Chicagoans embrace summer by spending as much time outdoors as humanly possibly. From working out on the beach to dining on a lake or river-side patio, there are so many ways to make it a summer to remember. Here's yet another great outdoors option: Trade an air-conditioned movie theater for an evening under the stars and catch an outdoor movie on a Chicago summer night. Here are three venues that offer free outdoor flicks.

Movies in the Parks

Settle in to the comfiest seat in the house — on a blanket on the grass in a picturesque Chicago park - for a movie under the stars. The annual Movies in the Parks series offers a wide range of movies — from Hollywood blockbusters to obscure, art house flicks — in parks across the city. Catch Raising Arizona in Wicker Park on June 29, Race on Rainbow Beach on July 14, Big Hero 6 at Maggie Daley Park on July 25 and many more movies on just about every evening during the summer months. Find the full schedule online. Movies begin at dusk and they're always free.


ROOF on the Wit’s Movie Monday Series

Step atop the sleek, scenic rooftop of the Wit hotel (201 N. State St.) for the ROOF on the Wit’s Movie Monday Series. The summer fun kicks off at dusk on Monday, June 26, with the open air screening of the smash hit movie La La Land. Munch on complimentary popcorn and take advantage of the full menu of handcrafted cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired bites.

  • July 3 - Fantastic Beasts 
  • July 17 - Office Christmas Party 
  • July 31 - The LEGO Batman Movie
  • August 21 - Kong: Skull Island 
  • August 28 - Fifty Shades Darker 

Movies are free and screenings always begin at dusk. For more info, visit


Millennium Park Film Series

Every Tuesday, from June 13–September 5 at 6:30 p.m., the architecturally-inspiring Jay Pritzker Pavilion's Great Lawn morphs into an open air movie theater, complete with a 40-foot-tall screen. From the dramatic (El Norte; July 11) to the scary (The Shining; August 8) to the laugh-out-loud (Wayne's World; September 5), there's a flick for every movie buff. Check out the full schedule online at


Find more outdoor flicks this summer at The Park at Wrigley, the newest addition to Chicago Cubs stadium grounds, or head indoors for some cool A/C and comfy seats at popular movie theaters like the AMC Dine-In at Block 37 downtown or ArcLight Cinemas at the NEWCITY Lincoln Park entertainment complex.