Whether you’re looking for outdoor movies to enjoy those warm summer evenings, or indoor movie clubs 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 2023.
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…
- Cinemark Totem Lake in Kirkland, Wednesday mornings 9:30 am. June 26 – Aug 21. $1.50. Schedule here: https://cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse#
- Regal Summer Movie Express, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, first show of the day. $2. June 25 – Aug. 21. Bella Bottega, Redmond; Crossroads, Bellevue; Thornton Place, Seattle; Meridian, Seattle; Issaquah Highlands; The Landing in Renton; Alderwood, Tukwila.
Below, I list all the outdoor movie series in King County. All information is current as of 5/31/23- but check individual websites for updates or changes!
Note: all outdoor movies start around “dusk”. In the Pacific Northwest, that means starting around 9 – 9:30 pm in July and 8:30 – 9 in August, so outdoor movies aren’t compatible with early bedtimes.
Get some handy tips / etiquette advice for outdoor movies here and here. 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. It doesn’t hurt to have a flashlight to find your way to the bathroom or port-a-potty – just be sure to shine it only at the ground in front of you.
Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Movies at Marymoor Park in Redmond. 7/6 – 8/23. Wednesdays and Thursdays. $10 per person (5 and under free), $5 to park. Seating opens 6:30. Live entertainment, trivia, food trucks, vendors. 7/6 Grease; 7/12 EEAAO; 7/19 Monsters Inc, 7/26 Top Gun: Maverick, 8/2 Goonies, 8/9 Wakanda Forever, 8/17 Up; 8/23 Princess Bride
Thursdays and Fridays
Nordics in Hollywood – the National Nordic Museum. Free. Fri 6/6 Bye Bye Birdie; Th 7/20 Mamma Mia. To Confirm: Fri 8/25 Knives Out.
- Auburn Friday Flicks. Free? 7/28 Rise of Gru at Lea Hill Park; 8/4 Turning Red at Sunset Park; 8/11 Top Gun Maverick at Les Gove (note, there’s also a concert that night 7 – 8:30)
- Sail-In Cinema – Everett. Watch from your boat or the shore! Fridays. 7/21 Lyle Lyle Crocodile; 7/28 Top Gun Maverick; 8/4 the Goonies; 8/11 Lightyear; 8/18 Clueless; 8/25 Fantastic Beasts. Entertainment, movie begins between 8:30 and 9:15. FREE.
- Movies at the Mural at Seattle Center. FREE. 7/28 Princess Bride, 8/4 Clueless, 8/11 Jaws, 8/18 Dreamgirls; 8/25 Wakanda Forever
- Movies in the Park, Pierce County. FREE, 7/21 Strange World, 7/28 Turning Red, 8/4 League of Super Pets. Meridian Habitat Park in Puyallup.
- Movies Under the Moon, Monroe, Lake Tye Park. FREE. 8/4 Minions Rise of Gru; 8/11 Croods; 8/18 Top Gun Maverick, 8/25 Wakanda Forever
- Cinema Under the Stars – Columbia City / Seattle. 7/15 – Black Panther, 8/19 – Soul. Food bank donations accepted. Rainier Arts Center
- Movies in the Park, Marysville. FREE. Jennings Park. 7/15 Top Gun Maverick; 7/22 Thor Love & Thunder; 7/29 Strange World; 8/5 Wakanda Forever, 8/12 Luca
- Outdoor Summer Movies. Kirkland. Note: they have a super bright screen, so they can start before dusk, which makes this a good option for younger kids – double features show at 6 pm and 8 pm. Juanita Beach: 7/15 Light Year & TG: Maverick; 7/22 Sing 2 & Grease; 7/29 Super Pets & Fantastic Beasts; Heritage Park: 8/5 Turning Red & Soul; 8/12 Luca & Ticket to Paradise. Free.
- Drive in Movies at America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, parking starts at 6:30, movies at dusk. Free. 7/7 Movie TBA; 7/29 Cloudy with a Chance… 8/18 Super Mario Bros. 9/1 Wakanda Forever
The Seattle Times lists additional movies in Gig Harbor and Bellingham. In recent years, the City of Bellevue Parks has hosted movies at Downtown Park and Crossroads, but so far they haven’t announced any for 2023. http://bellevue.com/outdoor-movies.php. This article includes a list of lots of other places that have offered them in recent years but haven’t announced for 2023. Note: If I missed any outdoor movie series in King County, let me know!!
There aren’t many classic drive-ins left… 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/
Movies start at dusk… see note above. 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!!
Learn more about these drive-ins. (And in this article)
Parent 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.
I also wrote a post on “When to Introduce Your Child To ______” which talks about things to consider when deciding whether your child is ready yet for favorite series like the MCU, Star Wars, and more.
Other Kid Activities:
You may also be interested in my review of the 4DX movie experience at Seattle’s Meridian Theater
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 on my other blog at www.InventorsOfTomorrow.com.
For school year activities, if you have kids age birth to 7, check out info about fabulous parent education classes at local community colleges that are great for kids AND include parent education for you – register now for fall, before they fill up!!