In my book, one of the best parts of summer — right up there with baseball games and the ice cream man — is plopping down on a blanket in the grass and watching a movie under the night sky. It almost doesn’t even matter what the film is — as long as there’s a screen, a few stars, and decent snacks, it’s all good. And summer in Philly is just packed with outdoor movies — many of which are family-friendly, and most of which are FREE. Here, round-up of places breaking out the projector. (Check the individual sites for dates, times and details.)
Where: The Schuylkill Banks, at a couple locations along the river. There’s FREE films at the Walnut Street Bridge and Grays Ferry Crescent (at the Esplanade). (If you get there early enough, there’s even free snacks!)
When: Thursday nights, June 2 through August 11
What you can see: Dirty Dancing, Big Hero 6, Space Jam, Inside Out, Labyrinth and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ... among others.
Where: The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
When: Thursday nights, June 30 to August 25
What you can see: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Beetlejuice, Inside Out, Zootopia, and more. (For free!)
Where: Various and sundry neighborhood parks all over the city
When: Mondays and Wednesdays, June 20 to August 31
What you can see: All kinds of family-friendly movies: Minions, Pan, Aladdin, The Peanuts Movie, Home, Alvin & the Chipmunks, The Good Dinosaur, and more. Check the Parks and Rec site for details!
Where: Eakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
When: Friday nights
What you can see: TBD. Last year, the schedule was announced the Fairmount Park Conservancy site in early June. (The Oval project is a partnership between Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.)
Where: Franklin Square
When: Select Saturdays in July and August
What you can see: Mary Poppins, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Muppet Movie and Aladdin — all for free. And there are games and pre-show activities, which are also free. (Bonus: Square Burger!!) Also: On Wednesday, July 27, Wawa Welcome America is playing Finding Nemo!
Where: Dilworth Park
When: This year, the only films scheduled at this point are July 20-23, movies that will run as part of the “political moviefest” in the park — you know, in honor of the DNC.
What you can see: The films haven’t been determined yet: The Center City District is actually keeping with the theme and taking votes! But it should be noted that given the film topics — presidents and politics — the chances that they’ll be kid-friendly seem slim. Possible, but slim. (That’s why we have sitters, no?)
Where: Hawthorne Park, at 12th and Catharine
When: Friday June 24, Friday July 29, Friday August 26
What you can see: The Good Dinosaur, Minions and Aladdin.
Where: Various Philly Landmarks
When: During Wawa Welcome America, there will be free screenings of family-friendly movies: June 27 is Finding Nemo at Franklin Square; June 28 is The Good Dinosaur at Xfinity Live; June 29 is Rocky on the PMA steps.
What you can see: See above!