San Diego

‘Space Jam' to ‘Moana': Summer Movies in the Park Returns for 2019 Season

The event began in 2007 and has become a staple in outdoor fun for the whole family in parks across the county

It’s officially summer, San Diego! Which means the return of a fun tradition for the whole family.

Summer Movies in the Park has returned throughout the county with a series of free outdoor screenings of family-friendly flicks.

Though the event technically started in May, the official kickoff to summer signaled a burst of new choices and options for families through October.

The movies will take over iconic locations, like Waterfront Park downtown -- where the sky meets the sea ("Moana" fans rejoice) -- as well as intimate, community parks scattered across the county, like Rolling Hills Park in Rancho Peñasquitos.

Most of the films are rated PG with classics and new releases alike, from "The Princess Bride" and "The Goonies" to "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse" and"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World."

Pixar movies will also be out in full force for the family with "Coco," both "Incredibles" movies, "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory,"  "A Bug’s Life," and "Up."

And for the slightly older crowd, movies like "Legally Blonde," "Captain Marvel," and "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" will round out the selection.

And once October hits, Halloween-themed movies like "Hocus Pocus," "Beetlejuice," and "Monsters, Inc." will give viewers a good fright.

The complete list of summer movies is listed below:

The films usually begin at dusk, with the event wrapping up at around 10 p.m.

Organizers encourage San Diegans to arrive early to play games and eat, as food trucks and other vendors are scheduled for some of the showings.

Depending on the park, well-behaved leashed dogs are usually allowed (even "The Beast" from "The Sandlot" is welcome, which is playing six different times over the summer).

To find out the best time to arrive for each movie, visit the event’s website.

Free or Cheap Things to Do in San Diego

Summer Movies in the Park began in 2007 as part of the “take back our parks” initiative. The event hoped to give San Diegans a reason to visit more parks and strengthen the community.

In 2018, the program screened 153 movies across 91 parks for nearly 45,000 people, according to its website.

A survey showed that 99 percent of people asked would recommend the Summer Movies in the Park to a friend and 87 percent of people asked called it a “fun recreational experience.”

The summer of family-friendly flicks was put on by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, with the help of Rose SD Realty, San Diego Gas and Electric, First 5 San Diego, various cities, and more.

For more information about Summer Movies in the Park, including exact showtimes and locations, visit the event website.

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