Along with the lazy days of summer comes free (or super cheap) family flicks. The best part? You can pack your own snacks and comfy low-back seats and it won’t matter if your little movie buffs can’t make it through a whole show. Just remember to pack their jammies, so you can make a car-to-bed switcheroo when you get home.
photo: Seattle Outdoor Movies Facebook page
PEMCO Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park
Now in its sixth season, this popular Thursday evening series not only offers great big screen movies for the whole fam, but also fun attractions like cirque performers, movie trivia contests, musical performances, giveaways and some of Seattle’s best food trucks (think Wicked Pies pizza, Charlie’s Buns N’ Stuff, Buddha Bruddah and Express Mexican Kitchen). If you’re too tired to pack the movie snacks, don’t worry. Concessions such as kettle corn, ice cream, coffee and sweet treats will be available. All movies are Fido-friendly and take place rain or shine.
July 7: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with the Zambini Brothers giant puppets
July 14: Labyrinth with a “Name That Price” gameshow activity
July 21: Star Wars: The Force Awakens with The Cabiri acrobats
July 28: The Incredibles with music by Amber Darland
Aug. 4: Guardians of the Galaxy with the Zambini Brothers giant puppets
Aug. 11: Zootopia with The Carbiri stilt walkers
Aug. 18: The Sandlot with music by Brian Ernst
Aug. 25: The Goonies with The Cabiri performers
Cost: $5/person for entertainment, trivia and food truck area; 5 & under Free
Time: Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk.
Seattle Outdoor Cinema
Seattle’s oldest, longest, original outdoor movie experience is moving to South Lake Union. The season opener will take place in Fremont but then move to its new location on July 23. Grab your low-back chairs, pillows and inflatable couches and settle in for a night of 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. To guarantee your seats, you can purchase tickets online or purchase a season pass. Note: These movies are not suitable for children, so save them for date nights!
July 16: Deadpool (21 & older)
July 23: Pretty Woman (21 & older)
July 30: Mad Max: Fury Road (21 & older)
Aug. 6: Grand Budapest Hotel (21 & older)
Aug. 19: The Big Lebowski (21 & older)
3501 Phinney Ave. N. (July 16 screening)
Seattle, Wa 98103
101 Westlake Ave. N. (new location on South Lake Union starting July 23)
Seattle, Wa 98109
Time: Gates open at 7 p.m.; movies start at dusk (approximately 10 min. earlier each week). July screenings typically start at 9:30 p.m.; August screenings typically start at 8:30 p.m.
photo: Seattle Center
Seattle Center Movies at the Mural
The Space Needle serves as a backdrop for these moonlight movies on Saturdays. Bring a picnic and buy 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. 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.
July 30: The Princess Bride Quote-Along
Aug. 6: Mad Max: Fury Road (Rated R)
Aug. 13: Galaxy Quest
August 20: West Side Story
August 27: Life of Pi
Seattle Center – Mural Amphitheatre
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Time: Movies start at dusk; around 9 p.m.
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 fam can catch it all in the courtyard between Hotwire Coffee and Dr. Wolff. Make sure to bring your low-back chairs and some dinero for concessions, raffle prizes and even root beer floats with Husky Deli ice cream. All money collected from this summertime series will benefit local charities.
July 16: Star Wars Episode VII
July 23: Monty Python Holy Grail
July 30: School of Rock
Aug. 6: Skyfall
Aug. 13: The Lego Movie
Aug. 20: The Princess Bride (at the Triangle Festival St.)
Courtyard between Hotwire Coffee & Dr. Wolff
4410 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98106
Cost: Free (donations accepted)
Time: Gates open at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk. Pre-show entertainment starts one hour before the show.
photo: Port of Seattle, Don Wilson
Movies at the Marina
Mark your calendars! Movies at the Marina are back this August. Grab your low-back chairs, comfy blankets and sweaters (the air can be chilly next to the Puget Sound) and catch these family flicks under the stars. Be sure to arrive early to get your spot on the lawn. Blankets and low chairs are allowed on the lawn; regular chairs will be allowed to the sides and in the back. Psst! This is a Fido-friendly movie series. Guest moorage is also available; make your reservation by calling 206-787-3006. Free popcorn will be available.
Aug. 5: The LEGO Movie
Aug. 12: PAN
Shilshole Bay Marina
7001 Seaview Ave. N.W., Suite 100
Seattle, Wa 98117
Time: Movies start at dusk
Seattle Parks and Recreation Outdoor Movies
This summer, you and your crew can catch some family flicks under the stars at Westlake Park and Occidental Square Park as well as Cascade Playground, Bell Street Park and Hing Hay Park. Be sure to arrive early to stake out your spot and to enjoy the pre-movie activities. If the skies are unforgiving, call the rain-out hotline after 1 p.m. at 206-684-7710.
July 15 – Inside Out
July 22 – The Goonies
Aug. 5 – Jurassic World
401 Pine St.
Seattle, Wa 98101
Occidental Square Park:
Aug. 12 – The Good Dinosaur
Aug. 26. – Labyrinth
Sept. 2: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
117 S. Washington St.
Seattle, Wa 98104
Time: Movies start at dusk
Eastside & Beyond
Crossroads Movies in the Park
The Eastside always has a great selection of kid-friendly, outdoor summer flicks. One of our fave places to throw a blanket down and enjoy a picnic dinner and a movie is at the Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies. However, due to construction this year at Bellevue Downtown Park, movies will only be taking place at Crossroads Park. Starting on Aug. 4, you and the kids can catch shows every Thursday through Aug. 25. Psst… be sure to arrive early, so you can participate in the free family activities starting at 7:30 p.m. Movies will be cancelled in the event of rain.
Aug. 4 – Inside Out, PG
Aug. 11 – Minions, PG
Aug. 18 – Good Dinosaur, PG
Aug. 25 – Pan, PG
16000 N.E. 10th St.
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Time: Pre-movie activities start at 7:30 p.m.; movies begin at dusk.
Carillon Point’s Outdoor Movies
Each summer, Carillon Point hosts a number of family-friendly movie nights to benefit Hopelink, a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency to members of the community. Arrive early to eat at one of the fab restaurants or order takeout and enjoy the water views. It doesn’t get much better than catching a family flick on the shores of Lake Washington.
July 9 – Minions
July 23 – Inside Out
Aug. 6 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Aug. 20 – Spectre
Carillon Point Plaza
4100 Carillon Point
Kirkland, Wa 98033
Cost: $5/person recommended donation to Hopelink
Time: Plaza opens one hour prior to dusk for seating; movies start at dusk (around 9:30 p.m.).
photo: Movies at Marymoor Park Faceboook page
First Tech Movies @ Marymoor Park
The Movies @ Marymoor Park series should also be on your radar–they’re debuting the 2016 season on Wednesday, July 6 with a showing of Back to the Future. This is heavy! In addition to a fab lineup of weekly Wednesday movies, enjoy live entertainment, movie trivia and our region’s best food trucks. Be sure to check their website for the current week’s food truck schedule. Seating is on a first come, first served basis, so arrive early and be sure to bring Fido along for the show! Psst! The first 200 people will receive a free glow necklace at the Overlake Medical Clinics tent.
July 6 – Back to the Future
July 13 – Jurassic World
July 20 – Inside Out
July 27 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Aug. 3 – Aladdin
Aug. 10 – Singin’ in the Rain
Aug. 17 – Zootopia
Aug. 24 – The Princess Bride
Cost: $5/person; 5 and under Free
Time: Pre-movie seating starts at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk.
Parking: King County charges $5 per car
Sundquist Family Movies in the Park – Everett
Starting on July 14, 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 be selling movie snacks (think popcorn, candy, soda and water). Seating is on the grass, so low-back chairs and blankets are recommended.
July 14 – Kung Fu Panda 3
Showtime: 9:33 p.m.
Pre-show activities: face painting, Kung Fu demo, sumo suits and glow sticks.
July 21 – Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl
Showtime: 9:25 p.m.
Pre-show activities: music provided by Northend Jazz group, Jack Sparrow impersonator, face painting and glow sticks.
July 28 – Cinderella (2015)
Showtime: 9:15 p.m.
Pre-show activities: photos with Cinderella and other princesses, face painting and glow sticks.
Aug. 4 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Showtime: 9:04 p.m.
Pre-show activities: build your own light saber, photo-ops with Darth Vader and face painting.
Aug. 11 – Big Hero 6
Showtime: 8:52 p.m.
Pre-show activities: come dressed as your favorite superhero and join Community Transit’s Superhero Oxygene.
Aug. 18 – Inside Out
Showtime: 8:38 p.m.
Pre-show activities: come dressed as your favorite movie emotion… joy, fear, anger, disgust or sadness.
6705 Puget Park Dr.
Snohomish, Wa 98296
Cost: Free (donations benefiting Snohomish County Parks encouraged)
Time: Open seating and pre-movie entertainment begins at 7 p.m.; movie starts at times listed above.
Good to Know
Redhook Brewery is bringing back it’s popular summertime outdoor movie series starting on July 7. Redhook’s Moonlight Cinema will be showing movies for adults, so grab a sitter and enjoy a movie under the stars with your beer. And be sure to mark your calendars for Family Night on Aug. 25. That’s when the Brewery will be wrapping up it’s summer showcase with an all ages showing of Zootopia. Also, Tacoma is bringing back their Summer Bash & Movies in the Park. Pack your snacks, blankets and lawn chairs and head to a South Sound park for a free outdoor movie.
If outdoor movies aren’t your family’s thing, but you still want to catch some cheap family flicks this summer, check the Summer Movie Express schedule. For just $1 you can see a host of kids’ movies at participating Regal Cinemas through August 24, 2016.
Know of another great outdoor movie series? Feel free to add it to the Comments below!
— Kristina Moy