Cut the Cable: Streaming Services for Families with Kids


tv with streaming services My family doesn’t stay at hotels often when we travel these days. We often opt for short-term rentals like Airbnb for the convenience of having our own space, kitchen, washing machine, and often, access to streaming services. However, as our kids have gotten older, we’ve begun to dabble in hotel stays again.

One such time was last spring when my oldest was almost four years old. We were back in our hotel room to rest after a morning of activities and my son asked to watch some cartoons. He went on to request his favorite episode of Paw Patrol or Blaze and the Monster Machines or whatever he was on at the time, and without even thinking I switched on the television when HORROR OF HORRORS I realized that all we had access to was cable TV.

Luckily they happened to be playing something acceptable on one of the channels, but we realized it was time to sit our 47 month old down and have The Talk with him: not everyone has every streaming service known to humankind and there is such a thing as cable TV in which some wizard behind the curtain gets to choose what you watch and when. 

I’ve honestly never seen anyone more baffled, as his whole life he had only ever had complete control over not only which TV show he watched, but which episode and sometimes even minutes and seconds in. 

I honestly don’t remember how long it’s been since my husband and I last had cable. I think it was probably our move between houses in summer of 2020 when we realized that we hadn’t been watching anything besides the local news for years anyway so why were we still paying for all of those extra channels?

So, from someone who hasn’t had cable in almost four years and is probably paying more for streaming services now than she ever did in cable television, a somewhat exhaustive rundown of streaming services, who they’re for, and if they’re worth it. 


The OG that started it all, I’ve been hooked on Netflix since Orange is the New Black days. Through numerous price hikes and scandals, I don’t see my family getting rid of this tried and true favorite any time soon. For anywhere from $6.99 to $22.99/month you can stream quality kids shows like Go, Dog. Go!, Trash Truck and The Magic School Bus, to more true crime documentaries than any one person could get through in a lifetime. And while their quality of original programming has gone down in recent years, they are still pumping out content like Ginny and Georgia, Bridgerton and the entire Harlan Coben franchise that keep me coming back for more. 


Right behind Netflix, Hulu debuted on the scene March 12, 2008 and was my go-to for a long time in my early 20’s as a young, broke, single lady. Unlike Netflix, Hulu was streaming current major network shows, often less than 24 hours after originally airing on television. And while this is still true, starting at $7.99/month they are now also airing their own original content as well as tons of true crime documentaries.

What I will say is they don’t have a whole lot of quality content for kids in my opinion, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this is not necessarily the streaming service to turn to. However, many people who don’t want to completely cut ties with cable television can opt for Hulu Live+ where, for $75.99/month, you can still get major network channels that air the news and major sporting events. 


After Hulu, I was surprised to find out the next streaming services didn’t hit the scene until 2015, with FuboTV, Sling TV and HBO Now all rolling out in the first half of the year. I have to admit I’ve only used FuboTV, which first rolled out to exclusively stream live soccer, one time. My husband and I are not big sports fans, so we don’t currently pay for any of the streaming services that offer live sports streaming, and from what I’ve heard it’s only becoming increasingly more expensive and frustrating to watch live sports.

However, my parents were visiting during the NFL playoffs recently when the Green Bay Packers inexplicably beat the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round, and we did sign up for a free trial to FuboTV to watch the game. I will say, the monthly cost is steep and even my parents, who are sports enthusiasts, said they would not be signing up to stream this service any time soon. However, the experience we had at this one specific time was positive. 

Sling TV 

I admit that I don’t have any personal experience with Sling TV, however when I looked into the most recommended streaming services, this one almost always makes the list. Starting at $40/month you can stream live TV, news and sports all in one place. 

MAX (Formerly HBO Now and HBO Max)

MAX has changed names so many times at this point that I forgot it originally started as a platform for exclusively streaming HBO content. And while at $9.99/month it does have some of the more quality content for adults such as Succession, The Last of Us, and The White Lotus, as well as numerous movies, there isn’t a whole lot for kids aside from Sesame Street, which is pretty hit or miss at my house. 


Disney+ is really where the game started to change as far as streaming services taking precedence over cable. While AppleTV+ technically rolled out a few months earlier, Disney+ was such a hot topic of conversation for so long before its debut in November of 2019 that for the first time since Netflix it felt like if you didn’t have it you were really missing out on something. Lest we forget when they released Hamilton over 4th of July weekend in 2020. It was truly its own holiday event.

If you’re a Disney stan it’s a must have, and at $7.99/month they have some great quality programming for everyone. The Marvel Universe in particular is popular at my house, and the entire Star Wars franchise is also included with the subscription. Obviously, this is a pretty easy recommendation for me. 


If there’s one thing you take away from this long-winded post about streaming services, it is DON’T SLEEP on APPLETV+! This service has some of my favorite current shows including The Crowded Room, Shrinking, Truth Be Told, Severance, Silo, Ted Lasso, and Platonic. I could go on! I will say, at $9.99/month this is not the place that I turn to for kid’s programming, but they have enough for me and my husband to enjoy that it is well worth it for me. 


As one of the cheaper options for online streaming at $5.99/month, Peacock is like Hulu but specifically for shows on NBC. Kind of like an early version of MAX, only they now too create their own original content. So far, though, their original content hasn’t been anything worth mentioning for me. However, if you enjoy shows like The Office or Law & Order, Peacock is the only place that you can currently view some of those tried and true favorites. 


Starting at just $4.99/month, Paramount+ is the only streaming service I have been contemplating subscribing to for a while now but just haven’t made the leap. With select programs from cable channels like CBS, BET, MTV, and Nickelodeon there’s plenty here for your whole household to enjoy. If your kids are big fans of shows like Paw Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines and Santiago of the Sea, this might be the way to go. 

Amazon Prime Video 

The nice thing about Amazon Prime Video is that if you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime, you’re already paying for it. The downside is that it offers very little in the way of actual programming without paying extra. That being said, they do have some great original series for kids including The Stinky & Dirty Show, Tumble Leaf, and Pete the Cat. Also, the reason my family doesn’t currently subscribe to Paramount+ is because we subscribe to Noggin (Nickelodeon programming for preschoolers) through Amazon Prime, and there are plenty of other channels you can subscribe to through Amazon Prime as well including Starz, Philo, Discovery+ and others. 

So, there you have it! This is the most recent information that I’ve come across, so some pricing and package deals may vary. It’s also worth noting that many services offer free trial periods so it’s worth trying them out if you’re unsure about making the leap. Just make sure you keep track of your trial date and cancel if necessary! 

I’m sure I’ve missed some as well, so go off in the comments and let us know what your favorite streaming services (and shows!) are!

Previous articleTop Greater Houston Area Bluebonnet Sightings
Next articleEaster Crafts, Traditions and Recipes
Sean Watson
Sean was born on a cattle ranch in Colorado and grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She moved to the Texas Hill Country with her parents and siblings after receiving her BA in Psychology from Ripon College in 2010. Starting in Kerrville, and eventually making her way to Fredericksburg, Sean spent the year after college dabbling in both social services and the service industry, never quite finding the right fit, but knowing her passion was in service. While living in Fredericksburg, she also met her future husband, Will, and they both eventually ended up in Austin and started dating a year later. While in Austin, Sean found a passion for the practice of yoga. After her initial 200-hour teacher training with Gioconda Parker, she started teaching in 2012, and less than a year later, it became her full time career. Sean has enjoyed teaching and training both domestically and internationally for almost a decade. Meanwhile, Sean and Will got married in May of 2015 and Will’s job moved them to the Clear Lake area of Houston a few months later. Weeks before their 4 year anniversary, they welcomed son Liam {April 2019}. Sean went from full time to part time yoga teacher and, after March 2020, has been teaching yoga exclusively on the online platform, Patreon. Sean and her family are excited to welcome a second baby boy in January 2022! You can follow her on Instagram @seanellenwatson for adorable family photos, yoga content, and things she thinks are funny.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here