While much of the country shivers through the autumn and winter months, Orlando shifts into its most pleasant temperatures, making the area the ideal locale to while away warm, sundrenched days that dissolve into coolish, starlit nights with only the slightest hint of a chill in the air. These evenings are perfect for an outdoor film screening, a trend that has seen many new outdoor cinemas or screenings open up in Orlando.
Hundreds of couples flock to Harry P. Leu Gardens, the 50-acre botanical garden just north of downtown where movies are shown on a giant outdoor inflatable screen on the first Friday of most months during Date Night at Leu Gardens. Admission is just $5 plus tax, and picnic provisions, including wine, are permitted.
Snuggle up on the lawn at Central Park just beyond Winter Park’s bricked Park Avenue, where you can catch a free classic film during Popcorn Flicks in the Park, typically on the second Thursday of each month beginning at dusk. Don’t forget to snag your free bag of popcorn from the concession and consider wandering over to one of the Avenue’s chic wine bars after the movie.
At nearby Enzian Theater, an area favourite for independent films and documentaries, a lively crowd gathers on a weekly basis for the Wednesday Night Pitcher Show, which features a free outdoor screening of a retro favourite or cult classic paired with Jell-O shot trivia and an all-night happy hour. Admission is free.
Kissimmee’s Movie in the Park, a monthly movie event held at Kissimmee Lakefront Park on the second Friday of every month, is a hit with parents thanks to its family-friendly and animated films (PG or G). Admission is free and concessions with movie snacks are available on site.
Finally, PG and G movies are screened by the fountain on the second Saturday of most months at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs (north of Orlando) during Sunset Cinema, another family-friendly soirée with free admission. Be sure to spend some time strolling the park’s picturesque walking trail before or after the show.
Know Before You Go
Most outdoor movie events do not provide seating so make sure you bring a blanket or lawn chair with you. On warmer nights, the mosquitoes might be buzzing so it’s best to bring some bug spray, just in case.
Header photo © Enzian Theatre
Have you ever been to an outdoor screening in Orlando? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Written by Kristen Manieri