When you're in the LA area with the kiddos, Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-visit destination. It's even more exciting now the the long awaited Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now open! We had a chance to visit on our last trip to the southland, and it tied in to the Hollywood theme of our trip. There's really something for everyone here, and to top it off, you can take a tour of the famous Universal back lot and get a glimpse of movie magic in action.
One of the great things about living in California is the sheer amount of things for families to do. We love to get away to Southern California for all it has to offer, and we decided to make our last visit there all about movies and Hollywood. One of the highlights of our trip was the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. It's fun and fascinating—even on a rainy day like when we were there—and a must-visit during your family's Hollywood experience!
The tour takes place at Warner Bros'. legendary studio and back lot in Burbank. The whole experience is well organized and everyone we met on the tour was super knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Tours start with a brief indroductory video after which you meet your tour guide, board a tram, and head off for your Hollywood experience. On the tour you'll wind through almost every part of the famous Warner Bros. back lot. If you experience a sense of deja vu during your back lot tour, there's a good reason for that—an enormous number of well-known Hollywood movies and TV shows were and are shot here, from The Maltese Falcon,Rebel Without a Cause, and Blazing Saddles to Grease Live, Friends, and Gilmore Girls.
During the holidays, we're inundated with Christmas-themed movies and TV specials of all different kinds. But what's really worth spending your time watching? Being something of a family of movie buffs, we decided to put together our list of favorite holiday movies and specials, so here are seven seasonal offerings that we think are worth repeat watching each December.
Based on the picture book of the same name by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman is short 27-minute animated film that tells the story of a young boy who builds a snowman on Christmas Eve, only to find that it comes to life later on that night and takes him on a magical journey to the North Pole.
There’s no dialogue to speak of, except for some introductory narration by David Bowie (yes, David Bowie). The Snowman, with its musical interlude featuring the haunting song Walking in the Air, beautiful animation, and messages of friendship and loss, is a true classic. Your kids will love it, and I challenge any parent not to get choked up by the end.
Halloween is a few weeks away, and there's nothing much better than watching a spooky (but not too scary) movie with the family and sharing a big bowl of popcorn. I polled everyone in our family to find out what their favorite Halloween movies were, and we came up with this list of ten that we think are must-sees.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (G)
Wallace and Gromit, the ever-charming cheese-loving claymation duo, star in this clever sendup of monster movies, where something horrible ravages gardens and threatens a village's veggie-growing competition. Cute and clever with plenty of jokes (including a few that only grown-ups will get). Ages 3 and up.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (G)
This Halloween classic has been family favorite since 1966, so you probably watched it when you were a kid. Charlie Brown still gets nothing but rocks while trick-or-treating, Linus is always positive that the Great Pumpkin will pay a visit to the pumpkin patch, and it's still funny and touching. For all ages.
Pack a picnic, gather up the kids, and spend a summer weekend night watching a family friendly movie at Angel Island State Park! You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event, which takes place on Saturday, July 23, from 5 to 10:30 pm. Come enjoy the animated movie Madagascar under the stars, have a picnic dinner, and create some fabulous memories with friends and family at this unique experience on Angel Island.
Movie Night is a fundraiser sponsored by Angel Island Conservancy to benefit Angel Island State Park, including a scholarship programs and other park improvements. All proceeds benefit the Angel Island Conservancy. Tickets cost $30 per person for adults and $15 for children 12 and under, and include the ferry ride to Angel Island from Tiburon. VIP tables for up to six guests that include ferry passage, two bottles of wine, and a picnic dinner are available for $500 each. Order your tickets online here.
This summer, Cinemark's Summer Movie Clubhouse offers fun weekly summer movies for kids at the bargain price of only $1 per show or 10 movies for only $5! 10-show discount punch cards are limited in quantity and must be purchased in advance at the theater box office or online at cinemark.com.
All films are rated G or PG. For more info, visit their website. (Make sure you download the Summer Movie Clubhouse flyer for a $1-off coupon for a kids' Movie Snack Pack at the concession stand.)
Come to Marin Country Mart at Larkspur Landing this summer for free, family-friendly movies on the green! Every Wednesday at 6 pm, Marin Country Mart will present a great family film, so pack up the beach chairs, blankets, and of course the kids, for a great night of outdoor movie fun. Bring your own food or purchase dinner from one of the Mart's restaurants, including , Belcampo, Farmshop, and Rustic Bakery.
Summer means its time for free outdoor movies in Marin and the Bay Area, so grab your blankets and pillows, pack the picnic basket, and get ready to enjoy some flicks al fresco. Here's our guide to free family-friendly outdoor movies in Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma County. Most movies begin at dusk or around 8 pm; check the organizer's website for exact time and location.
We can't think of any family that isn't a fan of Pixar movies, and we especially love the fact that they're made here right in the Bay Area. On June 9, you and your family can experience unforgettable moments from 13 of your favorite Disney/Pixar films in an all new way—accompanied live by our own Marin Symphony!
The first-ever concert of its kind in the North Bay, Pixar in Concert will feature the symphony, led by Maestro Alasdair Neale, in musical selections from Brave, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, Up, Monsters Inc. Wall-e, Ratatouille, and more. It's a great way to introduce kids to the magic of the orchestra and live music, and a fun way to celebrate the Marin Symphony's 60th season.
Pixar in Concert takes place on Sunday, June 9, at 3 pm at Marin Center's Veterans' Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now (and are apparently going fast!) and range in price from $20 to $75. You can order yours online, by calling (415) 473-6800, or in person at the Marin Center Box Office (Monday–Friday, 11 am–5 pm, and Saturday, 11 am–3 pm). Marin Center is located at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael, near the Marin Civic Center.