10 outdoor movie venues to attend this summer

From unforgettable classics to box office hits, these are the movies hitting the best outdoor big screens in NoVA this season.

(Photo by Stephen Elliot)

While summer days are for soaking up the sun, summer nights are for entertainment under the stars. Here, we share our favorite hot spots for outdoor movie nights with a side of popcorn.

Heroes & Sheroes: Movies with a Mission
Fridays and Saturdays through August, 8 p.m.
Be inspired this summer with uplifting movies that range in style from comedic cartoons to newly released dramas. For this year’s theme, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is focusing on films that feature a variety of female and male protagonists, relatable to all. A few of our favorites include Moana, on June 14, On the Basis of Sex, on June 21 and Apollo 13, on July 6. // Fridays at Arlington Mill: 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington; Saturdays at Penrose Square: 2503 Columbia Pike, Arlington; free

Rosslyn Cinema – Outdoor Movie Festival
Fridays through Aug. 24
Head over to Gateway Park every Friday this summer for eventful evenings of film, games and snacks from local food vendors. While films begin at dusk, guests are welcome to come early and stop by nearby restaurants, Continental Pool Lounge or Continental Beer Garden, for 10% off the entire meal. Upcoming showings include Paddington on June 14 for the kids, as well as Casablanca for a perfect date night on June 21. // Gateway Park: 1300 Lee Highway, Arlington; free

Summer Sunset Movie Nights
Fridays in June, 7 p.m.
Be part of the action this June with Mount Vernon RECenter’s month-long movie series of Marvel movies. Bring a blanket and the whole family for Friday nights full of heightened battles between heroes and villains. This year’s showings include the newest features of the Marvel series with Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman, Avengers: Infinity War and Captain Marvel, in that order throughout June.  // Mount Vernon Recreation Center: 2017 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria; free

Cinema Del Ray Outdoor Movies
Third Saturday of the month through September, 7 p.m.
This year’s Cinema Del Ray Outdoor Movies series features family-friendly cartoons that are sure to entertain your little ones for a few hours. Each movie will begin at 7 p.m., but guests are encouraged to arrive early to snag the best seats by the big screen. The first film of the series will be Peter Pan, followed by Ralph Breaks the Internet and Smallfoot (in Spanish with English subtitles). The season will end with a double feature of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Incredibles 2.  // Mount Vernon Recreation Center: 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria; free

Starlight Cinema
Saturdays in August, 6 p.m.
Take a trip back in time with Starlight Cinema’s month-long drive-in event, yet with a modern twist. This year’s season features four new cartoons that represent the dramatic growth in cinematic technique since the days when drive-in theaters were a commonality. Grab a blanket and come out to enjoy Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on the first Saturday in August, followed by Incredibles 2, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Park. // Trinity Center: 5860 Trinity Parkway, Centreville; free

Movies Under the Moon
Second Friday of the month through September
Join the community of Fairfax twice a month for outdoor movie nights in Van Dyke Park. This year’s showings feature both the old and the new, perfect for the kids, as well as Mom and Dad. A few can’t-miss films include the 1998 version of the Parent Trap on July 12, musical-masterpiece The Greatest Showman on Aug. 9 and Matilda on Sept. 13. // Van Dyke Park: 3720 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax; free

Lovettsville’s Summer on the Green
Select Saturdays from June 22-Aug. 17
This year’s annual Lovettsville Summer on the Green Series features six movies that vary in genre from comedy to action, and everything in between. All are welcome to bring seating of their choice, as well as snacks to enjoy throughout the duration of the film. Some showings to mark your calendars for include The Love Bug on June 29, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms on July 20 and an honored classic, The Princess Bride, on Aug. 17. // Walker Pavilion: 11 Spring Farm Drive, Lovettsville

Sipping Under the Stars
Select dates through August
While most weekend nights are for family time, sometimes it’s OK to leave the kids at home and have an adult-only night out. This year, the Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery is hosting a movie series lineup that you won’t want to miss. Guests will sip wine under the stars right on the vineyard, all while enjoying one of these four featured films: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Bad Moms, Sweet Home Alabama and Under the Tuscan Sun. Plus, all are welcome to come early for a delicious dinner from Le Grand Cru Bistro prior to the show.  // Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery: 275 Decatur Road, Stafford

South Riding Movie Night
Tuesday nights through August
From magical nannies to fire-breathing dragons, this year’s South Riding Movie Series features a unique array of powerful characters who seek to change the world for the better. Feel free to bring your own chairs and snacks to enjoy when the movie begins at sunset every Tuesday night, alternating between the Town Green and South Riding Center Stage each week. Three films to look forward to are Mary Poppins Returns on July 16, A Wrinkle in Time on July 30 and Small Foot on Aug. 20.  // Town Green: 43055 Center St., Chantilly; South Riding Center Stage: Riding Center Drive & Ulysses Street; free

Movies Under the Stars at Stonebridge
Every other Saturday through Sept. 21
Each weekend, get comfortable in the Potomac Town Center in Stonebridge for an eventful evening of entertainment for individuals of all ages. This year’s lineup features uplifting recent releases, such as Wonder on May 4 and Dumbo on Sept. 7, as well as magical tales your kids will love, including Hotel Transylvania 3 on July 6 and Christopher Robin on Sept. 21. // Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center: 2492 Rockbridge Court, Woodbridge; free

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