Summer Movie Fest For the Family

With summer time and longer days, one fun activity is to make a family movie night.

Check out this list of classic summer vacation movies that the whole family can watch.

  1. Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)
    This Warner Brothers/Amblin Entertainment cartoon movie featuring the Tiny Toon Looney Toon Characters follows their summer vacation from school. The story mainly focuses on Babs and Buster going downriver, Plucky and Hamton going to a world-famous amusement park, and Fifi searches for her favorite movie star.
  2. Race For Your Life Charlie Brown (1977)
    The Peanuts Gang go to summer camp. Charlie Brown gets left behind by the camp bus which sets the tone for his camping experience. As the kids settle in and adjust to their rustic lives at camp which is much different than they are used to, they must prepare and compete against a neighboring camp in a rafting race.
  3. Ernest Goes to Camp (1987)
    This goofy movie starring Jim Varney has Ernest saving camp by stopping developers who have purchased the sacred Indian land after the owners are unable to raise the necessary funds. With the kind heart and comedy that Jim Varney has perfected with the Ernest character, the camp is saved for future campers.
  4. National Lampoons Vacation (1983)
    If you have ever watched a National Lampoons movie, you know they are full of comedy and mayhem. In this movie, Clark Griswold who is a normal, middle-class dad and wants to take his family on the best summer vacation ever. Clark, his wife, Ellen along with their two children drive from Illinois to an amusement park in California. Along the way, they deal with car problems and the death of a family member. They reach the amusement park only to find out that it is closed. Clark has a moment of comical insanity to save the day.
  5. National Lampoons European Vacation (1985)
    After winning a European vacation on a game show, Clark Griswold convinces his family to accompany him. His wife, Ellen is excited, but daughter Audrey is reluctant to leave her boyfriend behind, while teen son Rusty dreams of meeting girls. After arriving in London, the family encounters one disaster after another as they travel through France, Germany and Italy. They even visit relatives during one of their trips. There is a language barrier and they actually end up having dinner with the neighbor of their relative. 
  6. The Great Outdoors (1988)
    It’s vacation time for outdoorsy Chicago man and his family, Chet Ripley, played by the late John Candy. However, a relaxing weekend of fishing at a Wisconsin lakeside cabin gets ruined by his wife’s obnoxious brother-in-law, Roman Craig, his wife, and the couple’s two daughters. As the vacation wears on, the Ripleys find themselves at odds with the stuffy Craig family.
  7. Goonies (1985)
    When a group of neighborhood kids are losing their homes to a development company, they go on a wild treasure hunt left by pirates to find the money needed. This movie is full of bad guys, wild imaginations, and action that make it a sure favorite for every member of the family.
  8. Harry and the Hendersons (1987)
    Sasquatch is alive and well in this family classic. While returning from a family camping trip in the woods, George Henderson and his family run into something with their car. Thinking the creature is dead, they take him home, but “Harry” wakes up. Despite their initial fears, Harry is a kind and sensitive being, and the Hendersons become very fond of him.
  9. The Wizard (1989)
    Two brothers run off to California after a disagreement with their parents. During their trip, it’s discovered that one of the boys is a video game master so they enter him into a video gaming contest to win $50,000. Watch their adventures and how they made it all the way to California while outsmarting bounty hunters hired by their parents.

Are you feeling adventurous? Take the movies outdoors! With just a little effort, you can set up your own outdoor movie screen using a white sheet or wall and a projector.

What movies do you like to watch during the summer with your family? Do they create memories, inspire your kids to make their own adventures? Do you remember watching any of these when you were younger?