Lonely Planet Writer

While away your summer evenings watching movies under the stars in New York

Visiting New York can be stressful. The hustle and bustle of the streets can make you weary. But now, thanks to the clever folk over at New York’s Parks Department, you can relax like a local by taking in a movie in while still making the most of the warm, balmy summer evenings in the city.

New York park movie screening.
New York park movie screening. Image by Getty Images

Over 300 screenings will be held in parks across New York’s five boroughs over the coming summer months as part of the ‘Movies Under the Stars’ series, with family friendly flicks on offer for the young and action packed blockbusters for the older. Some of the movies on the schedule over the coming months includes ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘Annie’, ‘The Avengers’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Grease’ and viewers are encouraged to come armed with blankets, chairs and snacks for the outdoor screenings. ‘Our movies have chairs reserved for seniors and people with disabilities, so that everyone can enjoy a good movie.  Bring some food, find a great spot and enjoy the show!,’ a statement on the official website reads.

It’s not the only free outdoor movie series which will be held in the city this summer, as the HBO Bryant Park Summer Festival is due to kick off on June 20. Thousands of locals and tourists are expected to descend upon the Manhattan park for the sunset screenings, which will run every Monday until August 22 with movies like ‘Top Gun’ and ‘The Omen’ all taking a spot on the bill.

Crowds are also expected to swarm to Central Park- one of the most visited urban parks in the world- for Good Morning America’s free Summer Concert Series. Some of the acts expected to grace the stage at the Rumsey play field over the coming weeks include Blink 182, James Bay and Keith Urban. At the Rockefeller Centre- home to the Today show- Celine Dion, Blake Shelton, Jessica Simpson and Alicia Keys will also perform to thousands for free as part of their free summer concert series. So whether you are a movie buff or music lover, there is plenty going on in the outdoors over the summer months in the city.