2017 Outdoor Movies: FREE or Cheap Family Fun in Atlanta

outdoor movies

To say that my family enjoys movies is an understatement. The only better thing to experience with a movie is a free movie during the summer months around Atlanta. I knew there were a lot of free or cheap outdoor summer movies, but this is the ultimate list. I think it’s safe to say that your family will be able to see as many summer movies as your heart desires.

1. Movies in the Park

This summer don’t just watch a movie outdoors, experience it in a historic or unusual location. Northside Hospital’s Movies in the Park™ has been awarded Atlanta’s Top 10 Outdoor Movie Events. Movie start times are kid-friendly and begin at sundown NOT dark. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair, blanket, and bug spray. Movies in the park is sponsored by Northside Hospital and Southern Outdoor Cinema.

Place: 5 different locations in North Georgia including Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, Dawsonville and Woodstock.

Website: Movies in the Park

2. Movies in Central Park

My family LOVES Central Park and we are ecstatic to learn that there are movies at sundown on various dates at Central Park in Atlanta. The film begins promptly at dusk, but get to Central Park a little early to get a good seat. Blankets and chairs are allowed. Want to sit like a VIP? Follow each movie’s Facebook Event page. In the past, Atlantic Station has offered special, day-of giveaways.

Place: Central Park – Atlantic Station, Atlanta

Website: Atlantic Station

3. Flicks on the Bricks

These FREE movies begin in May and run through September. Lots of options for family movie night this summer. There are tons of fun movies playing at Flicks on the Bricks. Keep in mind that the movies begin at dusk and the screen is located at the fountain.

Place: Duluth

Website: Duluth

4. B at the Movies

McDonalds and EMC Security presents B at the Movies. Every Saturday, you can come to any of the 14 Metro Atlanta locations. It’s a great summer to “B at the Movies” and don’t forget you can enjoy these free movies May through August. (this is the 2016 list. We’ll update as soon as the 2017 list is available)

Place: Any of the 14 Metro Atlanta Locations

Website: B at the Movies


5. Movies on The Town

Another great option when it comes to seeing FREE movies in Atlanta is at Town Brookhaven. The area is designed to have chairs and blankets. You aren’t allowed to bring in food and drinks, but there are TONS of awesome menu options from local restaurants to choose from. Movies go through June almost the end of July. If you live close to Town Brookhaven, they always have good shows. I have neighbors who have complimented the atmosphere and everything about Movies on the Town. This is definitely a must experience this summer if you’re in town. The line-up is a blend of animated and non-animated movies perfect for families, date nights, girls’ nights, groups of friends and more!

Place: Town Brookhaven, 4330 Peachtree Road, Atlanta

Website: Town Brookhaven


6. Dodd After Dark

While there are only a few movies that play at Dodd After Dark, they are usually really good ones. Check the website to weigh in on what movies you’d like to see for 2017. The actual movies and dates will be announced in May.

Place: Bobby Dodd Stadium, 150 Bobby Dodd Way, Atlanta

Website: Dodd After Dark


7. Flick-Nic

This one is kind of neat because the movies start in April but extend into August and September. This is nice because most of the other movie options end in July. They have a great line up for 2017 too including Fantastic Beasts, Sing, and the Force Awakens. Picnic festivities and music start an hour before dark in front of the pool house.

Place: Candler Park, 585 Candler Park Drive, Atlanta

Website: Friends of Candler Park


8. Movies Under the Stars at North Georgia Premium Outlets

Families in or near Dawsonville can enjoy Movies Under the Stars beginning October 2016. The kick off event is Oct, featuring face painting and balloon artistry in the Kids Zone, which will be located in the Children’s Play Area. Guests can also enjoy tunes from DJ Crazy Mike. Fun begins at 4:30; movies begin at 7:30pm. We have inquired about a 2017 season and are not sure if they will be doing Movies Under the Stars in 2017. Stay tuned. For now we’ll keep them on the list.

Place: North Georgia Premium Outlets


9. Movies Under the Stars at Mall of Georgia

Live near the Mall of Georgia? Your family is going to love the fact that you can watch movies for free and also enjoy a few concerts along the way. There are actually quite a few different showings! It starts at the end of May and runs through the end of July.

Place: Mall of Georgia, Buford

Website: Mall of Georgia                     


10. Movies Under the Stars in Dahlonega

Dahlonega invites families the second Friday of every month from May through August to enjoy the 6th Annual Movies Under The Stars series, presented by Chestatee Regional Hospital. Enjoy summer Friday evenings in Hancock Park in Historic Downtown Dahlonega, while soaking in family film favorites on a 23-foot screen. Movie start times vary slightly depending on the degree of darkness – a catch-all phrase is that movies start at dusk. Stay tuned for the 2017 line up. 

Place: Downtown Dahlonega at Hancock Park (rain location Lumpkin County Middle School)

Website: Movies Under the Stars        


11. Summer Movie Express

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Each week two movies play on each day. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Stay tuned for the 2017 line up. 

Place: Regal Theaters around the city

Website: Summer Express


12. CineMark Summer Movie Club

Pay $1 for one show or spread out the fun all summer with the $5 for 10 movies package. Stay tuned for the 2017 line up.

Place: Fayetteville

Website: Summer Movie Club

13. Dollar Movies

In addition to these cheap summer movie clubs, check out our post on dollar movies for more inexpensive movie fun.

14. Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre

A FREE summer movies series will kick off Friday, June 2nd at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.  The gates will open at 7:30 p.m. and the movies will start at dusk, rain or shine. There will also be free arts and crafts for kids. For more information visit mablehouse.org.

Place: Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre

Website: mablehouse.org


Tips for Having a Successful Summer Movie Night with the Family

Movie night is right around the corner for your family this summer, which means lots of fun is in store for everyone. While you may have lots of fun planned, there are ways to have an even more successful summer movie night with your family this year. Check out these tips!

#1. Plan which movies to see- There are TONS of movie options around the Atlanta area. It’s best if you choose a couple of movies that you want to see, instead of trying to see them all. I like to make a list of our top choices and from there we vote on the best options for our family. Making a plan can always help your family have a better time. In the past, when we’ve planned our experiences have been way better than being sporadic.

#2. Invite friends and family- What better way to spend time with friends and family this year than with a summer movie? Summer movies are not only a frugal activity but an awesome one. Every week, we try to invite at least one friend or family member to come with us. Every time we have brought a family member with us, they have LOVED it! The kids also get a kick out of inviting different people with them as well. We always have a vehicle full, which makes for an, even more, fun summer. The more the merrier, am I right?

#3. Bring your own snacks- Another thing my family does to make movie night super successful is bringing our own snacks. Buying food anywhere can really add up, which is find on occasion, but since we plan on doing this event every week, bringing our own snacks is a must. Keep an eye out though because some of the movie venues do not allow you to bring your own snacks.

#4. Bring something comfortable to sit on- Sitting on the ground is not comfortable at all. You don’t want to be miserable at a park movie. Have the kids bring pillows and blankets to sit on. Maybe they can even bring their favorite stuffed animal to help them feel even more comfortable. Just don’t forget it or you could be in for a miserable night.

#5. Bring bug spray- Please don’t forget this one because your family will be miserable. I’m not a huge fan of mosquitos and bites make me cringe. I make sure that my entire family is wearing some sort of bug spray.

#6. Have the kids rest prior to coming- Most of the time, movies end pretty late into the evening. In the past summers, I have had my kids take a nap or rest for a while before coming. Since kids can get tired really easy, if not in bed at their normal time, it’s important that they get the rest they need. Not to mention, rested kids always equal happier kids.

Having a successful free or cheap outdoor summer movie night around Atlanta can be fun! Follow this advice and your family should be good to go the entire night. What tips would you add to this list?


by Jess Weaver

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