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





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