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.
Outdoor Movies at Shady Beach
In July and August, enjoy a family-favorite movie every Saturday night. Admission is free for Norwalk residents with beach stickers; for everyone else, it's $10. Features for 2018 include Despicable Me 3, Coco, & Moana.
Canfield Avenue, Norwalk
Sand Jam and Family Movie Nights
Jennings Beach in Fairfield hosts a family Sand Jam that features music beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a summer movie at dusk. Parking is free if you have a Fairfield beach sticker; otherwise, it costs $20 per car.
880 South Benson Road, Fairfield
Movie Nights Under The Stars
The leafy green town of Easton offers a monthly Movie Under the Stars on two Friday nights in July and a teen movie night in August, at Aspetuck Park. Arrive early for bounce house and hoopla fun.
369 Black Rock Road, Easton
Cinemas on the Sound
Enjoy three outdoor movies this summer, beginning in July. Arrive early to get a good seat, eat, play, and mingle with your neighbors.
**2018 Dates TBA**
177 Rowaynton Avenue, Rowaynton
BowTie Cinema Summer Kids Series
Every Tuesday and Wednesday through August 15, the BowTie Cinema Kids' Club offers one free child-friendly film. Seats are first come, first served, and doors open at 9 a.m. The movie starts at 10 a.m.
333 New Park Avenue, Hartford
Music and Movies
If you need Saturday night plans in July and August, pack a beach chair and a snack, and head to The Shoppes at Farmington Valley for free movies, music, and entertainment. Movies begin at sunset.
110 Albany Turnpike, Canton
Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse
Make it a fun summer at the movies. At $1 per ticket, or $5 for 10 movies, you really can't go wrong. Showings scheduled from June through August at multiple locations around the state so check out the site and see what's closest to you!
90 Elm Street, Enfield; 99 Redstone Drive, Manchester; 1201 Boston Post Road, Milford; 550 Universal Drive, North Haven
Movies at the Southington Drive-In
For $15 (cash only) per carload, or $10 for residents, this is a great deal. Walk-ins are welcome for $2 and be sure to bring a lawn chair. Pack up your family and friends and make it a great evening. Saturdays from June through September, enjoy family-favorites like The Princess Bride, The Sandlot, and Jumanji.
935 Meriden-Waterbury Parkway, Southington
New Haven County
The Grassy Strip Family Movie Festival
The Madison Beach Hotel offers a fun Tuesday Night Family Film series that is open to all - guests and non-guests alike. In July and August, sit back and enjoy films including Queen of Katwe, Finding Dory, and Beauty and the Beast.
**2018 Schedule TBA, see event listing for link**
94 West Wharf Road, Madison
Every Friday the New Haven Parks Department offers free family movies at rotating parks throughout the city. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and have a fantastic summer at the movies, including Raiders of the Lost Arc, Toy Story, and the recent, live action Beauty and the Beast.
Various locations, New Haven
Movie and Munchies
This is a pretty amazing little series. No registration required, children are welcome with parents to come see movies such as The BFG, Charlotte's Web, and The Jungle Book and get this--lunch is provided to the kiddos! Can't beat it.
63 Huntington Street, New London
Flick and Float Movie Night
This one is truly unique--bring a float on July 20 and watch Moana from the pool at Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown. If you prefer dry land, bring a chair or a blanket and cozy up for a summer evening flick.
61 Durant Avenue, Middletown
Beach Blanket Movie Nights
Head to the boardwalk at Ocean Beach Park every Tuesday night through August. Although not entirely free, admission to each movie is only $6 per car. 2018 titles include Lego Ninjago, Paddington 2, and Sherlock Gnomes.
98 Neptune Avenue, New London
Teen Movie Night
From the end of June through August, teens are invited to a free movie night every Tuesday. Parents can relax with a good book while their children enjoy blockbusters like The Goonies, E.T., and possibly the best movie ever made according to my eleven year old daughter...Labyrinth.
40 Library Street, Mystic
Friday Family Movie
Gather the family and escape into air conditioning for Saturday afternoon matinees all summer long. Bond over My Little Pony, Wonder, Matilda, and many more.
40 Library Street, Mystic
Pleasant Valley Drive-In Carload Night
Thursday night is carload night at the Pleasant Valley Drive-In. It's not quite free, but you can pack as many people into your car as you like for $20. Bonus: pets are welcome. Cash only. Movies are week-to-week and double features are a common occurrence.
47 River Road, Barkhamsted
Originally published 06.14.15
Top photo by Monkeywing/CC BY 2.0