Looking for the perfect film for a family snuggle on the sofa?  Here’s our pick of the best winter movies for kids (that aren’t just for Christmas!)

A Jolly Festive Round-Up
Children watching winter movies whilst eating popcorn and leaning against the sofa.

When the cold weather sets in, there isn’t much that’s more appealing than a movie night … or afternoon … or snow day treat!  Heck, why not have a winter movie marathon and get the whole family involved to choose their favourites for the list?!  Grab your blanket, make a vat of slow cooker hot chocolate and pop that popcorn.  Because it’s time to take your pick from our list of the best winter movies.

Quick note: these are our favourite wintry films – not holiday movies, these ones are designed to enjoy throughout the winter months, on a snowy day, or when you need something to cool you down in the summer!  We’ve got plenty of Christmas movie inspiration too, of course.

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17 Favourite Winter Movies For Kids

We’ve chosen each of these as a good winter movie for kids, from the very little ones up to tweens and beyond.  But they are all great family-friendly options and will appeal to a wide range of age groups.  From heart warming to hilarious, and fantastical to educational, there’s something for everyone.  Which is your favourite?

Family sitting together on the floor watching winter movie on screen with fairy lights around the screen.

Frozen

Is it even a winter-themed movies list if Frozen isn’t headlining?!  The most iconic of all snow-filled family films of current times! Disney takes us on a rollercoaster journey with sisters Anna and Elsa, and a cast of fabulous companions – not to mention the wonderful Olaf, the snowman. Oh, and the singalong potential is huge of course…

And, if your kids enjoy Frozen, don’t forget there’s Frozen II and short movie Olaf’s Frozen Adventure to add to the playlist too.

Length: 1h 46m

UK Film Rating: PG

Release Date: 2013

Where To Watch: Disney+

Happy Feet

Happy Feet is an enchanting animated film set in the icy landscapes of Antarctica where emperor penguins sing to find love. The story follows Mumble, a young penguin who cannot sing like his peers but is brilliant at tap dancing.  A heart warming tale of self-discovery, friendship, and embracing your unique talents which has perhaps aged a little when considered against modern acceptances.  But nonetheless it tells of important life lessons and showcases a stellar voice cast including the late Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, and Nicole Kidman.

Length: 1hr 44m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2006

Where To Watch: Amazon

Ice Age

Perhaps a little tenuous in its winter-themed links, Ice Age does of course keep the wintry weather vibes coming.  Set during the Earth’s glacial period, the movie follows a mismatched trio of prehistoric animals. This unlikely group, consisting of a woolly mammoth, a sabre-toothed tiger, and a sloth, embark on a quest to return a human baby to its tribe, discovering friendship and family along the icy way.  Great fun, it’s sure to be a family favourite.

Length: 1hr 21m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2002

Where To Watch: Disney+

The Snowman

A mere 26 minutes long, The Snowman is a true icon of the winter movie world and likely to captivate even the youngest of viewers.

Okay, okay, we know there’s a few Christmas related scenes, and Father Christmas does appear.  But, for us, this will always be top of our wintry watches and we couldn’t possibly not include it!  You’ll be humming “Walking In The Air” for days!  But, did you know it was in fact St Paul’s Cathedral choirboy, Peter Auty, who sang the version in the film, not Aled Jones (who sang the later singles release).

Length: 26m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 1982

Where To Watch: Channel 4

Mr Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins tells the tale of Mr. Popper (aka actor Jim Carey… & now you know the vibe of the movie), a businessman whose life turns upside down when he inherits six penguins. Converting his New York apartment into a chilly penguin paradise, it’s a light-hearted journey through chaos, care, and unexpected family fun. A charming watch with the kids on a frosty evening.

Length: 1hr 34m

UK Film Rating: PG

Release Date: 2011

Where To Watch: Disney+

Smallfoot

Smallfoot turns the Bigfoot legend on its head with a spirited young Yeti who discovers something he never thought existed—a human. This discovery leads him on an exciting and sweet adventure beyond his snowy village, challenging his community’s beliefs and sparking questions about the wider world. A fun and thoughtful film for family winter movie nights.  Oh, and the voice cast is pretty incredible too – Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Danny DeVito, …

Length: 1hr 36m

UK Film Rating: PG

Release Date: 2018

Where To Watch: Amazon 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Always Winter, never Christmas.  You couldn’t really ask for a better fit for our criteria for a wintry tale!  Though we’re not saying we approve of the concept any more than Lucy did… (and, without wanting to give away too much, even in Narnia a little festive spirit creeps in).  

The Chronicles of Narnia is for the slightly older children (Common Sense Media suggests 9+) but what a cracker of a snow day movie for the right audience.  Delighting in the fantastical winter wonderland of C.S.Lewis’ imagination, this classic story of good vs evil and eternal winter is surely part of every child’s literary education!  And oh, how fabulous is this 2005 screen adaptation…

Length: 2hr 23m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2019

Where To Watch: Disney+ 

Little Women

Another of the classics!  And whilst Little Women isn’t a winter story per se, there are plenty of wintry scenes and somehow the New England period style lends a vibe that works well at this time of year.  

Greta Gerwig’s 2019 screen adaptation is such a joy to watch with slightly older children (10+). A true story of sisterhood – in all its glory! – brought to life by a star cast, including Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Timothée Chalamet.

Length: 2hr 15m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2019

Where To Watch: Netflix

Abominable

Abominable follows Yi and her friends on an epic journey to reunite a young Yeti, Everest, with his family. Their journey from Shanghai to the Himalayas is filled with stunning landscapes and lessons in friendship. This animated movie captivates with humour, fun adventure, and the magic of discovery.

Length: 1hr 33m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2019

Where To Watch: Amazon

March Of The Penguins

If your kids are fans of wildlife documentaries, or penguins, or both, then you can’t go wrong with this fabulous film, painstakingly created from a year observing and filming Emperor Penguins in Antarctica.

Narrated by the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman, March of the Penguins is a stunning glimpse into the resilience and beauty of nature.  Do know that it is real life, though: the good and the bad.

Length: 1hr 26m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2005

Where To Watch: Amazon

Snow Buddies

An unlikely, and adorable, dog sled team has accidentally come to town in Ferntiuktuk, Alaska.  Part of the Air Bud (or Disney Buddies) film series, the talking puppies of Snow Buddies learn about teamwork, bravery, and the spirit of adventure as they make new friends in the snowy wilderness. It’s a fun, family-friendly tale set against a frosty backdrop with plenty of golden retriever puppy cuteness to boot.

Length: 1hr 27m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Date: 2008

Where To Watch: Amazon

Frozen Planet

We know, it’s not a movie – it’s a documentary series.  But how can we not include the chance for a fabulously informative tour across the polar regions with Sir David Attenborough by our side?!  Plus it’s free to access on BBC iPlayer!  That’s 14 hours of zero-cost educational entertainment… 

Choose between the original Frozen Planet series and 2022’s Frozen Planet II – the latter with its exclusive behind the scenes footage of how they captured life on the ice.  Perfect for any budding naturalists. 

Length: 58/59m per episode

UK Film Rating: PG

Release Date: 2011 & 2022

Where To Watch: BBC iPlayer

Harry Potter

There’s just something about the Harry Potter movie series that gives us full-on winter vibes.  Are you the same?  Perhaps because it’s the Mary Poppins of the current generation – always on over the festive season.  Or, perhaps the oak-panelled walls of Hogwarts just scream winter time.  Whatever the reason, a Harry Potter movie marathon seems like a great choice for whiling away a winter’s afternoon!

Length: 2hr 32m (Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s / Sorcerer’s Stone)

UK Film Rating: PG (though some of the later films are rated 12)

Release Dates: 2001-2011

Where To Watch: Netflix 

Cool Runnings

Who doesn’t love an underdog story?!  This Disney classic starring the late John Candy may well have you reliving your own childhood movie nights!  

Based loosely on a true story, Cool Runnings is a comedic take (and yes, let’s admit it, cheesily so!) on the debut of the Jamaican bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Olympics.  With something for the whole family, it’s a great option for a snuggle on the sofa.

Length: 1hr 38m

UK Film Rating: PG 

Release Dates: 1993

Where To Watch: Disney+

Long Way North

If you’re looking for something a little different, Long Way North may be just the ticket.  A beautiful and cinematically-made French-Danish animation, available in English or French with subtitles.  It tells the tale of a young Russian aristocrat who runs away in search of her grandfather -an adventurer lost at the North Pole.  

Patience may be required at the beginning as the story starts to take shape.  But it’s a worthwhile investment – this is a thoughtful tale, told through the eyes of a strong female lead.

Length: 1hr 21m

UK Film Rating: PG 

Release Dates: 2016

Where To Watch: Amazon

Stick Man

The perfect winter movie option for the littlies, or if you’ve got a shorter time slot to fill.  At a similar length to The Snowman, this BBC animation of the much-loved Julia Donaldson / Axel Scheffler Stick Man story is sure to keep young children (and beyond!) enthralled.  And, whilst there is a bit of a Christmas theme to the tale, with us cheering on Stick Man for his return to the family tree in time to celebrate, there’s plenty of general winter theming to be enjoyed too.  Plus, it’s another free watch on BBC iPlayer.

Length: 26m

UK Film Rating: U

Release Dates: 2015

Where To Watch: BBC iPlayer

Paddington 2

Just like Harry Potter, there’s something about Paddington 2 that leaves us feeling all the winter feels.  Well, the movie does end at Christmas time and there’s plenty of gorgeously snowy scenes so that might have something to do with it!  But, it also has all the warm cosies that we’re looking for at this time of year.  Plus, it’s not very often of course that a sequel outshines the original quite so well.  So any excuse to pop this “cream of the feel-good movies crop” on the screen!

Length: 1hr 43m

UK Film Rating: PG 

Release Dates: 2018

Where To Watch: Netflix

So, whatever type of winter movie your kids are in the mood to watch, hopefully we’ve given you some new movies to try and old favourites to rediscover with the family.  Time to go get that hot cocoa and nestle down in front of the screen.  Enjoy!

Looking for more inspiration?

And be sure to check out our Printable Winter Mindful Moments – with 30 suggestions for some pause, rest and reflect during the winter months.

MORE LIKE THIS: Children | Movies | Winter

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