Updated for 2021!
One of my favorite things to do over the summer is enjoy outdoor movies with my family. Whether it is at our local park, on the beach or at a drive-in theater, there are so many ways to experience a movie in the summer. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends and family and create memories to last a lifetime.
Each year I try to find a new outdoor movie experience for my family to enjoy. New Jersey and the surrounding areas offer so many fun ways to watch a movie so I thought why not put together a list that we all could benefit from. After researching what is offered and combining it with what I have already experienced, I bring you:
2021 Unique Outdoor Summer Movie Experiences
Montclair Film Festival Presents Free Outdoor Movies, Montclair
This summer families can enjoy a fun outdoor movie at unique locations throughout Montclair including Nishuane Park, Van Vleck House and Gardens, Montclair Public Library and Church Street. The Montclair Film Festival invites families to enjoy live music before each movie. Each venue opens at 7 pm.
- July 17 at Archery Field at Brookdale Park: Shrek
- August 21 at Anderson Park: Dirty Dancing
ZOO-VIES, West Orange
Select Wednesday evenings this summer the Turtle Back Zoo is excited to present ZOO-VIES. Beginning at dusk, family-friendly movies will be presented for FREE on the rooftop of the parking deck. ZOO-VIES will on Wednesday evenings in July.
- July 7 : earth
- July 14 : The Land Before Time
- July 21 : Trolls World Tour
- July 28 : Dolittle
- August 4 : Tom & Jerry
- August 11: The Croods A New Age
Movies on the Beach, Various Locations
After spending a brain boosting day at the beach, your family can change into comfy clothes and enjoy a great movie. Every Friday this summer, beginning June 21, families can head over to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (near the pavilion) for Free Movies on the Beach. Make sure you check out their awesome line up of family friendly flicks!
- Jenkinson’s Movies at The Beach begin at dusk but make sure to have your lawn chair and blanket.
- June 29th – Frozen II (PG)
- July 6th – Trolls World Tour (PG)
- July 13th – The Lion King (1994 Animated) (G)
- July 20th – Onward (PG)
- July 27th – Elf (PG)
- August 3rd – Mary Poppins (2018) (PG)
- August 10th – Grease (PG)
- August 17th – Raya & the Last Dragon (PG)
- August 24th – Hocus Pocus (PG)
- August 31st – Cars 3 (G)
- Cape May Movies on the Beach will take place at 8:15 pm on Gurney Street.
- July 8th – The Kid Who Would Be King
- July 15th – Robots
- July 22nd – Sandlot
- July 29th – Ice Age – Collision Course
- August 5th – X2 – X-Men United
- August 12th – Princess Bride
- August 19th – Spies in Disguise
- August 26th – Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Seaside Heights Movies on Sundays in July and August
- June 27 : Jaws
- July 11 : Aladdin
- July 18 : Toy Story 4
- July 25 : Frozen II
- August 1 : Tom & Jerry
- August 8: The Lion King
- August 15 : The Secret Life of Pets 2
- August 22 : Rya and The Last Dragon
- August 29 : Moana
Highland Park Outdoor Movie Theater, Highland Park
If you are looking for family friendly films in a fun and diverse neighborhood, then visit Highland Park for the Outdoor Movie Theater! Prior the main feature cartoons will be played for younger audience members and then at 9pm in the Municipal Lot (on Raritan Ave. between 2 and 3rd Aves.) the show will begin!
- May 15 : Watership Down
Every summer my family and I enjoy at least one double feature at the Circle Drive-In Theater located in Dickson City, PA. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer, families can enjoy a movie at 8:30pm and 10:15pm. Both movies are included in the admission price ($8/adult and $5/child). We arrive early and have a blast running up and down the hill and playing football and soccer in front of the big screen.
Delsea Drive-In Theatre is another fun choice for a drive-in movie experience. Located in Vineland, NJ, this is the only drive in theater left in NJ. This theater is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer. There are 2 screens each with a double feature with the first movie beginning around 8:20pm. Admission costs $11/adult, $6/children ages 4 and up, and children ages 3 and under are FREE.
Warwick Drive-In Theatre is another wonderful option especially for those living in North Jersey. Located in Warwick, NY, this theater is open EVERY night in the summer. There are 3 screens each with 2 movies a night. Admission is $11/adults, $8/kids ages 4-11 and seniors, and kids under age 4 are FREE. Movies vary from adult features rated R to kid friendly movies rated PG.
Soon to be updated!
Kip’s Castle Park, Verona
An outdoor movie experience my family really enjoys takes place at Kip’s Castle in Verona, NJ. Between the view of the castle and the NYC Skyline, Kip’s Castle Park offers a truly unique movie experience. On Friday evening, June 7 and June 14, there is an outdoor movie that begins at dusk. Did I mention admission is FREE? What’s even cooler is that when you park on the street, you can take a trolley up to the castle. This is an experience my kids still talk about and cannot wait to return this summer! We hope that Kip’s Castle Reeopens in 2022!
Anchor Golf Center Outdoor Movie Night, Whippany (To be Updated)
I have heard of movies in the park, on the beach and even at a zoo, but a movie at a golf center? Now that sounds like a unique movie experience! This summer families can pack up their blankets and lawn chairs and get comfortable on the Party Green at Anchor Golf Center in Whippany. Pizza, popcorn and ice cream will be available for purchase.
We will be updating this list as more unique summer movie experiences are released. If you know of a unique outdoor movie near you, please let us know and we will check it out!
Alstede Farms, Chester
Alstede Farms will be hosting a free family movie night! Starting at 8pm, your family can enjoy a unique location for a movie with easy access to picking up delicious ice cream or fresh produce! The Hen House will have hot or cold food available for purchase. The movie shown will be Disney’s Coco.
Hoboken Movies Under the Stars, Hoboken
If you enjoy the NYC skyline, then you will also love Movies Under the Stars at Pier A Park in Hoboken, NJ. Every Wednesday families can enjoy a FREE outdoor movie. It is important to note that movies range in ratings from PG to R so make sure you check the schedule before heading out with the little ones although we only listed movies G to PG-13. Families are encouraged to come early and to bring a blanket or low-back chairs to enjoy the movie. You many also bring food to enjoy a picnic with your friends and family (alcohol is not allowed). * Denotes special programming for children at 7pm.
- To Be Announced
Applegate Farms Movies Under the Stars, Montclair
Each year, Monica and I bring our kids to a fun movie night experience at Applegate Farms located in Upper Montclair. Before the show we enjoy dancing and games with a DJ then an exciting magic show. Admission and activities are FREE. Ice cream is an additional fee, but I highly recommend it! Before each movie at 6:30 pm, families can enjoy activities, prizes, and music. The magic show begins at 8 pm with the following at 8:30 pm. Don’t forget your chair!
Plein Air Cinema Series, Hamilton
This summer head to the gorgeous Grounds for Sculpture for a unique outdoor movie experience. Bring a blanket, order a picnic basket from the Peacock Cafe and take in the night sky. You can even order a cocktail from Rat’s Restaurant!