Your guide to free summer movies for the whole family


By Kelly Q. Anderson

Member of the Chicago Parent Blog Network

The movie-going experience is a dazzling escape and a chance to lose yourself in a compelling drama or slapstick comedy. Well, unless you have kids. Then time is usually spent loudly reminding them to ‘use quiet voices’ and ‘please share popcorn with your sister’ and ‘how on earth do you have to go to the bathroom AGAIN?!’


See what I mean? That being said, it’s pretty lovely when the rules are relaxed and kids can be kids in a movie-watching environment. As the summer heats up, don’t cool on the idea of a theater experience. Take advantage of your local indoor and outdoor movie-viewing events. Oh, and use your wallet strictly for procuring tasty refreshments because all of these kid-friendly flicks are FREE, FREE, FREE.

Winnetka Movie in the Park

Movies begin at dusk (approx. 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.)


May 20: Inside Out (Rated PG) at Indian Hill Park

June 17: Guardians of the Galaxy (Rated PG-13) at Hubbard Woods Park*

August 19: The Good Dinosaur (Rated PG) at Hubbard Woods Park*

*Indicates tentative location; visit Winnetka Park District for future details.

Glencoe Movies on the Green

Outdoors on Wyman Green. Movies begin at dusk (approx. 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.)

June 10: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Rated PG-13)

July 8: The Goonies (Rated PG)

August 12: Back to the Future (Rated PG)

Wilmette Library: Youth Summer Movies

Indoors, Auditorium


June 15: Finding Nemo (Rated G), 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

June 29: Big Hero 6 (Rated PG), 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

July 6: Max (Rated PG), 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

July 20: Ramona & Beezus (Rated G), 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Northbrook Park District: Rock the Green and Movie in the Park

Outdoors, Village Green Park


June 3: Battle of the North Shore Youth Bands (6 p.m.) then stay for Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Rated PG-13; 9 p.m.)

Northbrook Library: Family First Run Feature

Indoors, Auditorium


May 28: Norm of the North (Rated PG); Showings at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

June 4: Sensory Family Movie at 2 p.m.

“Sensory-friendly screenings are designed for children with special needs. The films have quieter volume and turned-up lights. The environment is welcoming towards kids who need to move around, talk and sing during the screening.”

June 13: Youth Film Festival at 6:30 p.m.

“Celebrate local teen filmmakers by viewing the Youth Film Festival entries. Entries will be screened and awarded prizes.”

Millennium Park Summer Film Series in Chicago

Outdoors on the Great Lawn, Jay Pritzker Pavilion. All Films start at 6:30 p.m.


June 21: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986; Rated PG-13)

June 28: Soul Food (1997; Rated R)

July 5: A League of Their Own (1992; Rated PG)

July 12: Thelma & Louise (1991; Rated R)

July 19: Full Moon Double Feature - Moonstruck (1988; Rated PG) & Silence of the Lambs (1991; Rated R)

July 26: Kartemquin Films 50th Anniversary Celebration

August 2: West Side Story (1961; Unrated)

August 9: Grease (1978; Rated PG-13)

August 16: Finding Nemo (2003; Rated G)

August 23: Purple Rain (1984; Rated PG)

August 30: Audience Choice - Favorite Chicago Film


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