Parenting hack: Take the kids to see a movie for free or very little in Austin

“Moana” is at multiple locations throughout the summer. Disney

Let’s face it. There’s only so many movies on streaming devices you can see this summer and sometimes, hopefully often, you’re going to want to leave the house. Austin’s incredibly lucky because we have multiple free to little-cost movie options that include recent movies as well as classics.

Check out our list:

  1. Sound and Cinema. Watch a movie and hear a concert at the same time on the lawn of the Long Center. 6 p.m. June 21, June 28, July 19 and July 26. Movies to be announced. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

    See the “The Wizard of Oz,” Warner Bros. at the Paramount this summer. Warner Bros.
  2. Paramount Summer Movie Classics. Show your kids all the great films you or your parents grew up on. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” 1 p.m. June 17; “The Sound of Music” 2 p.m. June 24; “Iron Giant” 1 p.m. July 1; “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” 3:05 p.m. July 1, 4 p.m. July 2; “Swiss Family Robinson” 1 p.m. July 8; “The Wizard of Oz” 1 p.m. July 16; “Babe” 1 p.m. July 29; “E.T.” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Back to the Future” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 5, 4:10 Aug. 6; “The Parent Trap” 1 p.m. Aug. 13. $6-$12. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave.
  3. Movies in the Park. Roll out the blanket and enjoy a free movie. “Sister Act” 8:45 June 1. Rosewood Park, 2300 Rosewood Ave. “Aladdin” 9 p.m. July 6. Patterson Park, 4200 Brookview Road. “Mighty Ducks” 9 p.m. July 13. Dick Nichols District Park, 8011 Becket Road.

    “Cars 3.” Contributed by Disney Pixar
  4. Alamo Drafthouse Kids Club. Find movies like “Sing” and “Matilda” each morning at local Alamo Drafthouses. It’s a $1-$5 donation, but you should reserve your tickets online. Check for the movie and showtimes. The Alamo Drafthouse also throws parties around new movie premieres. In June, celebrate “Cars 3” at 9 a.m. June 18 at Lakeline and 10 a.m. June 17 at Slaughter Lane; and “Captain Underpants” at 10:10 a.m. June 3 at Slaughter Lane. You also can watch PBS Kids shows at the Alamo; “Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion” plays at noon June 10-11, Lakeline.

    The sequel to “Rio” is at Flix. 20th Century Fox
  5. Flix Jr. Flix offers $2 children’s movies at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. “Madagascar 3” June 7, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” June 14, “Night at the Museum 2” June 21, “Rio 2” June 28. 2200 S. Interstate 35, Suite B1, Round Rock.

    “The Lego Batman Movie” is in theaters and at the library all summer. Warner Bros. Pictures
  6. Regal Summer Movie Express. 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16. “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Ice Age: Collision Course” June 6-7; “Trolls” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” June 13-14; “Monster Trucks” and “Penguins of Madagascar,” June 20-21; “Rio” and “Boxtrolls” June 27-28; “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing” July 4-5; “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Rachet and Clank” July 11-12; “The SpongeBob Move: Sponge out of Water” and “The Adventures of Tintin” July 18-19; “Happy Feet Two” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” July 25-26; “Storks,” and “The Lego Batman Movie” Aug. 1-2. Tickets are $1.

    In ‘The Secret Life of Pets,’ Max’s life as a favorite pet is turned upside down when his owner brings home a mutt named Duke.
  7. Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse. Offers $1 movies 10 a.m. Monday through Thursdays at Round Rock 8. “The Secret Life of Pets” June 5-8; “The Lego Batman Movie” June 12-15; “Trolls” June 19-22; “Shrek the Third” June 26-29; “Goosebumps” July 3-6; “The Iron Giant” July 10-13; “Hotel Transylvania 2” July 17-20; “Megamind” July 24-27; “The Angry Birds Movie” July 31-Aug. 3; “Sing” Aug. 7-10.

    The Secret of Kells.
  8. The Bullock Museum is offering its Summer Free Family Film Series: “Matilda” 2 p.m. June 3; “Alice in Wonderland” 2 p.m. June 10; “Black Cauldron” 2 p.m. July 1; “My Neighbor Totoro” 2 p.m. July 22;Secret of Kells” 2 p.m. Aug. 5; “Where the Wild Things Are” 2 p.m. Aug. 12; Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. 

    “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is at the library. Lucasfilm
  9. The Austin Public Library. It’s free to see these movies. “Rogue One” at noon June 3, Carver Branch; “Trolls” at 2 p.m. June 3, Windsor Park Branch; 6:30 p.m. June 13, Twin Oaks Branch; “Doctor Strange” at 2 p.m. June 3, University Hills Branch; “Jurassic World” at 3 p.m. June 9, Old Quarry Branch; “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” at noon June 10, Carver Branch; “Moana” at 4 p.m. June 14, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Old Quarry Branch; 6:30 p.m. July 11, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 13, Carver Branch; “Storks” at 2 p.m. June 15, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, Old Quarry Branch; “Pete’s Dragon” at noon June 17, Carver Branch; “Captain America: Civil War” at 2 p.m. June 17, University Hills Branch; “Independence Day: Resurgence” at 2 p.m. June 24, University Hills Branch; “The Secret Life of Pets” at 2 p.m. June 29, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 22, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. Aug. 10, Old Quarry Branch; “Sing” at noon July 1, Carver Branch; “Lego Batman Movie” at 2 p.m. July 1, Windsor Park Branch; 4 p.m. July 19, Cepeda Branch; “Inside Out” at noon July 8, Carver Branch; “Finding Dory” at 2 p.m. July 8, University Hills Branch; “Jungle Book” at 3 p.m. July 7, Old Quarry Branch; “The Good Dinosaur.” 2 p.m. July 27, Carver Branch; “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) at 2 p.m. Aug. 5, Windsor Park Branch.

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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