Wee Guide: Outdoor Movie Nights for Families

Another benefit of a Philly summer Read more

family outdoor movies philadelphia

Outdoor movies are maybe the perfect movie setting for little ones — there’s room to move (and roam, if need be); you can bring your own snacks out in the open; you needn’t worry about every noise a kid makes out in the open. Also: Isn’t it a great, classic way to enjoy a summer night, catching a flick under the stars? (FOR FREE!!!?!!) Yes, it is. Here, some places you can do just that. (Be sure to check the websites before you go, just to make sure the film is still on and for details and times.)

Where: The Schuylkill Banks, at the Walnut Street Bridge. If you get there early enough, there’s even free snacks!
When: Thursday nights from June 7 through August 23.
A few family-friendly options: Moana, Coco, Beetlejuice, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (for older kids, I guess, right?), Black Panther ... among others.

Where: The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
When: Thursday nights from July 5 through August 30.
A few family-friendly options: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther … 

WhereEakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (pictured!)
When: Friday nights while the Oval is in session — you can
A few family-friendly options: The only movie thus far scheduled on the site is Spaceballs, and that’s on August 11, but in years past, they have run movies on several Friday nights in July and August. Check in with the site periodically!

WhereFranklin Square
When: Select Fridays in July and August
A few family-friendly options: The Lion King on July 27 and Coco on August 24. 

WhereDilworth Park
When: Friday nights July 20 through August 24.
A few family-friendly options: Star Wars; The Last Jedi, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther,  The Greatest Showman, Wonder Woman

Where: Schmidt’s Commons
Select Thursday nights in June and July (check the site!)
A few family-friendly options: The Greatest Showman, Spiderman: Homecoming, Sound of Music 

Where: The Dell Music Center
When: Select nights in July and August
A few family-friendly options: Black Panther and The Nutty Professor

Where: Bartram’s Garden
When: Select Friday nights in  June, July, August and September (see site!)
A few family-friendly options: The Wiz (an interactive, sing-along showing!!), plusThe Jungle Book, Peter Rabbit, The Good Dinosaur. And if you get there an hour before showtimes (which vary — check the site before you go), then you and the fam get a free twilight tour of the garden. Also: Free popcorn and lemonade!!

Where: Various locations around the city (The Piazza; the Convention Center; PMA steps; Xfinity Live), as part of Wawa Welcome America
When: June 28 through July 2
A few family-friendly options: The Nutty Professor, Sing, Rocky, Pitch Perfect, E.T.  

Where: Clark Park
When: Friday nights from August 10 to August 31
A few family-friendly options: Back to the Future, Coco, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther

Where: La Peg‘s Haas Beirgarten underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge
When: Wednesday nights from June 6 to August 15
A few family-friendly options: A few for older kids — and what an awesome lineup for them: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Can’t Hardly Wait, Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You, Men In Black, The Parent Trap …   Note: No outside food or drink allowed (as it’s a restaurant!).

Where: Various and sundry neighborhood parks all over the city 
When: Various days of the week into September
What you can see: You can check the Parks and Rec site for details — generally, an event calendar goes up at some point for outdoor movies. But in the meantime, here is the list of films and parks that I got in a press release:
Benson Park                8/25/18                       Coco
Cliveden Park              8/3/18                         TBD
Coxe Park                     9/14/18                       Solo, A Star Wars Story
Fisher Park                  8/8/18                         Moana
Hart                                8/23/18                       Black Panther
Hunting Park              8/11/18                       Avengers: Infinity War
Inn Yard Park              8/16/18                       Zootopia
Loudoun Park             6/21/18                       Black Panther
Mifflin Square Park   7/25/18                       Coco
Overington Park         7/14/18                       Black Panther
Penn Treaty                7/10/18                       Coco
Pennypack Park         8/17/18                       Inside Out
Pleasant Hill Park      8/3/18                         A Bug’s Life
Powers Park               9/7/18                         Coco
Rainbow de Colores  8/4/18                         Iron Man 2
Shot Tower Park        9/8/18                         Coco
Tacony Creek Park    TBD
Triangle Park              8/18/18                       Black Panther 

Photo credit: Fairmount Parks Conservancy