Some of our favorite date nights happen outdoors thanks to Florida’s perfect weather – albeit summer's oppressive heat may be an exception. There’s something particularly intimate about laying under the night sky with your loved one. We’ve compiled a list of the best spots for movies outside in Orlando so you and your date can enjoy the natural beauty of Florida’s warm nights throughout the entire year.
Updated June 2022, by Dani Meyering
Movies Outside in Orlando
There are quite a few options for watching outdoor movies in Orlando. We'll start off with where you can watch movies outside in Orlando itself, then read on for outdoor movies that are worth a short drive beyond Orlando.
Movie Mondays at À La Cart Orlando
Every Monday, À La Cart Orlando hosts a free movie outdoor movie night. Movies vary from classics to romantic comedies and the Harry Potter series. Most showings begin at 7pm. We love this event because there’s a variety of food trucks on-site and a craft beer/wine bar inside. Plus, Á La Cart’s Monday Movies are free to attend. Just remember to bring blankets or chairs because seating is limited.
Leu Gardens Movies Outside
Cost: $6 or free for members
Once a month, Leu Gardens keeps their gates open late to host a movie screening under the stars. It only costs $6 per person, and attendees are welcome to bring picnic baskets. Alcohol is permitted, too, so pack your favorite local craft beer or a bottle of wine. We recommend picking up provisions from nearby East End Market before the show. Curbie’s Sidewalk Café also sells snacks during screenings. Most movies are PG-13, so this event tends to be more adult oriented.
FYI: Members have access to the parking lot, but non-members are required to park on the street, so arrive early to find a spot.
First Friday Summer Drive In Movies in Audubon Park
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Located at Audubon Park Covenant Church, this outdoor movie event is preceded by a pop-up market. You will be able to tune in on your car radio and enjoy in the comfort of your vehicle (there will be a speaker out on the lawn). Feel free to bring your own snacks, but popcorn and drinks are available for a meager purchase as well. Limit of 20 parking spots and 15 spots on the lawn available for families and groups of 6 or less.
Technically the event is free, but a $10 suggested donation per car/group helps to fundraise for the Heart in A Park building revitalization.
Reserve your spot now as space is limited.
Popcorn Flicks in the Park
Enzian Theater hosts a free movie series, Popcorn Flicks in the Park, each month. They are typically held on the second Thursday of each month in Winter Park’s Central Park. Upcoming features include Roman Holiday, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Apollo 13, so there’s something for every couple. Picnic baskets, snacks, blankets and chairs are welcomed and encouraged. Alternatively, grab dinner at one of Park Avenue's restaurants before the show.
Important note – this monthly movie event currently takes place at the Winter Park Events Center from May-September 2022. Popcorn Flicks will return to Central Park, Winter Park in October 2022.
Movieola at Lake Eola Park
Frequency: Typically April-September and again in December
Movieola is typically held in the spring and summer months and again during the holidays at Lake Eola Park. In addition to the free movie, each event has a special theme with activities to enjoy before the show. Food vendors are also on site. This is one of our favorite movies outside in Orlando events. You're welcome to bring your own blanket, chairs and snacks. Movies are family-friendly, so bring the whole gang!
Brews and Views at Ivanhoe Park Brewing
Cost: Free – food and beverage additional
Once a month, sometimes more, Ivanhoe Park Brewing hosts a free outdoor movie night, featuring classic films like The Sandlot and Heavyweights. Kids can enjoy fun crafts and activities before the movie, while the grown-ups kick back with a rotating selection of local craft beer. Food is also available for purchase from several onsite food trucks. Bring your own blankets, chairs, and movie snacks.
Family Friday is typically hosted on the first Friday of the month from 6-9pm, though dates and times do vary slightly throughout the year. See all upcoming Ivanhoe Park Brewing events on Facebook.
Avalon Park Movie Under the Stars
Settle in for a family-friendly movie under the stars in downtown Avalon Park. Bring your own blankets and chairs, and enjoy great feature films to satisfy the entire family. This is a great spot to catch animated features, especially if you have young kids. Movies begin at sunset.
Please Note: Movie Under the Stars takes a break in June for the rainy summer months, but returns in September for another season of fun flicks.
Outdoor Movies near Orlando
Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre
Cost: $7/adult, $3 per child
Open since 1948, The Silver Moon Drive-In in Lakeland is one of the last authentic drive-in movie theaters in Florida. It's also the only remaining drive-in in Polk County. Silver Moon has two separate screens, each showing two films each night—typically first-run movies. On a nice night, roll down the windows or open up your back hatch and make a cozy pillow and blanket fort.
A few tips:
- Make sure to arrive about 45 minutes early so you can reserve a good spot.
- Pack blankets on a cold night…it can get chilly!
- Hit the snack bar before the showing. They've got beer, popcorn, corn dogs, ice cream and more for very reasonable prices.
- The staff has a jump starter on site if you drain your battery, so not to worry.
- Don't want to watch both movies? No problem. Arrive early for the first movie, or 15 minutes before the second movie begins, depending on which you want to watch.
Prices at the gate are $7 per adult & $3 per kids ages 4-9. Carload tickets are ONLY available via pre-purchase online.
PS: Silver Moon also owns Joy-Lan Drive-In in Dade City. Silver Moon is about an hour from Orlando, and Joy-Lan about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Movies Under the Stars
Frequency: Monthly during March, April, and May – plus the holiday season
Sadly these outdoor movies in Clermont are only offered in the spring – then again with the summer heat, we can't blame them. Movies are also shown outside during the festive holiday season. The Clermont Parks and Recreation Department hosts these movies outside rain or shine event at Waterfront Park.
Cranes Roost Sunset Cinema
Frequency: Select Saturdays
Occurring on select Saturdays, Cranes Roost Sunset Cinema is a free outdoor movie event held in Altamonte Springs. Bring along blankets and chairs for the whole family. Movies are screened on the lawn in front of the Plaza tower.
Feature image credit: Leu Gardens