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Holiday Road Trip: 5 Car Movies for Kids

"Are we there yet?" These are the words every parent dreads hearing during a long road trip. Since the holiday season is filled with travel for many families, taking the time to come up with ways to keep your children entertained can make for a much less stressful trip for parents and children alike.

While activity books and toys work well to keep the kids busy, they will usually work for only so long. Another great option is also packing some movies they will enjoy. If the kids are entertained, the parents will experience less stress, which can lead to a much safer driving experience. Here are a few of the best movies for that long road trip.

Finding Nemo (2003)

Finding Nemo is the ultimate road trip movie. Not only is this film a favorite of both kids and adults, but the characters featured go on a long journey across the ocean. Most kids will be able to relate the journey that Nemo's dad and Dory go on with the journey their family is taking. You can compare the milestones they reach with the ones you encounter along your journey to keep your children engaged and interested.

The animation completed by Pixar in this film is wonderful, and there is plenty of humor, especially from Dory, who is voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. And, if your children love this movie, you can follow up with the sequel, Finding Dory, which will be available this holiday season.

The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express (2004)

This film is based on a 1985 book by the same title. It is the first all-digital capture film, which makes the animation incredibly unique. However, it is the story that truly shines. The tale occurs in the mid-50s on Christmas Eve and is about a boy who sees a train called the Polar Express that goes to the North Pole.

The conductor lets him board the train, and the story follows all of the adventures along the way, culminating in fantastical scenes of Santa's workshop that children are sure to love. The animation and story will capture their attention and if your children aren't already excited to celebrate the holidays, they certainly will be after watching this!

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone seems to always be heavily aired during the holidays, and for a good reason. The slapstick comedy built on the premise of a child being forgotten at home while the rest of his family departs on an international vacation. It is the perfect combination for appealing to many children. They will love the antics along the way as the hero, Kevin, defeats the two would-be robbers through a series of hilarious pranks and tricks.

Parents also love this film as there are touching scenes between Kevin and his family when they are reunited. It reinforces the importance of family, unity, and love—themes that are especially meaningful during the holidays. This film also led to several sequels that could serve as a follow-up to this movie if your road trip is especially long. And, if that's the case, be sure to pack lots of snacks and make sure your car is ready for the journey.

Up (2009)

This touching story follows the journey of a widower named Carl who travels to South America to reach Paradise Falls. This was always the dream of his wife and him. However, his plans have to alter when young Russell, a loveable young wilderness explorer, mistakenly joins Carl's trip.

This is another film that focuses on enjoying an adventure, which any traveling family can relate to. It also reinforces the idea that there are things you cannot change in life but that it is best to let go and focus on the things you can change and complete the things you'd like to do in life before it's too late.

A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Story (1983)

For many people, A Christmas Story is the quintessential holiday movie. This is so widely accepted that, for almost the last twenty years, the networks TNT and/or TBS will air it twelve consecutive times on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day each year. The marathon is called "24 Hours of A Christmas Story."

With so many fans of this film, it is good to introduce it to your children while they are young and can appreciate the story of young Ralphie and his desire for a BB gun as a Christmas gift, much to the dismay of the adults in his life.

With the right selection of holiday movies to keep your children entertained, they may even forget they are in the car and simply feel like they are enjoying a great movie at home! This will allow you to focus on the road and ensure a safe trip for all your loved ones.

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