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Free (or almost free) Summer Movies for Kids

By Jaci Arnone

Surf's UpRecently, a neighborhood mom tipped me off to a great alternative activity that’s just perfect for escaping the dog days of summer that lie ahead. Several cinemas in the area offer free summer movies for kids and their families (see listings below).

During the recent heat-wave, I jumped at the chance to check this out for myself. I took my three younger kids to see Over the Hedge at Cinema World in Lincoln. The kids were admitted free of charge, and my ticket was $2 (although adults are free with a donation of a non-perishable food item). There was a balloon artist in the lobby, which was a huge hit with my kids, and I must admit that the AC was absolute bliss.

I’m usually the last person to suggest watching a movie over outside play, but I’ve been looking for ways to limit our UV exposure and find a balance between fun in and out of the sun. I will definitely be making these summer movies a regular part of our schedule.

Cinema World Free Kids Movie Series (website)
Where: Cinema World, Lincoln Mall 16, 622 George Washington Highway, Lincoln, RI
When: Every day, all summer long at 10 am.
Cost: Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Adults pay $2 or free with donation of non-perishable food item for local food banks.

  • June 20 – 26, Open Season
  • June 27 – July 3, Happy Feet
  • July 4 – 10, Madagascar
  • July 11-17, Shrek 3
  • July 18 – 24, Flushed Away
  • July 25 – 31, SpongeBob
  • August 1 -7, Curious George
  • August 8 – 14, The Wizard of Oz
  • August 15 – 21, Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • August 22 – 29, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
  • August 30 – Sept 4, Surf’s Up

National Amusement’s SPF (Sun Protection Films) Series (website)
The SPF program provides “Out of the Sun Fun” in support of the SHADE Foundation.
When: The program runs every Monday at 11 am from June 30 – August 18 and movies are free for the whole family.

Participating Cinemas:
Showcase Cinemas Warwick, 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI
Providence Place Cinemas 16, 10 Providence Place, Providence, RI
Showcase Cinemas N. Attleborough, 640 South Washington St, North Attleborough, MA
Showcase Cinemas Seekonk Route 6, 100 Commerce Way, Seekonk, MA

  • June 30, Shark Tale
  • July 7, Charlotte’s Web
  • July 14, Evan Almighty
  • July 21, Madagascar
  • July 28, The Ant Bully
  • August 4, Alvin and The Chipmunks
  • August 11, SpongeBob
  • August 18, Firehouse Dog

Showcase Cinema’s Bookworm Wednesdays (website)
Bookworm Wednesday is an annual fun and rewarding summer reading program developed to encourage young children to read during the summer months (June 25 – August 13).

The program entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film every Wednesday during the summer months when they present a book report at participating theatres. Children under six who accompany a participant and adults who accompany a participant receive free admission to the Bookworm Wednesdays movie and do not need to submit a book report.

Participating Cinemas:
Showcase Cinemas North Attleborough, 640 South Washington Street, N. Attleborough, MA
Showcase Cinema Warwick, 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI

  • June 25, Jonah
  • July 2, Bee Movie
  • July 9, Everyone’s Hero
  • July 16, Open Season
  • July 23, Happy Feet
  • July 30, Curious George
  • August 6, Shrek 3
  • August 13, Surf’s Up

Showcase Cinema Warwick’s “Baby Pictures” (website)
Showcase Cinema Warwick, 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI
Parents and babies can enjoy the latest movies in a baby-friendly setting (dim lighting, lower volume, stroller parking, in-theatre concession cart).
Regular ticket prices pertain. Call for weekly schedule, (401) 885-1621.

Patriot Cinemas 1-10 East Providence (website)
Location: Route 1A, Rumford, RI
All seats are always $1.99
Check website for schedule.

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  • Wow, we’re in. Thanks for the idea and info. Some things we do include open swims at the Y, the play space and rock climbing wall at the Pawtucket Y, the trains at Barnes and Noble and shady parks.

  • I am bookmarking this page. Thank you so much for compiling this list! And the way you present it, Jaci, going to a movie will feel virtuous! Limiting sun exposure & all. Thank you!