Whether you’re looking for outdoor movies to enjoy those warm summer evenings, or indoor movies for those hot summer mornings when you really just need some A/C, or a drive-in movie, here are some options in the Seattle / King County area for summer 2018.
Kids’ Summer Movie Clubs
As you may remember from your own childhood, these are probably the cheapest, easiest way to entertain your kids for two hours on a summer morning…
- Lincoln Square Bellevue, Wednesday mornings 10 am. June 20 – Aug 22. $1 or all ten movies for $5. Schedule here: https://cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse#
- Regal Summer Movie Express, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 am. $1. June 26 – Aug. 22. Bella Bottega, Redmond; Thornton Place, Seattle; Issaquah Highlands; The Landing in Renton; Regal Everett. Schedule of movies here: www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express
Below, I will list all the outdoor movie series in King County, with more details and links. (For Pierce and Snohomish County options, check Red Tricycle.) If you want a printable list of all the outdoor movies on the Eastside, in calendar order, (like the image on the right) click here for the PDF..
Note: all outdoor movies start around “dusk”. In the Pacific Northwest, that means around 9 – 9:30 pm in July and 8:30 – 9 in August, so outdoor movies aren’t compatible with early bedtimes.
Top tips are: go early for good seating location, bring a sweatshirt and blankets, as the weather cools quickly after dark, and if you bring a chair, make sure it’s a low profile chair so you don’t block anyone’s view.
Downtown Movies in the Park at Bellevue’s Downtown Park (by the mall). July 10 – Aug 28. Free entertainment, popcorn and movies – each week has a non-profit partner, and you’re encouraged to donate to support these programs. Most movies kid friendly. https://parks.bellevuewa.gov/special-events/outdoor-movies/downtown-movies-in-the-park/
Wednesdays / Thursday
Movies at Marymoor in Redmond. 6/28 – 8/29. Mostly on Wednesdays, EXCEPT Thurs 6/28, 7/5 and 8/2. Some weeks are kid movies, some are teen/adult movies – check schedule. $5 per person ($6 credit), $5 to park. Live entertainment, trivia, food trucks, vendors. www.epiceap.com/movies-at-marymoor/
Movies at the Square in Kenmore. Free. Food trucks and pre-show entertainment at 8:00 p.m. http://www.kenmorewa.gov/MoviesattheSquare
- Crossroads Movies in the Park, Bellevue. August 2 – 23. Free entertainment, popcorn, movie. All kid friendly. https://parks.bellevuewa.gov/special-events/outdoor-movies/crossroads-movies-in-the-park/
- Note: last year Epic movies did Thursday movies at Magnuson Park. They appear to have dropped that venue this year, and are only doing Marymoor on Wednesdays. And Redhook Brewery no longer mentions Moonlight Cinema on their site.
Fridays / Saturdays
- Movies at the Marina. Shilshole Bay Fri 8/3 Overboard and 8/17 Moana. www.portseattle.org/events/movies-marina
- Auburn’s Summer Sounds Fri 7/27, 8/3, 8/10, various locations.
Friday / Saturday
- Renton Outdoor Movies. Sat, 7/21 Jumanji at Piazza Park; Fri 8/3 Despicable Me at Henry Moses Aquatic ($5). Fri, 8/10 Coco at Sunset Park. Fri 8/24 Wonder at Cascade Elementary.
- Movies in the Park. Seattle. Fridays or Saturdays, Cascade Playground, Westlake, Hing Hay, Freeway, and Denny Parks. 7/6 – 8/31. www.seattle.gov/parks/downtown/#movies
- Carillon Point, Kirkland. Saturdays July 7, 21 and August 4 and 18. $5 donation benefits Hopelink. https://www.carillon-point.com/event/movies-in-the-plaza/
- West Seattle Outdoor Movies. Saturdays. 7/21 – 8/25. Free. Some kid-friendly, some teen. http://westseattlemovies.blogspot.com/
- Movies at the Mural at Seattle Center. Saturdays. 7/28 – 8/25. Teen / grown-up movies mostly (except Princess Bride) www.seattlecenter.com/moviesatthemural/
- Fremont Outdoor Cinema has become Seattle Outdoor Cinema at the SLU Discovery Center. Saturdays. June 16, July 21 – Jurassic Park, August 25 – Black Panther. www.seattleoutdoormovies.com/
- Cinema Under the Stars – Columbia City / Seattle. July 14 – Best of Children’s International Film Festival, August 18 – Coco. www.rainierartscenter.org/event/cinema-under-the-stars-6/?instance_id=3072
- Drive in Movies at America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, July 7, 21, August 11, parking starts at 4:30, movies at dusk. Free. Kid or teen movies. www.americascarmuseum.org/events/
Movies start at dusk… see note above. There aren’t many classic drive-ins left… and when you search for them online, you’re likely to find out of date listings. For example, http://www.driveintheater.com/drivlist.htm lists Samish in Bellingham, which was demolished in 2004, and http://www.driveinmovie.com/WA.htm lists Valley in Auburn which has been closed for several years and Puget Park in Everett, which closed in 2010. Here’s what’s still open within a two hour drive from Seattle:
- Rodeo Drive-in. Port Orchard / Bremerton. www.rodeodrivein.com/
- Blue Fox Drive-in – Oak Harbor. www.facebook.com/bluefoxdrivein
- Wheel-In Motor Movie. Port Townsend. www.ptwheelinmotormovie.com/
- Skyline Drive-in. Shelton. www.skylinedrive-in.com/
The only other one in the state is Auto-vue Drive-in – Colville, WA. 6 hours from Seattle. www.facebook.com/Auto-Vue-Drive-In-Theatre-120740527937813/
If you go to a drive-in, PLEASE spend lots of money at concessions!!! That’s what will keep these classic theaters open in future summers!
Summer Movie Guide and Parental Guides to Media
If you’re looking for advice on whether a particular movie is kid appropriate, check out Common Sense Media which provides reviews of movies, books, TV shows, games, apps and websites. In their movie reviews, they look at educational value, positive role models, positive messages, violence and scariness level, sexy stuff, language, consumerism and substances, providing information so parents can make their own informed decisions about what’s right for their child.
Kids in Mind also offers film reviews which rate, on a scale of 1 – 10, the level of sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity and substance use in a movie. They also give detailed descriptions of each incident they counted, for parents to consider.
Other Activities for Kids in the Seattle area: If you’re looking for other fun ideas for the summer, check out my series on “Cheap Dates with Toddlers and Young Kids”, or reviews of Eastside Parks or find hands-on STEM enrichment activities for kids age 3 – 7 at www.InventorsOfTomorrow.com.
For school year activities, if you have kids age birth to 7, check out info about info about fabulous classes at local community colleges that are great for kids AND include parent education for you,- register now before they fill up!!
Note: If I missed any outdoor movie series in King County, let me know!!