Free movies, concerts and shows…oh my! School will be out and summer will be here in a few weeks and the fun can begin. Having fun over the summer doesn’t mean that you have to go broke though. Did you know that there are a plethora of free summer concerts, movie, shows and programs in the Southern Maryland area? You won’t want to miss these free family friendly entertainment selections. This is going to be a lot of information that I’m throwing at you but it’s all very helpful. Here’s a look at free summer entertainment available in theaters, on the lawn and beyond.
SUMMER MOVIE PROGRAMS- IN THEATERS
Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday starting June 17th, Xscape Theatre’s Kids’ Summer Movies offers FREE kid favorite movies. Movies start at 9:30 AM, doors open at 9:00 AM. The following movies will be showing this summer 2019. The movie lists are different at each location, so visit this link to learn more about the summer movie program at a Xscape Theater near you. The following is for Brandywine 14.
- June 17-20: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
- June 24-27:The LEGO Movie 2
- July 1-4: Smallfoot
- July 8-11: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
- July 15-18: Penguins of Madagascar
- July 22-25: Hotel Transylvania 3
- July 29- Aug 1: Minions
- August 5-8: Goosebumps 2
- August 12-15: Paddington 2
- August 19-22: Surprise Feature!
Catch a FREE movie on the big screen at Flagship Cinema. Movies are scheduled at 10:00 AM (Doors open at 9:30) every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the series. Schedule varies by location, find out more details for the theater you are most interested in by visiting their site. Here is the 2019 Prince Frederick line up:
- June 25-27: Hotel Transylvania 2
- July 2-4: Sherlock Gnome
- July 9-11: Emoji Movie
- July 16-18: Minion
- July 23-25: Peter Rabbit
- July 30- Aug 1: Sing
- August 6-8: My Little Pony Movie
The RC Exchange in California Maryland has great summer line up of FREE movies! Movies show Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s at 10:00 AM. To learn more about the RC Exchange summer movie program visit their site. Here’s a look at the movies playing in St. Mary’s County:
- June 25-26: Smurfs:The Lost Village
- July 2-3: The LEGO Movie : Second Part
- July 9-10: Peter RAbbit
- July 16-17: The Grinch
- July 23-24: Goosebumps 2
- July 30-31: Smallfoot
Regal’s Summer Movie Express offers $1 admission to favorite kid movies. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, movies start at 10:00 am. Each week both movies play on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s a list of the cheap summer movies playing at Regal theaters this summer. Keep in mind schedule changes by location. To learn more visit their site. This schedule is for the closet theater for Charles County residents; Regal Kingstowne -5910 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA:
- Week 1: Lego Batman Movie and House with a Clock in its Walls
- Week 2: House with a Clock in its Walls and Paddington 2
- Week 3: Despicable Me 3 and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
- Week 4: Lego Movie 2 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- Week 5: Smallfoot and Secret Life of Pets
- Week 6: Lego Movie and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
- Week 7: Sing and How to Train Your Dragon 2
- Week 8: Penguins of Madagascar and Boss Baby
- Week 9: Kung Fu Panda 3 and Lego Ninjago Movie
- Week 10: Trolls and Minions
- Week 11: Madagascar and Shrek 2
- Week 12: How to Train Your Dragon and Storks
SUMMER MOVIE PROGRAMS- ON THE LAWN
Movies on the Beach are projected onto a large, inflatable screen in the sand. Movies are free, bring your beach chair or blanket and get comfy on the beach! In addition to movies on the beach. Don’t miss out on Town a “drive-in” movie in the Fall in the visitor parking. Movies start at dusk.
- June 15: Bumblebee
- July 20: Ralph Breaks the Internet
- August 17: The Incredibles 2
- September 21: Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (Drive-In Movie)
This resource is for BASE ACCESS ONLY. Bring your lawn chair and favorite movie snacks to Lighthouse Park, located next to the swimming pools at the Solomon’s Navy Recreation Center, for an evening of great family entertainment under the stars. This is a FREE EVENT! All movies are rated G, PG or PG-13. Event will be canceled if participants are not present 15 minutes after start time or for inclement weather. Open to all with base access. For more information, contact The Adventure Zone at (410) 326-2964 or (410) 326-2840.
- May 25 – VENOM (PG-13)
- July 6 – TOMB RAIDER (2018) (PG-13)
- August 31 – AQUAMAN (PG-13)
Summer Fest is scheduled for June 15th from 5-9 PM and will offer fun activities as well as a movie on the lawn. Explore exciting games, cool arts & crafts, and delicious treats that are sure to please everyone. The night will finish with a Screen on the Green, a special showing of a TBD Summer family favorite! Bring Dinner and have a family picnic! The event is $20 a family. All proceeds raised will go towards Discover U Children’s Museum STEAM Bus and Summerseat Farm.
This resources is a BASE ACCESS ONLY program. Starting in June Indian Head FFR will offer free dive-in movies to those with base access. Take a dip in the pool and watch a movie. Schedule to be released soon on their calendar.
Roll out your blanket and cuddle under the stars as you enjoy a movie on the big screen on the National Harbor Plaza lawn. The National Harbor hosts Date Night Movies every Thursday at 7PM and Family Movies on the Potomac on Sunday’s at 6PM. All movies are free.
Family Movie Schedule:
06.02 Cars 3
06.16 Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
06.23 Air Bud: World Cup (2000)
06.30 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory )
07.07 Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
07.21 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
07.28 The LEGO Movie 2 (2019)
08.04 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
08.11 Learning to See: The World of Insects (2018)
08.25 Instant Family (2018)
09.01 A Wrinkle in Time
09.08 The Wizard of Oz
09.15 The Wiz (1978)
09.22 Despicable Me 3
09.29 DUMBO (2019)
Bring a blanket, or lawn chair, and enjoy a summer concert on the Green at Watkins Regional Park. Family and friends will enjoy a variety of music under the stars. Dates are set for June 22, 2019, July 20, 2019 and August 17 , 2019; movies start at 7:00 PM and are free.
SUMMER CONCERTS & MUSICAL PERFORMANCES
Join the Town of La Plata for a free Friday night Summer Concert Series. The weekly concerts take place from 7 pm to 9 pm on the lawn at La Plata Town Hall at 305 Queen Anne Street. Concert goers are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for sitting. Coolers are allowed, but no alcohol, please. Concessions are available from the Town’s food trailer located in the back of the parking lot; an ice cream truck is stationed there for your enjoyment. A play area for children, the Kids’ Zone, allows parents to enjoy the concert while keeping an eye on the little ones.
2019 Summer Concert Schedule:
- Friday May 24th: 7 PM to 9 PM – BackFin
- Friday May 31st: 7 PM to 9 PM – Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Show
- Friday June 7th: 7 PM to 9 PM – Pork Donut
- Friday June 14th: 7 PM to 9 PM – Trilogy
- Friday June 21st: 7 PM – U.S. Navy Band The Sea Chanters
- Friday June 28th: 7 PM to 9 PM – The Bradley Turner Band
- Friday July 5th: 7 PM to 9 PM – Flippin’ Eyelids
- Friday July 12th: 7 PM to 9 PM – Ryan Forrester Band
- Friday July 19th: 7 PM – U.S. Naval Academy Band
- Friday July 26th: 7 PM to 9 PM – Funkzilla
- Friday August 2nd: 7 PM – 257th Army Band
- Friday August 9th: 7 PM – U.S. Navy Band The Commodores
- Friday August 16th: 7 PM to 9 PM – Bucket List Band
- Friday August 23rd: 7 PM to 9 PM – Southern Maryland Concert Band
- Friday August 30th: 6 PM to 9 PM – Sam Grow
Downtown Tunes is a FREE concert series that features a variety of music genres including jazz, country, bluegrass, acoustic and rock-n-roll performed by local artists. Concerts take place at the Leonardtown Square- 22735 Washington St. Leonardtown, MD 20650. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the music on the square in Leonardtown. Concert-goers are invited to bring chairs or blankets to sit on. Explore downtown restaurants and shops. Rain dates are always the day after the originally scheduled date. Downtown restaurants will be open before and during the shows, and many of the surrounding local businesses will stay open until 6:00 p.m. to allow for browsing and buying before the concerts start.
On Summer evenings (Friday, June 23, Friday, June 30, Friday, July 7, Friday, July 14, Friday, July 21, Saturday, July 22), the Chesapeake Orchestra brings the beautiful sounds of jazz, concertos, marches, and waltzes to St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Each summer, Maestro Jeffrey Silberschlag and the Chesapeake Orchestra set up on the Townhouse Green along the St. Mary’s River to entertain serious music lovers and casual listeners alike. These free concerts start at 7 PM, with seating and food and art vendors opening at 5 PM. LEARN MORE
Every Saturday May 4, 2019 – July 27, 2019 at 12PM, catch a live concert at Running Hare Vineyard. Taste their award winning wine today! A Running Hare Vineyard wine tasting is $10. Bring a picnic or enjoy a rockin’ pizza from Pizza di Vigna’s brick ovens, or enjoy the tacos and pulled pork from the Hungry Hare! From 1-5, get ready to tap, dance and sing along with a Southern Maryland favorite, John Luskey! He is straight-ahead, good-time fun for all! Come early for a good seat. See their calendar to see who’s playing each week.
World-class performances by bands from the nation’s Armed Forces at National Harbor will stir the hearts and souls of civilians and military personnel alike, while their tuneful stylings in a variety of genres please music lovers of all ages. Don’t miss these free shows on the Plaza stage every Saturday night, May 18th – September 21st at 7PM. See their calendar to see who is playing each week.
The Town of La Plata will host five summer shows for kids at Town Hall. The shows are geared towards preschool and elementary age children and are approximately 45 minutes long. The shows are free and open to the public. Shows will be held outdoors on the West lawn where the Friday night concerts take place (weather permitting – shows will not be moved indoors). Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for sitting. No concessions will be available, but you are welcome to bring drinks and snacks along.
- June , 2019- Blue Sky Puppet Show Pig Tale
- July 9, 2019- Dino Rock: Dinosaur Babies
- July 23, 2019- Mr. Skip
- August 13, 2019- Bay k-9
- August 20, 2019- Rainbow Rock Band
Each county in Southern Maryland has an awesome summer reading program with cool prizes, incentives for reading, stellar workshops and amazing programs. Check out what’s going on at your local library!
Calling all Moms! Join us for Mommy & Me event in the Community Room behind Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store. Enjoy Mommy’s Lounge while your children play and nurture their creative and magical side. Interactive children’s entertainment will be featured at each months event! Along with free snacks your little ones will be happy, active and mesmerized for the entire hour. Then you can enjoy some shopping with exclusive discounts from retailers and prize giveaways!
- Wednesday, June 19th at 11 AM- SUMMERTIME MAGIC- Drew Blue Shoes – DC’s Funniest Kids Magician!
- Wednesday, July 17th at 11 AM- JOKES & JUGGLES- Whimsical children’s entertainment will be provided this month by Mandy Dalton.
- Wednesday, August 21st at 11 AM- AUGUST IN AUSTRALIA – Song & Dance.
Join the James E Richmond Science Center for one of their semi-monthly planetarium sky shows, highlighting each month’s featured constellations, stars, and planets. First Monday of each month from 7 – 8 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30.) This program is FREE! No ticket required, but seating is limited. Upcoming Sky Shows: June 3, 2019 & August 5.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs often has great specials for families. Sundays are for the kids this season! Every Sunday kids will get: Pre-Game Autograph Session, Free Admission to Pinch’s Playground and boat rides, Kid’s Run the Bases after the game and Helmet Ice Creams are JUST $3! They also have a great Backfin Buddies program for only $15 they get a great package to come to each Friday game free and even play in the Pinch playground for free and much more. Tip: I often check in at Chick-fil-A and the library to see if they have free tickets sitting out throughout the summer.
I love that both Kings Dominion offers an amazing Pre-K Pass deal. Register by May and than redeem your pass at the gate by June for a FREE season Pre-K pass to Kings Dominion for all kids ages 5 and under!!! To learn more visit.
DROP IN FUN
LORD CALVERT BOWLING
Make sure you put this on your summer bucket list! Kids play FREE through summer at Lord Calvert Bowling Center!!! Make sure you Like their page so you get updates about programs like this.
Every month Home Depot offers a FREE workshop for kids on the first Saturday of the month from 9AM – 12PM. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin.
Be sure to check out Michael’s Craft store for free workshops. From Free Family Make Week in June to Make Breaks and Kids Clubs you are sure to be impressed. See their website for details on dates and programs available at your location.
SPLASH PADS & SPRAY GROUNDS
There are three splash pads that are in close driving distance for Southern Maryland families each offer free or cheap water play fun. Visit the following sites or articles for details:
- La Plata – Charles County (FREE)
- Nicolet Park – St. Mary’s ($)
- Our Special Harbor – Alexandria, VA (FREE)
***Thank you so much for reading this guide. I hope that it is helpful to your family. The Playful Parent is a non-profit organization that provides free guides & information, community calendar and community programming & events in order to advocate learning through play and to promote family bonding. Please stay connected by visiting the website or following on Facebook. All information provided and most photography from this article are intellectual property of The Playful Parent.***