Your NYC Summer Guide to Outdoor Movies


One of my favorite things about summer in the city are the many free outdoor movie series that take place in parks all across the city. I’ve picked my favorites for kids, but you can click here for a full list of movies near you. (Believe us, they’re all pretty awesome and worth a visit!)



South Street SeaPort SEE/CHANGE Summer Series

We couldn’t be more impressed by the amount of events for families taking place at South Street Seaport this summer. Every Wednesday night, the downtown spot will host kid-friendly films—grab a seat on the lawn or in one of the lounge chairs! Movies include Rango(June 18), Brave (June 25), Fantastic Mr. Fox (July 16), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(August 13) and, of course, Frozen (August 27). (All films start at 8pm.) They’re also showing movies for adults (think When Harry Met Sally and The Aviator on Saturday nights in case you’re looking for a kid-free “date night” activity. See a full list here.

Local tip: Grab hamburgers for dinner at Shake Shack in Battery Park City pre-movie. Yes, there will most likely still be a line, but it won’t be as long as the location in Madison Square Park. Plus, they make great picnic food!

RiverFlicks for Family Fridays in Hudson River Park’s Pier 46

This is one of our favorite outdoor movies series— it’s completely dedicated to kids and you can’t beat the views! Movies kick off on July 11 (Despicable Me 2 is up first) and run through August 22. Throughout the summer, you can also catch Smurfs 2The Wizard of Oz and Ghostbusters. Movies start around 8:30pm and there’s free popcorn! For a list of all movies, click here.

Local tip: The Café at Pier 45 is close to where the movies screen; stop by beforehand to grab a bite to eat (they’re open until 10pm). If you get there early enough, you can also take a pre-show walk along the water.



Movies on the Waterfront in Astoria Park


Astoria Park hosts movies every Monday night starting on July 28 at 8:30pm with The Goonies; the flicks take place on the huge lawn between Astoria Pool and Hellsgate Bridge that overlooks the east side of Manhattan. There will, though, be an early summer viewing on June 16th at 8pm of Bully—an intimate glimpse into the homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices of five kids being bullied. This documentary offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives and issues of bullied children and their families. It’s moving, real and something everyone needs to see. For more information, click here.

Local tip: Before the movie, grab dinner at Agnanti Cafe on the corner of Ditmars Boulevard and 19th Street. Their Mediterranean finger foods (think pita and hummus) are easy for little hands to eat. The Mister Softee truck is also always on Shore Blvd—be sure to bring some cash to get an ice cream cone.


SyFy Movies with a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park

For the 15th year in a row, BBP is hosting free outdoor movies on the Harbor View Lawn of Pier 1—and this year, the theme is animals! The series kicks off on July 10 (movies are Thursdays in July and August), but not all are for families. We suggest visiting on July 24 forFantastic Mr. Fox or July 31 for Beetlejuice. The views of the lower Manhattan are absolutely spectacular. Find more information here.

Local tip: Films start at sundown, but get there early, say 6pm, to purchase treats from park concessions like Ample Hills Ice Cream, Luke’s Lobster and No. 7 Subs. There will be music too!



Rooftop Films at Bronx Terminal Market

Movies on the roof—we love it! Head to the top of the Bronx Terminal Market (level 6 garage roof deck) starting June 24th—the first flick is When Harry Met Sally. The rest of the series is more kid-friendly— Frozen plays on July 8. (Guests are encouraged to come at 7m for pre-movie festivities involving local vendors; movies start at 8:30pm). See a full line up of movieshere.

Local tip: Visit the @bronxterminalmarket Instagram account and show them the photo of their movie flyer—it’ll win you a cool summer prize!


Staten Island

We’re still waiting to hear if Councilman Vincent Ignizio will sponsor a film series for families like he did last summer, but we do know that Westerleigh Park is showing The Lego Movie on August 29 as part of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation film series. We’ll keep you posted on other SI flicks when we hear about them!

By | 2017-11-18T13:15:18+00:00 July 10th, 2014|activities, attractions, Growing Up Astoria, Kid Friendly New York City, Motherhood|Comments Off on Your NYC Summer Guide to Outdoor Movies

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for