fun. We also recommend the 1952 short cartoon Pluto’s Christmas Tree for extra holiday delight.

Best for: Kids age 3 and up

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Ice Age A Mammoth Christmasvia disneyplus.com

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas

Released: 2011

Rated: G

Fans of the Ice Age crew love this sweet and funny Christmas special that finds Sid and his buddies traveling to the North Pole to see Santa.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Beauty And The Beast The Enchanted Christmas Movievia disneyplus.com

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Released: 1997

Rated: G

Christmas is a tale as old as time in this touching return to the classic Belle and Beast story, with the voice actors from the original film.

Best for: Kids age 4 and up

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The Santa Clause Movievia disneyplus.com

The Santa Clause

Released: 1994

Rated: PG

In this classic comedy (with two sequels and a forthcoming TV miniseries), Tim Allen plays a dad who finds himself transforming into the jolly old man. If your kiddos like this one, both follow-ups are on Disney+. Lovers of this classic will be pleased that Disney+ is releasing a streaming, six-episode, series of The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Frostys Winter Wonderland 1976 Movievia amazon.com

Frosty’s Winter Wonderland

Released: 1976

Rated: G

Indulge in nostalgia when you watch this sweet Christmas special from 1976 in which Frosty gets a mate, but Jack Frost gets in the way. If you’re hosting this year, here are some awesome Christmas party themes you haven’t thought of yet.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Prancer Movievia amazon.com

Prancer

Released: 1989

Rated: PG

Sam Elliott plays a single dad whose daughter believes she’s found one of Santa’s reindeer in this sweetly classic dramedy that’s effortlessly sentimental. Awww. Here are some Christmas quotes that will touch your heart.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Rudolph And Frostys Christmas In July Movievia amazon.com

Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July

Released: 1979

Rated: G

Yes, you can finally stream the classic stop-motion animation TV Christmas specials from the 1960s and 1970s. This film pits the evil Winterbolt against a magic queen who enlists Rudolph and pals for help.

Best for: Kids age 4 and up

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Santa Buddies Movievia hulu.com

Santa Buddies

Released: 2009

Rated: G

Kids love the Buddies movie series with talking golden retrievers. The adorable puppies are dressed up in festive cheer and ready to save Christmas in this romp that mesmerizes little ones. Get some more Christmas cuteness with these adorable pets with Christmas spirit, all dressed up for the holidays.

Best for: Kids age 4 and up

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The Nutcracker And The Four Realmsvia disneyplus.com

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Released: 2018

Rated: PG

This gorgeous fairy tale with spectacular effects features Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley and an all-star cast in a live-action retelling of the classic Christmas ballet.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Winnie The Pooh A Very Merry Pooh Year Movievia disneyplus.com

Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year

Released: 2002

Rated: G

The Hundred Acre Wood gang has a Christmas adventure in this sweet musical. Watching it is a totally adorable Christmas Eve tradition.

Best for: Kids age 4 and up

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Arthur Christmas Movievia amazon.com

Arthur Christmas

Released: 2011

Rated: PG

Stunning CGI animation delights in this comedy-adventure about the technological elf system that makes Christmas gifting happen—but then a glitch makes them miss one kid.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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The Christmas Chronicles Movievia netflix.com

The Christmas Chronicles

Released: 2018

Rated: PG

Kurt Russell steals the show as the ultimate Santa Claus for cool kids in this dashing comedy that’ll warm everyone’s heart.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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The Christmas Chronicles 2 Movievia netflix.com

The Christmas Chronicles 2

Released: 2020

Rated: PG

Return to the magic with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. In this holiday sequel, they’re up against naughty elves who have it out for Christmas. Impress your kids with these holiday-themed jokes.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Jingle Hangle A Christmas Journey Movievia netflix.com

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Released: 2020

Rated: PG

Settle in for this magical tale about the granddaughter of a toymaker whose best invention is under threat. Stunning dance numbers and glorious costumes fill the screen with wonder.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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Klaus Movievia netflix.com

Klaus

Released: 2019

Rated: PG

Strikingly gorgeous animation captures a sweet story about a toymaker living on his own who wins the hearts of local children with the help of a postman. The two join forces to cheer up an unhappy town.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Noelle Movievia disneyplus.com

Noelle

Released: 2019

Rated: G

It’s time for the grown-up Kringle kids to take over Christmas, but neither one is up for the job in this sweet-natured comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader. For more seasonal laughs, check out these Christmas memes.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmasvia netflix.com

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas

Released: 2021

Rated: G

This stop-motion film, based on the hilarious hit British series, follows a lost lamb who is about to become someone’s Christmas present. The farm animals band together to help save him.

Best for: Kids of all ages

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Robin RobinVia Netflix.com

Robin Robin

Released: 2021

Rated: G

This little birdie, who has been raised by a family of mice, makes a heartwarming wish on a Christmas star to be a mouse too. Robin Robin is a sweet tale the whole family will love.

Best for: Kids of all ages

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A Boy Called Christmasvia netflix.com

A Boy Called Christmas

Released: 2021

Rated: PG

In this 2021 Christmas favorite, you’ll find young Nikolas embarking on a quest to Elfhelm, accompanied by a talking mouse, to find his father and seek hope for the kingdom. An all-star cast—Kristen Wiig, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent and others—bring their acting chops to this magical fantasy filled with dazzling enchantment.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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8-Bit Christmasvia hbomax.com

8-Bit Christmas

Released: 2021

Rated: PG

In the nostalgia-inducing 8-Bit Christmas, Neil Patrick Harris stars as Jake, an adult who tells the story of the Christmas when he was 10 years old and all he wanted was a Nintendo Entertainment System. If your kids still prefer glitter and glue to video games, keep them entertained with these Christmas crafts for kids.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up

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The Claus Familyvia netflix.com

The Claus Family

Released: 2020

Rated: G

Young Jules hates the holidays, but when his grandfather becomes sick, he learns of his legacy—and that he is the one who has to save Christmas. If your kids like this film, good news! The two sequels are also streaming on Netflix.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up

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Olaf's Frozen AdventureVia Disneyplus.com

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

Released: 2017

Rated: G

Anna and Elsa come to the realization that their family doesn’t have any holiday traditions, so Olaf sets out on a quest to bring them some in this Disney holiday film. Need a little homemade Christmas joy? Here are some easy DIY Christmas decorations that anyone can handle.

Best for: Kids of all ages

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David And The Elvesvia netflix.com

David and the Elves

Released: 2021

Rated: PG

This Polish family film (dubbed in English) brings Christmas delight to little ones as one of Santa’s elves befriends a kid who misses his grandparents after his mom and dad relocate to the big city. The boy and elf head off on an adventure—but they better hurry because the elf shrinks the longer he’s away from the North Pole. A tiny elf would make an adorable addition to a Christmas wreath, though.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up

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Additional reporting by Chloë Nannestad.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Molly Pennington, PhD
Molly is a writer and collage artist with a PhD in film and cultural studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her professional astrology services and artwork are available at Baroque Moon Astrology. She covers the zodiac, books, movies, TV and culture for Reader’s Digest, and loves to talk about all the ways we make meaning.