Nothing screams "summer!" quite like settling in under the stars for a movie night. Luckily, there are tons of opportunities to do just that in Raleigh, N.C. We've rounded up a whole bunch of dates (54 to be exact!) with movies being shown outdoors this summer at parks, amphitheaters and gardens across the area. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets ready? Let's go!  

Movies in the Garden at Raleigh Little Theatre's Stephenson Amphitheatre

There aren't many better ways to spend a warm summer night than with a picnic and a free outdoor movie surrounded by the beautiful Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden at Raleigh Little Theatre. That's what you get with the family-friendly Movies in the Garden series, not to mention the food trucks and local beer on hand. There's seating in the amphitheatre available but you can bring cushions, blankets and chairs as well. 

  • La La Land (7/20)
  • Cinderella (7/27)
  • The Sound of Music (8/3)
  • Hidden Figures (8/10)


PNC Downtown Raleigh Movie Series

There's always free admission to these Fri. night flashback comedies in downtown Raleigh's City Plaza. Food trucks and local beer vendors will be on site. Some chairs are provided, but you're encouraged to bring your own lawn chairs and arrive early to ensure a great viewing spot. 

  • Mrs. Doubtfire (5/26)
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (6/2)
  • The Mask (6/7)
  • Clueless (6/16)
  • Men in Black (6/23)
  • Wayne's World (6/30)




WakeMed Movies by Moonlight at Koka Booth Amphitheatre

The town of Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre transforms into an outdoor movie theater among the pine trees on Thurs. and Fri. nights this summer. Admission is just $5 for adults, and free for children ages 12 and under. 

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (6/2)
  • La La Land (6/8)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (6/16)
  • The Lego Batman Movie (6/23)
  • The Jungle Book (6/29)
  • Moana (7/14)
  • Sing (7/21)
  • Finding Dory (8/4)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (8/10)


Summer Film Series at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Oscar winners, timeless classics and family favorites are lined up for another big season of outdoor movies at the North Carolina Museum of Art. For non-museum members, tickets are $6. Concessions are available on site (including beer and wine), but visitors can bring picnics as well (no alcohol). Pack blankets and/or lawn chairs.

  • Arrival (6/10)
  • Hell or High Water (6/16)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (6/17)
  • Sully (6/23)
  • Sixteen Candles (7/7)
  • Say Anything (7/8)
  • Moana (7/14)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (7/15)
  • Brazil (7/21)
  • An American in Paris (7/28)
  • La La Land (7/29)
  • Lion (8/4)
  • Hidden Figures (8/5)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (8/11)
  • Moonlight (8/18)
  • Beauty and the Beast (8/26)
  • The Big Lebowski (9/16)




Knightdale Movie Night Series

These free outdoor movies will be held on four consecutive Fridays at Knightdale Station Park. Bring a blanket and/or chairs. Local school groups will be running concessions.  

  • Trolls (6/23)
  • Big (6/30)
  • Independence Day (7/7)
  • Ice Age: Collision Course (7/14)


Garner's Movie Night on the Back Lawn Series

These free movies, on the first Thurs. of each month, will be shown on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. Bring your blankets and chairs, and pack a picnic or grab food and beer from local vendors. 

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (6/1)
  • The Sandlot (7/6)
  • Groundhog Day (8/3)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (9/7)
  • Ghostbusters (10/5)


Family Movie Nights at Joyner Park

Four family movie nights are planned for the town of Wake Forest's E. Carroll Joyner Park. They're free to attend, and food vendors will be on hand. Bring blankets and chairs. Due to terms and conditions in the agreement with the film licensing company, the names of the movies cannot be posted publicly. The movie dates are below.

Apex Movies in the Park Series

Held at the spacious Apex Nature Park amphitheatre, this series offers five evenings of family-friendly movies. Load up the kids, the lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner, and show up early for good seats. It's all free! Due to agreement with the film licensing company, the names of movies cannot be posted publicly. The movie dates are below. 

Header photo by North Carolina Museum of Art