One of the best things about the old drive-in movies is that you could pack up the kids in their jammies and they would fall asleep before the second feature, making bedtime a snap. Now, with outdoor summer movies being all the rage, they’ve become the next best thing. And maybe even better since these flicks are either cheap or totally free! If you’re ready to spend a fun-filled evening under the stars, read on for our guide to this summer’s best outdoor movies playing in a park near you.
photo: Outdoor Movies at Marymoor Park
General Rules & Suggestions
While you’ll want to double-check each venue for their own set of rules, generally these rules apply to outdoor movies:
1. All movies begin as dusk unless otherwise noted.
2. Crowds tend to get situated very early for outdoor movies, so the earlier you can arrive, the better for you.
3. Outside food and beverages are permitted (no glass containers).
4. Some venues will have alcohol available on site, but no outside alcohol is allowed.
5. No smoking or vaping is allowed.
6. Bring your low-back lawn chairs, inflatable couches and blankets to keep comfy and warm.
7. Unless otherwise noted, assume that your pooch needs to stay home. Psst…there are a few dog-friendly showings. Keep reading on.
8. Many events offer movie-friendly snacks on the cheap, but it doesn’t hurt to pack some juice boxes and other goodies—just in case they run out before you get there.
9. Not every movie listed below is “family-friendly.” Those titles that are questionable are marked with an (*) asterisk.
photo: Seattle Center
Seattle Center Movies at the Mural
The Space Needle serves as a backdrop for these moonlight movies during weekends in July and August. Bring a picnic dinner and buy your popcorn and candy on site. Or grab some chow at The Amory before settling in for the big show on a state-of-the-art 40-foot screen. As an added bonus, each movie is preceded by a short original film created by students at Cornish College of the Arts.
Good to know: If the skies are unforgiving, be sure to call the rain hotline (206-684-7200) before you go. Info is updated after 2 p.m. Bring the kids (when appropriate) but leave the pooch at home please.
Fri., July 20: A League of Their Own* (Free Bite Movie Night)
Sat., July 28: The Princess Bride
Sat., Aug. 4: Get Out*
Sat., Aug. 11: Little Shop of Horrors*
Sat., Aug. 18: I Am Not Your Negro*
Sat., Aug. 25: Wonder Woman
Seattle Center – Mural Amphitheatre
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Time: Movies start at dusk; around 9 p.m.
Seattle Outdoor Cinema
Seattle’s oldest, longest, original outdoor movie experience has a smaller lineup this year. But don’t worry, they’ll still be a ton of fun. Settle in for a night of big (like 55-foot big) screen fun under the stars. Since this is a popular movie series, we suggest arriving early to get the best seats and to enjoy the beer garden, food trucks and plenty of pre-show entertainment like movie trivia.
July 21: Jurassic Park*
Aug. 25: Black Panther
101 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Time: Event entry opens at 6 p.m.; movies start at dusk (between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.)
photo: West Seattle Outdoor Movies Facebook page
West Seattle Outdoor Movies
West Seattle offers alfresco viewing at their annual Saturday outdoor movie series. From action flicks to family blockbusters, you and the kids can catch it all in the Fauntleroy Triangle next to the YMCA. Make sure to bring your low-back chairs and some dinero for concessions and raffle prizes. All money collected from this summertime series will benefit local charities.
July 21: Wonder Woman
July 28: The Secret Life of Pets
Aug. 4: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Aug. 11: A Wrinkle in Time
Aug. 18: Coco
Aug. 25: Black Panther
Fauntleroy Triangle (next to the YMCA)
3622 S.W. Snoqualmie St.
Seattle, Wa 98126
Time: Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m. Pre-show entertainment starts one hour before the show. Movies start at dusk.
Cinema Under the Stars
Two family-friendly movies will be shown this year on the 26′ inflatable screen in Columbia Park. On July 14, enjoy the Northwest Film Forum’s Best of the Fest of the Children’s International Film Festival which will showcase short films from around the world. Then, come back on Aug. 18 for the Disney/Pixar film, Coco. Concessions will be available and donations for the Rainier Valley Food Bank will gladly be accepted.
July 14: Best of the Fest
Aug. 18: Coco
Columbia City Park
3515 S. Alaska St.
Seattle, Wa 98118
Time: Event entry opens at 8 p.m.; movies start at sunset
Movies at the Marina
Mark your calendars! Movies at the Marina are back this August. Grab your low-back chairs and movie snacks and catch these family flicks under the stars. Psst…be sure to arrive early to get your spot on the lawn and bring along Fido. This is a dog-friendly movie series.
Good to know: Guest moorage is also available; make your reservation by calling 206-787-3006. Free popcorn will be available first come, first serve.
Aug. 3: Overboard*
Aug. 17: Moana
Shilshole Bay Marina
7001 Seaview Ave. N.W., Suite 100
Seattle, Wa 98117
Time: Movies start at dusk (around 9:30 p.m.)
South of Seattle
Summer Bash and Movies in the Park – Tacoma
Metro Parks Tacoma says, “You bring the popcorn and we’ll bring the stars!” Presented by Sound Credit Union, these outdoor movies will be presented at different parks each week. For full directions to each park, visit the Parks department website.
Fri., July 13: Coco (at Stewart Heights Park)
Time: Activities begin at 5 p.m.
Sat., July 28: Moana (Wright Park)
Time: Event entry opens at 7 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 3: Peter Rabbit (Kandle Park)
Time: Activities begin at 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 10: Cars 3 (The Center at Norpoint)
Time: Activities begin at 6 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 17: Sherlock Gnomes (STAR Center)
Time: Activities begin at 5 p.m.
Dive In Movies
Wild Waves presents its “Dive In” movie theater located at the Wave Pool on Fridays from July 6 through August 10. The Dive In Movies are free for both Season Pass ticket holders and those with a daily park admission ticket. Stay after the park closes, grab a tube and hop in the Wave Pool to kick back with the latest release or flashback favorite! Movies begin at dusk. See this summer’s movie schedule below.
July 6: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
July 13: Coco
July 20: The Little Mermaid
July 27: Sherlock Gnomes
August 3: Peter Rabbit
August 10: Jaws (not family-friendly)
Wild Waves Theme & Water Park
36201 Enchanted Pkwy. S.
Federal Way, Wa 98003
Cost: Included with park admission
Scarecrow Video & Magnuson Community Center’s Movies at Magnuson Park
For the first time, Scarecrow Video is showing outdoor movies, in partnership with Magnuson Community Center, with four films highlighting different world cultures. Pack your movie snacks and blankets and settle in for a night under the starry Seattle skies. Psst..there will be art activities for kids before each showing.
Aug. 2 – A Cat in Paris
Aug. 16 – Ponyo
Aug. 23 – Coco
Aug. 30 – Queen of Katwe
Magnuson Park Amphitheater
6310 N.E. 74th St.
Seattle, Wa 98115
Time: Children’s art activities begin at 7:30 p.m.; movies begin at dusk.
photo: The City of Poway
Outdoor Movies at Marymoor Park
Now in its 14th season, this popular park-turned-movie venue is more than just movies. While your family waits for it to get dark, they can enjoy the local food trucks, live entertainment, trivia contests and vendors. And you don’t have to leave Fido at home because every showing is doggy-friendly (as long as you keep Fido on his leash.) Psst…be sure to bring your cell phone, so you can enter the trivia contests. All movies will be shown rain or shine, so pack an umbrella just in case.
Thurs., June 28: The Goonies (Live music provided by Aaron J. Shay)
Thurs., July 5: Wonder Woman (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Wed., July 11: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Wed., July 18: Coco (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Wed., July 25: The Greatest Showman (Cirque entertainment by Strangely)
Thurs., Aug. 2: 10 Things I Hate About You (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Wed., Aug. 8: Thor: Ragnarok (Live music by Brian Ernst)
Wed. Aug. 15: Ferdinand (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Wed. Aug. 22: Black Panther (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Wed. Aug. 29: The Princess Bride (Cirque entertainment by The Cabiri)
Cost: $5 or $6/person (cash or credit). Ages 5 & under Free. Parking is $5.
Time: Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk after event entertainment.
Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies at the Park
Bellevue Parks and Community Services is bringing back its popular outdoor movie series to Bellevue Downtown Park. The best part? Each showing includes free admission, free pre-movie entertainment and free popcorn! Each week, a different non-profit agency will be on hand, so that audiences can learn more and donate to their causes as they see fit. Each movie will be shown on Tuesday nights at dusk.
July 10: Despicable Me 3 (Charity – Cystic Fibrosis)
July 17: Boss Baby (Charity – Seattle Children’s Hospital)
July 24: The Lego Ninjago Moive (Charity – Imagine Housing)
July 31: Goodbye Christopher Robin (Charity – Hopelink)
Aug. 7: Paddington 2 (Charity – Bellevue Lifespring)
Aug. 14: The Greatest Showman (Charity – Girl Up)
Aug. 21: Ghostbusters (Charity – Sophia Way)
Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 NE 4th St.
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Time: Pre-movie entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m.; movies begin at dusk (approximately 9 p.m.)
Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights
Grab your low-back chairs and blankets and come ready to relax and enjoy a late night movie on a huge screen overlooking Lake Washington. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Hopelink, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency to all members of the community. Some concessions like popcorn, soda and candy will be on hand for purchase.
July 7: Despicable Me 3
July 21: The Wedding Singer*
Aug. 4: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Aug. 18: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
4100 Carillon Point
Kirkland, Wa 98033
Cost: $5 suggested donation (benefits Hopelink)
Time: Movies begin at dusk; the plaza will be open one hour prior for seating.
Crossroads Movies in the Park
The Crossroads Shopping Center is partnering with the City of Bellevue Parks and Recreation to bring you four Thursday night outdoor films this August. Each movie will be shown under the stars on a huge, 40-foot inflatable screen with a state-of-the-art projection and sound system. Plus, along with free admission each movie includes free family activities beginning at 7:30 p.m. and free popcorn!
Good to know: In the case of inclement weather, the decision to cancel the movie will be made no later than 3 p.m. on the day of the showing. Please call 425-452-4240 for cancellation updates.
Aug. 2: Coco
Aug. 9: Wonder
Aug. 16: Cars 3
Aug. 23: Beauty & The Beast
Crossroads Shopping Center
15600 N.E. 8th St.
Bellevue, Wa 98008
Time: Event entry opens at 7:30 p.m.; movies begin at dusk (around 9 p.m.).
photo: City of Everett website
North of Seattle
Cinema Under the Stars – Everett
Located at Thornton A. Sullivan Park on Silver Lake, your family can plan a day at the beach and then cuddle in for a late night movie. Along with blockbuster titles, each movie will feature special pre-movie entertainment as well. Snacks will be available for purchase, but its cash only.
July 20: Early Man (with The Reptile Man)
July 27: Coco (with arts and crafts by Imagine Children’s Museum)
Aug. 3: Wonder (with arts and crafts by Imagine Children’s Museum)
Aug. 10: Moana (with Tamali’i Polynesian Dance)
Aug. 17: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (with Pacific Science Center’s Super Cool Science Show)
Thornton A. Sullivan Park
Camp Patterson Field
11405 Silver Lake Rd.
Everett, Wa 98208
Time: Pre-movie entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m.; movies begin at dusk.
Edmonds Outdoor Movie Nites
Grab your low-back chairs and comfy blankets and take the kiddies to the Frances Anderson Center Field for two great movie nights this summer. Bring your own snacks or purchase refreshments on site.
July 27: Moana
Aug. 3: Wonder
Frances Andersen Center Field
700 Main St.
Edmonds, Wa 98020
Time: Event entry opens at 7 p.m.; movies begin around 9 p.m.
Outdoor Movies – Arlington
The city of Arlington is offering three outdoor movies this summer beginning with Star Wars: The Last Jedi held during the Arlington Airport Fly which is located at 18204 59th Ave. N.E. The other two will be presented at Terrace Park.
July 6: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Showtime: 9:15 p.m.
July 12: Early Man
Showtime: 9 p.m.
July 19: Peter Rabbit
Showtime: 9 p.m.
809 E. 5th St.
Arlington, Wa 98223
Sail-in Cinema – Everett
This summer, you and your kid crew can sail-in to the Friday night outdoor movies at the Port of Everett’s North Guest Docks 6 & 7 (first come, first served) or watch by land at Boxcar Park. Come early to grab a good seat and get a bag of popcorn courtesy of the Port of Everett. Movie concession items will also be available for a fee. And as a bonus, Mom and Dad can can enjoy the movie with an adult beverage at the Bluewater Distilling ‘Voyaging Bar’ hosted by and in benefit of local non-profit groups Cocoon House and Housing Hope.
Good to know: In the event of rain or extreme weather, the movie will be cancelled. Cancellations will be posted on the Port of Everett’s website as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages. If you are watching by boat, you can listen with the sound system or tune into a radio frequency on your boat (to be provided at the start of the movie).
July 20: Jaws*.
Showtime: 9:30 p.m.
July 27: Grease*
Showtime: 9:20 p.m.
Aug. 3: E.T.
Showtime: 9:10 p.m.
Aug. 10: Up
Showtime: 8:55 p.m.
Aug. 17: Wonder Woman
Showtime: 8:45 p.m.
Aug. 24: Top Gun*
Showtime: 8:30 p.m.
615 13th S.E.
Everett, Wa 98201
Popcorn in the Park Movie Series – Marysville
The city of Marysville is hosting their own movie series this summer on Saturday nights at Jennings Park Lions Centennial Pavilion. Bring your low-back chairs, pillows and blankets and settle in for five different family flicks under the stars.
July 14: Descipable Me 3
July 21: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
July 28: Cars 3
Aug. 4 Wonder Woman
Aug. 11: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
6915 Armar Rd.
Marysville, Wa 98270
Time: Event entry opens at 7 p.m.; movies start around 9 p.m. (times vary depending on sundown).
photo: City of Poway
Movies in the Park – Snohomish
Families in the North Sound can take in family flicks under the stars at Willis Tucker Community Park. Be sure to arrive early for the pre-movie entertainment provided by BridgeCity Church, North End Jazz and Community Transit. If you forget to pack snacks, the Mill Creek Lions Club will once again be selling movie snacks (think: popcorn, candy, soda, water). Seating is on the grass, so low-back chairs and blankets are recommended.
July 12 – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Showtime: 9:35 p.m.
July 19 – Ferninand
Showtime: 9:27 p.m.
July 26 – The Greatest Showman
Showtime: 9:18 p.m.
Aug. 2 – Coco
Showtime: 9:07 p.m.
Aug. 9 – Wonder
Showtime: 8:55 p.m.
Aug. 16 – Beauty and the Beast
Showtime: 8:41 p.m.
Willis Tuck Community Park
6705 Puget Park Dr.
Snohomish, Wa 98296
Cost: Free (donations benefiting Snohomish County Parks encouraged)
Time: Event entry opens at 7 p.m.; movie starts at times listed above.
— Jeffrey Totey & Kristina Moy