Make a memory and enjoy a movie together as a family. Here are some inexpensive ways to do it as well as a list of film recommendations.
This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.
We are big movie buffs around here. The kids are constantly asking to look at the Redbox offerings while I check out at the grocery store. Sure, there are plenty of films that we pass up, but we are quick to grab the good ones that come our way.
Sometimes we hunt down a favorite movie at the library. Sometimes we pre-order it on Amazon because we love it and can’t wait to see it again. Sometimes I’m sent an advance copy of a film to review, too, which is fun. Overtime, many have become family favorites.
Summer time is when we end up watching quite a few different films. The days are lazier. Bedtimes are later. And we all shift into a slightly different mode.
Last summer we spent an entire week watching all The Avengers movies. It was wonderful!
Most of our movies are viewed at home, but we usually spring the big bucks for at least one movie theater family event each summer. Last year was The Avengers. Ahem. This year we’re looking forward to Despicable Me 2. Or as FishChick 4 says, “Despicable Meat 2”.
How to watch it free or cheap:
Entertainment can be quite pricey these days. It’s one of those splurges that I sometimes feel guilty about. It’s not that we buy stacks and stacks of Blu-rays or go to the show every week. But, I’d rather watch it free or cheap if I can. Here are some ways that we do that:
Library: Most libraries lend movies. Some charge, some offer it for free. Our library offers this for free, with about a week’s loan at a time. It’s a little tricky to get the movie you want when you want it. It takes some planning ahead.
Amazon Prime: We spring for Amazon Prime every year. At $79 a year we get a year’s worth of 2-day shipping, access to the kindle lending library, and free movies and TV programs to watch. It’s like Netflix on steroids.
Redbox: We have about ten Redbox locations within a 2-mile drive of our house, so it’s very convenient to grab a movie. We’ve had some problems with faulty discs, but customer service is pretty good about refunding our money. I can even reserve a movie online so hubs can pick it up on his way home from work.
Clearance or movie sales: I keep my eyes open for movies to purchase. I got two movies recently at Ralph’s clearance shelf for less than $5 each. They’re movies I know the kids like and will watch again and again. I also buy each child a movie at Christmas time each year when movies are typically on sale at great prices. Summer appears to be another season when Amazon unloads movies for cheap.
Summer movie programs: It looks like these days no cinema brand is offering them for FREE, but they are greatly reduced in price. Check out the Regal Summer Movie Express and the Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse.
FishFam Picks for Films
I polled my family for their picks of summer screenings. It was hard for them to each narrow it to five. Many of the kids forgot what they used to like and could only name current favorites. FishPapa and FishBoy16 were hard pressed to name “family-friendly films”, but the ones they conjured up are total winners. And yes, we have some overlaps.
Asterisks* denote those movies that you may need to preview for your audiences. We’ve got kids that range from kindergarten to high school, so we represent a range of interests and ages.
- The Avengers*
- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King*
- The Bourne Movies*
- The Harry Potter collection
- Lilo and Stitch
- Secret of the Wings
- Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents
- “Despicable Meat” (aka Despicable Me)
New home releases
Disney has released a number of new films on DVD and Blu-Ray this summer, including Oz: The Great and Powerful. I didn’t know anything about the movie before it arrived a few weeks ago. Basically, it tells the back story of Glinda the good witch, and the other, nastier witches in Oz. You learn why the Great Wizard hides behind smoke and lights. It’s a very clever prequel and definitely worth your time.
Also available are three older Disney films: Lilo and Stitch, The Emperor’s New Groove and Atlantis: The Lost Empire 2-Movie Collections releasing for the first time on Blu-ray. I’ve not seen the last one, but our family has enjoyed Lilo and Stitch as well as The Emperor’s New Groove.
What’s a favorite movie on YOUR family’s list this summer?
I received review copies of some movies mentioned in this post. However, I would not mention them if I didn’t think they were worth your time. This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.
This post is part of the DIY on a Dime: Summer Fun series. For more ideas on how to enjoy the summer holidays on a budget, check out the list.
I know what we’re gonna do this summer.