There’s something magical about a night under the stars watching your favorite family movie. Bundle the little buddies up in some cozy jammies and pack the popcorn and cocoa for a night they won’t forget. We’ve rounded up loads of Bay Area options to make it easier for you to plan your next outdoor movie night. Scroll down for the spots!
photo: waferboard via flickr
Lafayette Park hosts movie nights throughout the summer with Best in Show coming on June 14. Check out their Facebook page for updates on other movie nights to come!
Gough Street and Washington Street
San Francisco, CA
Film Night in the Park is a long-standing San Francisco tradition that kicks off in August. 2019 films have not yet been announced so check their website for more info later this summer.
The EB hamlet of Danville presents Moonlight Movies on the Town Green on Friday nights. Sweltering East Bay days usually mean blissfully warm summer evenings, so no need to swap out the shorts and t-shirts for this post-sunset excursion. The best part just might be the kids crafts and activities starting at 6:30 p.m. and running up until movie time (sundown). This year’s movies:
June 14 – Little Giants
June 28 – Bolt
July 12 – Black Panther
July 26 – Mary Poppins
August 9 – Incredibles 2
photo: Jack London Square
Jack London Square hosts Waterfront Flicks every other Thursday throughout the summer. Get there early to play trivia games or take in the waterfront. This year’s picks include:
June 21 – The Sandlot
July 5 – The Greatest Showman
July 19 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
August 2 – Bridesmaids
August 16 – Coco
August 30 – Black Panther
Dining: Right at Jack London Square, you will find lots of dining options, from takeout to food trucks to sit-down dinner.
Hayward and Vicinity
Various venues in and near Hayward host free outdoor flicks as a part of Outdoor Movies Around the District. Festivities start at 6 p.m. with music, local vendors and the mobile recreation program. Movies begin a dusk.
June 28 – Hotel Transylvania 2 – Hayward City Hall Plaza
July 20 – Small Foot – San Lorenzo Theatre
August 16 – Incredibles 2 – Adove Park
September 6 – Ralph Breaks the Internet – Meek Estate Park
photo: Joel Wade Photography
Redwood City offers Movies on the Square, located right in the middle of town at the quaint Courthouse Square in front of City Hall. Movie nights here are super kid-friendly and well attended. Camp chairs are allowed at this venue. The 2019 lineup, which includes some vintage films along with newer hits, goes through August 29 when we get some of our best summer weather. All movies are Thursdays at sundown.
June 6 – Green Book
June 13 – Angels in the Outfield
June 20 – Avengers: Infinity War
June 27 – Despicable Me 3
July 11 – Crazy Rich Asians
July 18 – Sweet Home Alabama
July 25 – Bumblebee
August 1 – Incredibles 2
August 8 – Bohemian Rhapsody
August 15 – Ralph Breaks the Internet
August 22 -Forest Gump
August 29 – Captain Marvel
Dining: Downtown Redwood City has a number of restaurants a mere stone’s throw away so grab some take-out and head over. Just take note that there are a limited number of tables and chairs available on the Square. Right on Broadway you’ll find the kid-friendly Old Spaghetti Factory with pastas and salads served family style. A few blocks away try The Sandwich Spot, open from 10 a.m.-midnight and specializing in sandwiches and build-your-own salads.
From July through mid-August, Mountain View hosts outdoor movie nights every Friday at various parks throughout the city. This summer’s flicks are:
July 12 – Incredibles 2 – Cuesta Park
July 19 – Smallfoot – Sylvan Park
July 26- LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – Stevenson Park
August 2 – Ralph Breaks the Internet – Eagle Park
August 9 – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Whisman Park
August 16 – Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse – Rengstorff Park
Dining: Get Zume Pizza to deliver your dinner!
photo: Santa Clara County Parks
Throughout the summer, the South Bay parks come alive with In the Park After Dark Movie Night—a movie marathon sponsored by the Santa Clara County Parks. At some locations food vendors will be available. There is a $6 parking fee to enter the parks. View the schedule of 30 movies including Coco, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Moana and more.
photo: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Enjoy free movies on the beach at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. Bring a blanket or low-backed chair, grab some funnel cake or a corn dog and settle in for a night the kids won’t forget. The summer line-up is:
June 19 – The Lost Boys
June 26 – School of Rock
July 3 – The Sandlot
July 10 – Jurassic Park
July 17 – Book of Life
July 24 – The Outsiders
July 31 – The Wedding Singer
August 7 – Bumblebee
August 14 – The Goonies
photo: Paul Jackman Photography
Montalvo Arts Center invites movie-lovers to sit under the stars and enjoy classic movies with Sunset Cinemas. Part of its Summer Nights Series, the free screenings of The Wizard of Oz, Grease, and Jaws will take place on the front lawn of Montalvo, where guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or low chair to set up. Beer, wine, and snacks will also be available for purchase on-site. Shows start at 8:30 p.m. and premium parking can be purchased in advance for $15.
July 12 – The Wizard of Oz
July 26, 2019 – Grease (Sing-Along!)
August 2 – Jaws
Movies in the Park is back for 2019 and the lineup is bigger and better than ever. Bring a low beach chair or blanket. The screenings start at sundown.
July 12 – Where the Wild Things Are – Friends Field
August 9 – Spiderman Into the Spiderverse – Old Mill Park
September 13 – Ralph Breaks the Internet – Friends Field
October 11 – Coraline – Old Mill Park
Movies in Creek Park brings you a new film every Saturday from June through October. Family features include:
June 22 – Tangled
August 17 – Wizard of Oz
September 21 – Willow
October 26 – Beetlejuice
Marin Country Mart plays host to this outdoor movie series that is fun for the whole fam. Kids can sit on mini-directors chairs on the lawn while parents can sit back on blankets and picnic and ch
at. The schedule has yet to be announced so stay tuned for an update!
St. Francis Winery and Vineyards brings back Stars Under the Stars for another year this July. The night starts with a concert at 7 p.m. followed by a movie.
July 16 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
July 30 – The Goonies
Movie Nights in the Park comes to San Rafael parks starting in July.
July 11 – LEGO Movie 2 – Victor Jones Park
July 18 – Incredibles 2 – Terra Linda Park
July 25 – Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse – Pickleweed Park
August 1 – Up – Fallkirk Cultural Center
August 8 – How to Train Your Dragon/Hidden World – Gerstle Park
Tips and Tricks
- Bring a flashlight for walking out at the end of the night, especially if you’ll be carrying tired little ones through the park. Headlamps are super handy.
- Leave strollers and taller chairs at home; unless otherwise mentioned they probably aren’t allowed. Bring plenty of blankets and low-back chairs. Camping pads make it extra comfy.
- Check with the venue’s policy about dogs (some parks do not allow dogs).
- Put the kiddos in PJ’s before you get there – makes it easier to roll them into bed when you get home.
- Bring in the majority of your food/dinner to make it easy to settle in with the kids. If your venue offers food vendors, bring cash as some don’t take plastic.
- Make a donation. These are free events, but they do cost money to run. Even $1 helps make sure families can enjoy these evenings summer after summer.
—Kate Loweth & Amber Guetebier