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Big Flicks for Lil’ Moviegoers: Your Outdoor Summer Cinema Guide

Summer is here which means it’s time to drag out the cooler, find your sleeping bags and low-back chairs, and get ready to catch some good ole family-friendly flicks under the starry Seattle skies. Best part? All of these showings are cheap (or free!) so 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 pull a car to bed switcheroo as soon as you pull into the driveway.

magnuson movie series

Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park
Now in its third 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 and some of Seattle’s best food trucks. 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 as well as fresh “healthy” options from Whole Foods. All movies are Fido friendly and take place rain or shine.

movies at magnuson park

July 11: Moonrise Kingdom (PG 13)
July 18: Singin’ in the Rain (NR)
July 25: Finding Nemo (G)
August 1: Skyfall (PG 13)
August 8: The Sandlot (PG)
August 15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG)
August 22: Singles (PG 13)
August 29: The Princess Bride (PG)

Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, Wa 98115

Cost: $5/person
Time: Pre-movie seating starts at 7:00 pm; movies start at dusk

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 giant screen. If the skies are unforgiving, be sure to call the rain hotline (206-684-7200) before you go. Info is updated after 2:00 pm.

July 27: The Princess Bride (PG)
August 3: Hugo (PG)
August 10: The Avengers (PG-13)
August 17: The Help (PG-13)
August 24: Les Miserables (PG-13)

Seattle Center – Mural Amphitheatre
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, Wa 98109

Cost: Free
Time: Movies start at dusk (about 9:00 pm)

West Seattle Outdoor Movies
West Seattle offers alfresco viewing at their annual Saturday outdoor movie series. From James Bond action flicks to the Muppets, 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 and raffle prizes. All money collected from this summertime series will benefit local charities.

west seattle outdoor movies

July 20: Goldfinger (PG)
July 27: Devil Wears Prada (PG-13)
August 3: Muppets with short of Wallace & Gromit (PG)
August 10: Avengers (PG-13)
August 17: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (PG)
August 24: This is Spinal Tap (not a kid-friendly flick so book a sitter and enjoy a date night)

Courtyard between Hotwire Coffee & Dr. Wolff
4410 California Avenue SW
Seattle, Wa 98106

Cost: Free (donations accepted)
Time: Gates open at 6:30 pm; movies start at dusk


Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies
The Eastside has a great selection of kid-friendly flicks this summer. One of our fave places to throw a blanket down and enjoy a picnic dinner and a movie is at Bellevue Downtown Park. And starting on July 3, you and the kiddos can catch shows every Tuesday. Be sure to arrive early so you can participate in the pre-movie activities and make sure to check the movie website to see what kind of donation to bring; movies are free, but each night has a different charity drive theme. On rainy days, movies will be shown at South Bellevue Community Center.

bellevue movies

July 2: Hotel Transylvania (PG); Pre-movie activity: The Great SBCC Challenge
July 9:  Thunderstruck (PG); Pre-movie activity: Magician
July 16: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days(PG); Pre-movie activity: Pizza Toss
July 23: ParaNorman (PG); Pre-movie activity: Name the Right Price
July 30: Life of Pi (PG); Pre-movie activity: Banana Races
August 6:  Parental Guidance (PG); Pre-movie activity: 60 Second Challenge
August 13: Chasing Mavericks (PG); Pre-movie activity: Zumba Fitness
August 20: Won’t Back Down (PG); Pre-movie activity: Movie Trivia with prizes

Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 NE 4th Street
Bellevue, Wa 98004

Cost: Free with charitable donation
Time: Movies start at dusk (around 9:00 pm)

Carillon Point’s Outdoor Movies
Each summer, Carillon Point hosts a number of family-friendly movie nights to benefit Hopelink. 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.

carillon point movie night

July 13: Skyfall (PG-13)
July 27: Brave (PG)
August 10: Avengers (PG-13)
August 24: Puss in Boots (PG)
September 7: The Pirates: Band of Misfits (PG)

Carillon Point
4100 Carillon Point
Kirkland, Wa 98033

Cost: $5/person (recommended donation)
Time: Plaza opens one hour prior to dusk for seating; movies start at dusk (around 9:00 pm)

Movies @ Marymoor Park
The Movies @ Marymoor Park series should also be on your radar–they’re debuting the 2013 season on Wednesday, July 10 with a showing of Back to the Future. This is heavy!  In addition to a fab lineup of weekly Wednesday movies, enjoy cirque performances by The Cabiri, movie trivia, interactive games, and tasty food trucks. Be sure to check the 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!

movies at marymoor

July 10: Back to the Future (PG)
July 17: Pitch Perfect (PG-13)
July 24: The Incredibles (PG)
July 31: The Hunger Games (PG-13)
August 7: Ten Things I Hate About You (PG-13)
August 14: Mary Poppins (G)
August 21: Jurassic Park (PG-13)
August 28: The Goonies (PG)

Marymoor Park
6046 West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE
Redmond, Wa

Cost: $5/person (under 5 free)
Time: Pre-movie seating and entertainment starts at 7:00 pm; movies start at dusk
Parking:  Marymoor Park charges $1 per car

Renton’s Moonlight Movies
Back by popular demand, this Friday night movie series will take place at various locations around Renton. Be sure to arrive early to enjoy some pre-movie family entertainment and remember blankets and low-back chairs only. In the event of inclement weather, call the Renton Community Center’s inclement weather line at 425-430-6719. Cancellations will be made by 5:00 pm.

movies at magnuson park 2

July 19: Transformers - Piazza Park
July 26: Finding Nemo – Henry Moses Aquatic Center
August 2: How to Train Your Dragon – McKnight Middle School
August 9: Madagascar III – Liberty Park
August 16: Hotel Transylvania – Cascade Village at CVAC Baseball Field


Cost: Free ($5/person at Henry Moses Aquatic Center)
Time: Seating begins at 7:00 pm followed by pre-movie entertainment at 7:45 pm; movies start at dusk

Know of another great outdoor movie series? Feel free to add it to the comments section below!

–Kristina Moy

Photo credit: Seattle Outdoor Movies Facebook page, West Seattle Outdoor Movies Facebook page, Carillon Point Facebook page, 


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