The best free outdoor movies in the Twin Cities this August

Alright, whether you want to hear it or not, summer is halfway done. But that’s a good reminder to maximize every moment we still have with warm temperatures and late sunsets. Free outdoor movies are all over the cities and here are a few worth checking out:

Friday, August 4 — “The Secret Life of Pets” in Bloomington

Bloomington’s Arts in the Parks series includes live music, Monday morning activities if you’re looking to entertain the kids during the day, and movies shown on 30 foot screens. The kid-friendly animated film “The Secret Life of Pets” shows on Friday, August 4 starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Normandale Lake Bandshell right off of 494 and Highway 100.

Wednesday, August 9 — “Ghostbusters” (1984) in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board hosts its annual Movies in the Parks series throughout the City of Lakes. On Wednesday, August 9, they’re screening a throwback with the 1984 hit, “Ghostbusters.” It’s at Kenny Park, which is located just west of Lyndale  Avenue and 58th Street in south Minneapolis. You can see the 2016 version of “Ghostbusters” at Phelps Field Park in Minneapolis on Saturday, August 12.

“Zootopia” rounds out the Startlight Cinema series on August 10 in Woodbury.

Thursday, August 10 — “Zootopia” in Woodbury

This movie is part of the Startlight Cinema series at Ojibway Park in Woodbury. Festivities start at 7 p.m. with face painting, a craft table and food available for purchase. Twin Cities Live Reporter Emily Engberg will emcee all the fun. The movie begins at 9 p.m. There are contests throughout the evening before the movie starts, and the prizes are awesome; they typically give away passes to Valleyfair and all-day wristbands to Nickelodeon Universe. Park at Woodbury High School and make sure to bring a blanket and lawn chairs.

Thursday, August 10 Friday, August 11 — “Drop Dead Gorgeous” in Minneapolis

Note: The Star Tribune, a sponsor of the “Drop Dead Gorgeous” night (smart marketing move), sent me a note saying that the screening will now happen on Thursday, August 10 and not Friday, August 11. It’ll still be 15 minutes post-sunset at Lake Harriet. The date is also changed on the Music and Movies website.

So every Minnesotan needs to see my all-time favorite movie, the ‘mockumentary’ “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” The 1999 movie, which is based in fictional Mount Rose, Minnesota, has an all-star cast: Kirstie Alley, Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, Denise Richards and the late Brittany Murphy. A documentary crew follows contestants participating in the “Sarah Rose Cosmetics American Teen Princess Pageant” which happens to turn into a thriller. The Minnesota accents are thick and you’ll recognize local landmarks in the film, including Eden Prairie Center and what’s currently the DoubleTree Hotel along 494 in Bloomington. It’s extremely underrated and it’s rare to find a copy: new DVDs aren’t being created. “Drop Dead Gorgeous” screens 15 minutes post-sunset at Lake Harriet.

Thursday, August 17 — “Fried Green Tomatoes” in Hopkins

“Fried Green Tomatoes” starring Kathy Bates and Mary-Louise Parker was one of my mom’s favorite movies. The 1991 film will show after a concert by musician Jillian Rae in Hopkins’ Downtown Park. The concert-movie duo are part of that suburb’s Summerfest series which hosts weekly events throughout the summer. The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Friday, August 18 — “Toy Story” in Plymouth

A movie which started a new era in animation will be shown in Plymouth. Watch “Toy Story” at the Parkers Lake Playfield in Plymouth on Friday, August 18. The movie starts at dusk.

Tuesday, August 22 — “The Sandlot” in Stillwater

It’s a scene played out in neighborhoods across America: makeshift games of baseball in backyards. Or in case of one set of boys, a vacant lot. “The Sandlot” is the final movie in Stillwater’s Summer Tuesdays series. A market opens at 5 p.m., music at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at dusk.

Tuesday, August 29 — “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in Saint Paul 

It’s time to pass one of the most iconic movies of the 1980s on to another generation. Just in time for the beginning of the school year, take your student to a movie where a kid skips school. Maybe not the best message, but definitely a great movie. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will be shown at the Old Highland Poolhouse, located just east of Highland Park in Saint Paul. Flicks in Saint Paul’s Movies in the Parks series start at dusk, but be warned: they might start “earlier or later” according to the city’s website.

Thursday, August 31 — “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” in Saint Paul

Watching a pirate movie on an island feels appropriate. The city of Saint Paul is showing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” on Raspberry Island just across the Mississippi from downtown. The film starts at dusk.