There’s something refreshingly retro about packing up a picnic and blankey to watch a movie outdoors on a warm summer night. If you wax nostalgic about that time you saw Star Wars at a Galveston drive-in back in 1977, you’ll be glad to know there are ample opportunities to bring the family along to see everything from a recent animated film to that favorite summer blockbuster from your youth. Don’t forget the Milkduds.
Austin Parks Foundation Movies in the Park—This free series brought to you by APF and the Alamo Drafthouse shows movies in parks all over Austin throughout the summer. To mark their 25th year, APF is screening only films made in 1992. Check their web site to find a movie in a park near you.
Ski Shores Cafe—Ski Shores has free family movie night every Friday beginning at dusk. They also provide free s’mores for kids. Check their web site for upcoming movies.
Deep Eddy Pool Splash Movies—Float and watch a family-friendly movie at the oldest pool in Texas. Movies start at dusk, and entry fee is the same as if you’re just coming for a swim: $3 and under for adult and child residents. Dates and movies will soon be posted on their web site.
Long Center Sound & Cinema—This cool series brings together live bands and classic Hollywood movies on the Long Center lawn. Music starts at 7:30 and the movie starts at dark. In addition to a unique (and free) movie-watching experience, you can buy dinner and craft beer from a food truck. Check the web site for dates and lineup.
Blue Starlite Drive-In—This old-school drive-in recently moved out to Manchaca, but is still just 15-20 minutes south of downtown Austin. While they show some adult movies, a Spielberg series is running throughout the summer. Watching The Goonies under the stars nibbling on a Baby Ruth sounds pretty awesome.
101X Summer Cinema at Stubb’s BBQ Amphitheater—Beginning June 14, 101X will host five free movies throughout the summer in what is surely one of the coolest theaters in town.
Float Flicks at El Salido Pool—Like Deep Eddy, the Anderson Mill pool will screen one movie per month in June, July and August. Check their web sites for dates and movies.
About the author: Jill Coody Smits is the author of Expedition Austin: A Kid’s Guide to the Weirdest Town in Texas. A freelance writer of many things, she lives south of the river with her husband, daughter and two four-footed sons. After nearly 20 years in Austin, she is still in love with this little big town.