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5 Family-Friendly Netflix Documentaries

If your family likes to combine entertainment with learning, then there’s nothing like a documentary to fulfil both those needs at once. These documentaries available on Netflix would work well for your next family movie night. 

The Short Game

This documentary follows seven- and eight-year-old golfers as they get ready to compete in the 2012 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Sounds cute? It is, but there’s a lot in here about hard work, dealing with setbacks, having goals, sportsmanship, competition, and coping with winning and losing. There are plenty of teachable moments in this film and there’s lots of material that can fuel a post-movie family discussion. Good for kids six and up. 

Chasing Coral 

Chasing Coral follows a team of scientists, divers, and photographers documenting the world’s disappearing coral reefs. They’re trying to capture a coral bleaching event on film. That is, the mass death of a coral reef due to rising water temperature. There’s plenty of footage out there of the before and after, but not of the event itself. Full of gorgeous underwater photography, this documentary has an urgent message about the fragility of our natural world and how we impact it. Good for kids ages eight and up.  

The Battered Bastards of Baseball 

The now defunct Portland Mavericks were a minor league baseball team without a major league affiliate. And this made them a unique story during their reign in the 1970s. Owned by baseball-obsessed actor Bing Russell (Kurt Russell’s father), the Mavericks were a team of misfits and outcasts who liked nothing more than beating the clean-cut kids on other teams bound for the majors. The story of the Portland Mavericks is one of baseball’s last true underdog stories. Good for kids twelve and up. 


Babies follows four infants during the first year of their lives. Ponijao is from Namibia, Mari is from Japan, Bayar is from Mongolia, and Hattie is from the US. There’s a bit of cuteness overload going on here, but there’s a lot of interesting differences in the lives and experiences of the babies. There’s no narration, so expect to be explaining some things to younger children. Good for kids six and up. 

The Last Man on the Moon

Eugene Cernan is the astronaut who commanded Apollo 17, which makes him (for the moment) the last man to have set foot on the moon. A lot of the footage shot by the Apollo 17 team, which includes some of the clearest footage of the moon we have, is in this film. But the scope of The Last Man on the Moon is a bit larger than just the mission itself. It’s also about how hard Cernan worked to become the commander of an Apollo mission, the toll the life of an astronaut took on his family, and what he had to give up to fulfil his dreams. Good for kids ten and up.