TV, Film & Movies

Drive-In Movie Theaters near LA for a Classic Family Movie Night

Looking for something different to do with the kids? Something bucket list worthy? How about the drive-in? Remember the double features, staying up late watching movies in your jammies under the stars, tubs of popcorn from the snack bar, and, as the night wore on, crawling into the pile of blankets mom brought? Today's kids don't need to miss out on this American institution; though not as popular as they once were, several area drive-ins are still operating, plus LA has a pop-up drive-in, too. Drive-ins are generally cheaper than movie theaters, often show double features, and let you bring your own food. We're fortunate in the Southland to have oodles of free outdoor movies in summer, but there is something uniquely magical about the drive-in.

(Be sure to check out our movie reviews before you go.)

7 Drive-In Movie Theaters Near Boston

For me, a drive-in movie theater evokes memories of playing catch with family and friends on a warm summer night, then settling in to watch movies on the big screen until the kids fell asleep. Those were distant memories until I took my own family to the Mendon Twin Drive-in. The experience was exactly as I had remembered it, and we now try to make it to the drive-in at least once each summer. 

Read on for everything you need to know about a family night at the drive-in, including seven drive-in theaters in the region and five tips for enjoying your experience to the fullest. A few of them might be over an hour away, depending on where you live, but consider that a chance to pack PJs and send kids off to dreamland on the drive home.

Do You Know These 10 LA Spots Made Famous in TV and Movies ?

When you live in the movie-making capital of the world, there can be surprisingly cool things to see around every corner. Looking to entertain bored tweens or visiting relatives—or even compliant, happy-to-go-anywhere little ones? Why not remind them (and yourself) that LA is home to many of the locations they've seen on the big and small screen. All over Los Angeles there are places that look strangely familiar, and it can be fun taking a closer look to figure out why. Check out some of these locations from your favorite movies and television shows. 

100+ Free Outdoor Family Movies in July for NYC Kids

New York City overflows with no-cost outdoor movie screenings each summer, with at least one FREE flick nearly every single evening in a park or garden this July. While a few series aim specifically for children, including RiverFlicks for Kids, most series sandwich their family films in between grown-up ones.

But it takes a LOT of time to sort through all the different calendars to weed out the movies for kids, so we've done the work for you. Behold: More than 100 FREE outdoor movies this July, all rated G, PG, or PG-13, and all organized by date.

So pack your picnic, grab a blanket, and head out to one of our picks for the best family-friendly alfresco flicks this month. Need more options? Check out our 100 Free Things To Do with Kids This Summer in NYC to save both your wallet and your sanity this school break. And keep an eye on our calendar, too!

Free Outdoor Movies for Long Island Kids This Summer

With the price of movie tickets for the family these days, there’s nothing better than FREE entertainment for the kids. Did you know that several Long Island municipalities host outdoor summer movie series, where you can spread a blanket on the lawn or prop up some lawn chairs and have a picnic while enjoying a family-friendly film?

At these outdoor community events you can enjoy a beloved film for a second time or catch up on a recent blockbuster without having to spend a dime on a movie ticket. Seating is first-come, first-served, so arrive early. Also, be sure to double-check the venue or organization's website or social media feeds for any potential weather-related cancellations.

Outdoor movies are just part of the summer experience on Long Island. You'll find more fun things to do with kids in our Summer Fun Guide, including FREE outdoor summer concerts. It's also a great time to hit a Long Island amusement park, water park, or one of our great family-friendly beaches

Until then, lights, camera, action! 

Free Summer Outdoor Movies for New Jersey Families

See your favorite stars under the stars this summer, when beaches and parks throughout the state host free outdoor movies on supersized screens. Bring along a blanket or beach chair (and maybe a little bug spray), and enjoy all those big-screen family hits you may have missed during the school year—or check our some of your family's favorite flicks for a second or third time, minus the ticket fee. Some venues offer food vendors, and some provide pre-show fun.

We've also included some free, and nearly-free, indoor options for those days you feel like chilling in the AC.

Check individual venues for movie listings and alternate rain plans.  

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Free Outdoor Summer Movies for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Summertime means loose schedules and later bedtimes. Perfectly suited for those lazy days and longer nights is the abundance of FREE outdoor movies offered throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

We’ve rounded up an assortment of outdoor flicks for your family’s enjoyment—films both old and new, and for a range of ages, with the added appeal of a Hudson River view or a dip in a local pool. Some offer added amenities like pre-film entertainment (from steel drumming to a petting zoo), complimentary refreshments, or food for purchase. But all have one thing in common: FREE summer fun! (Just be sure to check with the event organizer for any change to the schedule.)

For an alternative take on outdoor movies, check out our roundup of drive-in movie theaters. Looking for outdoor concerts? We've got you covered there, too! And don't forget to consult our complete Summer Activity Guide and Event Calendar

Free (or Cheap) Summer Movie Series in Connecticut

Summer nights are long and lazy. And I don't know how it goes in your house, but in mine bedtime gets a little bit fuzzy around the edges. There are few things better than a movie for the whole family on a balmy summer night (or, in some cases on a hot summer morning or afternoon), and when that movie is free (or nearly free), well, I say bring it on! There are loads of summer movie series in Connecticut; most of them are outdoors, a lot of them are free, and even the ones that aren't are so very inexpensive you will be loading up the car as soon as you're done reading this. Pop the corn, grab a blanket, and head to one of these fun family movie series this summer. 

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