Where to See Free Summer Movies in NYC for an Outdoor Movie Night

Enjoy the popular Movies With a View series at Brooklyn Bridge Park in July and August. Photo by Etienne Frossard
Enjoy the popular Movies With a View series at Brooklyn Bridge Park in July and August. Photo by Etienne Frossard

New York City screens tons of FREE outdoor movies each summer, and many of them are just for kids and families. We keep an eye on these special outdoor summer movie screenings all season long, including the Movies Under the Stars series, which offers screenings in some of our favorite parks and playgrounds, Bryant Park Movie Nights, and Sidewalk Cinema.

New in 2022: Movies Under the Stars, hosted by NYC Parks Department, requires online registration so be sure to click through to the website for the movies you want to see and secure your spot.

If you're looking for paid options, check out our roundup of drive-in movie theaters near NYC.

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Movies usually begin when evening falls, but plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot. Even if your local park is screening a flick you've watched a dozen times before, it's a totally different experience viewing it in the open air alongside other fans. It's a thrilling, communal event, and a summer rite of passage for New Yorkers of all ages.

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Places featured in this article:


Samuel N Bennerson 2nd Playground

Hansborough Recreation Center

Lincoln Center - Hearst Plaza

Governors Island

East River Plaza Garage Rooftop (4th Floor)

Vincent Albano Jr Playground

Hamilton Fish Recreation Center

Lincoln Terrace / Arthur S. Somers Park

Pelham Bay Park Nature Center

Kwame Ture Recreation Center

Van Cortlandt Park Running Track

Williamsbrdige Oval Recreation Center

East 161st Street and Grand Concourse
Blessing of the Animals and the Feast of Saint Francis
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine - 10:00 AM Pick
The Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park
Fort Tryon Park - 11:30 AM Pick
Art Sundae with Arghavan Khosravi
Rockefeller Center - 11:00 AM Pick
47th Annual Atlantic Antic
Atlantic Avenue - 12:00 PM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides