It’s getting to be that time of year again, guys — outdoor movie night season! I don’t know what it is, exactly, that is so magical about sitting on a blanket in the grass instead of on your couch in the living room, but there you have it: Every movie gets about 75 percent better when you’re watching it under the stars. Here, some of the best places in the city you can catch a family-friendly movie this summer — in just about every case, for FREE! In other words: Put this on your summer bucket list, people! (And check the individual sites for dates, times and details.)
Where: The Schuylkill Banks, at various locations along the river. There’s FREE films at the Walnut Street Bridge, Grays Ferry Crescent (at the Esplanade) and Paine’s Skate Park. (If you get there early enough, there’s even free snacks!)
When: Thursday nights, June 11 through August 13
What you can see: Mean Girls, Tangled, The Wizard of Oz, The Lego Movie, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure ... among others.
Where: The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
When: Every Thursday in July and August
What you can see: The Goonies, Back to the Future, Annie, Home, Cinderella, Guardians of the Galaxy and more. (For free!)
Where: Eakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
When: Friday nights, July 15 through August 23
What you can see: The schedule is set to be announced on the site and/or the Fairmount Park Conservancy site on the week of June 8. (The Oval project is a partnership between Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.)
Where: Franklin Square
When: Select Saturday nights in July and August
What you can see: The Lego Movie and A Dolphin’s Tale (and FYI, there’s Ghostbusters in September) — all for free. And there are games and pre-show activities, which are also free. (Bonus: Square Burger!!)
Where: Dilworth Park
When: Tuesday nights from now through June. The movies have actually been running since the beginning of May, but you still have time to grab your blanket or lawn chair and catch a flick.
What you can see: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Boxtrolls, and Annie
Where: Hawthorne Park, at 12th and Catharine
When: The last Friday in May (hey, that’s tonight!), June, July and August
What you can see: Tonight it’s Frozen, but there will also be Annie, Big Hero 6 and Toy Story.
Where: Headhouse Square Shambles
When: A couple times a month through the end of September — they’re not all family-friendly, but if you check the schedule, you’ll see a few are. There are also some great food truck appearances planned, too.
What you can see: Among the child-friendly movies are The Muppets Take Manhattan (on June 24) and E.T. in August.