Free Outdoor Movies in NYC this Summer
What's not to love about free outdoor movies in the the city? Enjoy a summer evening under the stars, just as the day is starting to cool off and chillax. There are a growing number of these outdoor film series and many of them show films your whole family can enjoy. Movies begin at dusk which is generally at around 8 or 8:30pm and many of these series include other entertainment that help you pass the time until the show begins.
Here's a rundown of the best free outdoor movies for kids in NYC this summer:
RiverFlicks in the Hudson River Park is the only kid-only film series. Shown at Pier 46 on Fridays, the 2009 series will be The Wizard of Oz, Kung Fu Panda, Ghostbusters, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars in July and The Muppet Movie, Madagascar 2: Escape from Africa and Curious George in August. Grown-up movies are shown on Wednesdays at Pier 54 and a few, such as Iron Man, The Dark Knight and Hancock could be fun for older kids.
Bryant Park Film Festival shows classic films that many kids will at least tolerate if not enjoy. Not all of them are appropriate, but kids might like How Green Was My Valley, Gold Diggers of 1933 and Breaking Away. You can buy a picnic dinner at kiosks and the park is a wireless hotspot to help pass the time while reserving your spot. Films are free every Monday starting June 15th.
Movies with a View, at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park under the Brooklyn Bridge, has some pics to take the older kids to, including Catch Me if You Can, Edward Scissorhands and The Maltese Falcon (if you think they are up to handling some film noir black-and-white). The setting is lovely, there's DJ music to entertain you while you wait for the movie to start and free valet bike parking thanks to Transportation Alternatives. Free films are on Thursdays in July and August.
Movies Under the Stars - Hoboken are shown in that other Hudson River Park, Hoboken Pier A Park. If you're coming from Manhattan just hop on the PATH train and watch recent films like Horton Hears a Who, Coraline in 3D (free glasses!) and Mamma Mia with Manhattan as your backdrop. Films are shown on Wednesdays from now until August 27.
Movies Under the Stars - Riverside Park shows films on Wednesdays at Pier 1 in Riverside Park South (72nd St) in July and August. They aren't particularly kid-friendly but some of the good ones include Sweet Smell of Success, The Out-of-Towners and Wall Street.
Socrates Sculpture Park every Wed night starting on July 15th, this international film festival focuses on a different culture or country each week and includes regional cuisine from neighborhood restaurants and local musicians or dancers. The entire line up sounds great (Gomorrah, Lou Reed's Berlin, for example) and the addition of musicians and the awesome setting will make any night a kid-pleaser.
Summer Screen at McCarren Park every Wed. evening starting on July 8th in McCarren Park. These screenings aren't exactly kid fair, but the good ones include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MInd, Fame (the kids might like this one) and Wild at Heart.
Waterside Plaza (the apartment complex/community east of the FDR in the 20s) has a series in August of movies, music and dancing. Movies are Monday nights at 8. Free popcorn and beverages are available, but there is limited seating. BYO chairs/blankets as usual, but maybe allow for a little extra time. Though they have not released the line up, all movies are family-friendly.
Central Park Film Series takes place only one week in August, but they will be showing Twilight, which is a huge hit with the tweens.
Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movies Although they haven't been scheduled yet, all of the movies in this series should be family friendly and, even better, you can vote for which movies they're going to show.
Movies on the Elevated Acre Monday nights in July head to this Financial District plaza for classic films like The Seven Year Itch, the original Taking of Pelham 123, and West Side Story (a favorite with the little girls I know).
For even more summer fun, check out our 2009 Summer Fun Guide.