Cheap Date: Outdoor Film + Moonlit Picnic

As countless Matthew McConaughey flicks would have us believe, New York City in the summer is the perfect setting for a romantic rendezvous.  And no matter if you have champagne tastes…(or champagne tastes on a beer budget, as they say down south), you’d be hard pressed to find a girl who’s heart doesn’t beat a little faster at the thought of an outdoor movie in the park complete with a picnic featuring all her favorite foods.  Read on, and before you know it, you’ll be starring in your own romantic comedy.


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The Films

Outdoor flicks in the summer are not only free, but plentiful.  They do tend to fill up fast, so if you’re intent on getting a place on the lawn front and center, we suggest heading out early to set up camp.  But inching in at the back can be just as fun…it is, after all, all about the atmosphere, not so much the movie.  Some of our favorite outdoor film series for summer 2013, day by day, are:


Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach


RiverFlicks For Grown-Ups (Free popcorn!)


Outdoor Cinema At Socrates Sculpture Park (Foreign Flicks!)


Movies With A View


Films On The Green (French Films!)

Intrepid Summer Movie Series

The Food

After you’ve nailed down your film, now onto packing the perfect picnic.  For late night movies, I tend to opt for easily grazable foods that don’t require utensils and Tums rather than full on Shake Shack.  A trip to Trader Joe’s will knock out the staples in one quick trip: a baguette, mini-cheeses, some strawberries or grapes, and a little something chocolate.  And to earn extra bonus points, be sure to pour a bottle of her favorite vino ahead of time into a water bottle (there’s a pretty strict no-glass rule in most public parks.  Probably a pretty strict no-alcohol rule too, but remain classy and all will be fine.)  Throw in some hand sanitizer and napkins, and you’ll be shooing for the boyfriend-of-the-summer award.


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The Cost

Films are free, and a proper noshing picnic (including a bottle of 2 buck Chuck) can be done for under $20.


Do you indulge in free outdoor movies during the summer?  Share your tips below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen




10 Responses to “Cheap Date: Outdoor Film + Moonlit Picnic”

  1. The environment looks so fun there! We have a big space like that in Brisbane but it’s not used as much as the one shown in this pic.
    Matt – Brisbane Photographer recently posted..Brisbane’s Story Bridge, IlluminatedMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Yeah people love free outdoor stuff here in NYC during the summer…or anytime, for that matter!;-)

  2. we have these in LA– some charge, some don’t .. they are spread across southern california.. but I LOVE the idea of it.. if I didn’t have to show up so early. Also food trucks help!
    Stevie Wilson recently posted..Comment on “Wonderfully Weird” Goes Far Beyond Shoes — Kanarian Kindred, Guest Blogger, Digs Deep for Repeat Appearance! by Pamela MorseMy Profile

  3. Salika Jay says:

    Oh, how I love to watch an outdoor movie. Not for the movie but the setting. Sounds like the perfect date night for the summer.
    Salika Jay recently posted..3 Hawaiian Islands For 3 Different ExperiencesMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Yes, all about the setting for sure! It does help when there’s a good movie playing, too;-)

  4. Outdoor movies sound like a blast. Love the Bryant Park visual with the contented New Yorkers sitting on the lawn with the sparkly tree lights in the background.

    Who says culture has to cost money? Oh, and the classy vino tip was well, classic :).

    Please see one of the French flicks for me…

    Enjoy, Jess!
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  5. I love that “couple” in the lower left corner of the photo. ;) recently posted..Can a Chiropractor Fix Your Feet?My Profile