Pedestrians pass an AMC movie theater in Times Square in New York City

Pedestrians pass an AMC movie theater in Times Square. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Not sure what to do with the kiddies now that school is out and there just doesn’t seem to be enough activities to keep them busy this summer? Instead of having them cooped up at home staring wide-eyed at the TV screen why not take them out to the movies where they can stare wide-eyed at the big screen? Besides keeping him or her (or them) quiet for a couple of hours, everyone may get a chance to cool off and socialize a little. And, best off all, most of these events are completely free or really cheap.
By Nicola A. Menzie

Indoor Movies

Regal Entertainment Group‘s Free Family Film Festival every year and has been doing so since 1991, according to the company’s website. Every Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. kids can see recent and not-so-recent movies on the big screen (rated G or PG). Some of the titles screening right through August include: “Charlotte’s Web,” “Bee Movie,” “Shrek The Third” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” to name a few. Check website for participating theater locations.
When: Tuesdays & Wednesdays @ 10 a.m.
Cost: Free

Clearview Cinemas is is offering eight weeks of family friendly films with its Summer Kid’s Club, where every Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. movies like “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat Balls” and “Astro Boy” will be on the big screen. Visit Clearview’s website to see the full list of free films and participating theaters.
When: Wednesdays & Thursdays @ 10:30 a.m.
Cost: Free

AMC Entertainment‘s Summer Moviecamp is similar to Regal’s free movie screenings except tickets are $1 a pop and movies are shown only once per week. Tickets for titles like “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Spiderwick Chronicles” go on sale a week prior to the screening, so hop on it and see which AMC theaters in your area are participating in this year’s Summer Moviecamp.
When: Tuesdays @ 10 a.m.
Cost: $1

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Outdoor Movies

People sit in the midday sun in Bryant Park in New York City

People sit in the midday sun in Bryant Park. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

If air-conditioned movie theaters just don’t do it for you or maybe you just prefer the great outdoors, there are also plenty of free movie screenings this summer in New York City’s parks that the kids will enjoy. Some of these movies are preceded by an arts and crafts activity or a music and dance lesson, so it’s likely that by movie time the kids might conk out and snooze through the whole thing. But hey, what’s to stop you from enjoying the film!

Here’s a sampling of what you can expect:

Town Square Inc.’s SummerStarz

East River State Park, North 8th Street and Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y.
(347) 559-1410
When: Thursdays @ 6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Reel Harlem Film Festival

135 Street Lawn (in St. Nicholas Park)
West 135 Street and St. Nicholas Terrace
New York, N.Y.
When: Thursday, July 29 @ 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

RiverFlicks for Kids

Pier 46 (in Hudson River Park)
Charles St. and West St.
New York, N.Y.
(212) 627-2121
When: Fridays @ 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Summer On The Hudson

Pier 1 in Riverside Park South
(212) 408-0219
When: Wednesdays @ 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Free Movies Under the Stars

196 Street and Union Turnpike
Queens, N.Y.
When: Mondays @ 8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Red Hook Films

Valentino Pier And Coffee Street
Brooklyn, N.Y.
When: Tuesdays @ 8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Waterside Plaza

30 Waterside Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10010
(212) 340-4225
Monday @ 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

The events calendar on the NYC park’s website ( is a great place to start planning your free Summer movie-viewing adventures.

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