Where to Catch Outdoor Films this Summer
Stretch out under the stars for date nights and family-friendly fun at these local lawns.
Sure, the couch might be a comfortable spot to stream the latest Hollywood production, but why stay in when there are scores of outdoor screenings this summer? Grab the bottled water, a picnic blanket and set up camp at these outdoor movie nights:
Friday June 17 and 24; 5-10:30 p.m.
Catch basketball flick Space Jam on June 17 and National Treasure (keep your eyes peeled for D.C. landmarks) on June 24 at Gateway Park. Tote along your dinner to the park or grab takeout from an assortment of on-site food trucks. Feeling parched? Beer and wine are also available for purchase. // Gateway Park, 1300 Langston Boulevard, Arlington. Free.
Saturday June 18 and select Saturdays thru summer; 8:30 p.m.
Bring the little ones out to Mount Vernon Recreation Center for aquatic adventure film Luca on June 18. Blankets and picnic dinners are welcome, but leave pets and alcoholic beverages at home, as they are not allowed on site. Follow Cinema Del Ray’s Facebook page for the full lineup of this summer’s films. // Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria. Free.
Thursdays thru Aug. 25; 7-9:30 p.m.
Kick back with a slew of films at Strawberry Park this summer, including The Birdcage, In the Heights, Encanto and the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, F9. Set up shop on the lawn outside Mosaic’s mammoth screen with a spread from home or any of the Merrifield shopping center’s many eateries. // Strawberry Park, Mosaic District, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax. Free.
Fridays June 24, July 29, Aug. 19, Sept. 30; 7 p.m.
Snag some free popcorn and soda at movie nights on The Plaza each month now through September. On June 24, revisit 1984 classic Karate Kid, and return later in the summer for Cruella, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Raya and the Last Dragon. // Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons. Free.
Fridays and Saturdays July 8-Aug. 27; 8 p.m.
Choose from a whopping 16 outdoor film screenings this summer near Columbia Pike, all of which will be aired with Spanish subtitles. On Friday nights, catch Soul, Mulan and other family-friendly films at the Arlington Mill Community Center. And on Saturdays, head to Penrose Square for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, 2021 documentary Summer of Soul and more. Blankets, chairs and leashed pets are welcome. Alcohol is not permitted. // Arlington Mill Community Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington. Penrose Square, 2503 9th Road, Arlington. Free.
Fridays Sept. 23, Sept. 30, Oct.7; Times vary
Outdoor movie nights don’t have to stop when the summer does—keep the cooler bag out of storage for another few months and make space in your calendar for a few fall film screenings in Falls Church. Check back here for the lineup as the dates get closer. // Cherry Hill Park, 312 Park Ave., Falls Church. Free.
July 16-Aug. 11
If you like your films with a side of sing-a-long or live music, you’re in luck; Wolf Trap is offering several such options this summer. On July 16, get your “Do-Re-Mi” on with a Sound of Music event, enjoy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince accompanied by a live orchestra July 22-23, watch an orchestra-enhanced Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and more. // Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Check website for ticket pricing.