Best Outdoor Cinemas and Theatre Pop-ups in Melbourne For Kids

  • Kids
    All Ages

A fun Melbourne tradition from December onwards during summer are the outdoor cinemas that pop up all over the city to take advantage of the fantastic weather.

We've rounded up some great spots to take the kids to see a movie in the great outdoors - some provide seating (the beanbags are fun!) and some allow you to bring your own picnic stuff for a great night out. 

South Wharf Pop-Up Cinema at Common Man

Enjoy your movie riverside on Common Man’s bright green Astroturf, featuring deck chairs, drinks, and a lolly bar packed with everyone's favourites.

Twilight sessions run on Wednesday, Thursday with 2 sessions showing Sunday’s from January 3 – February 28, 2018, on a a 7m x 4m screen and sound system made for movie magic.

For the adults, the Heineken 3 Pop-Up Bar & Pimms Garden will also be in operation, offering Heineken 3, Pimm’s cocktails & jug specials to film-goers. A range of Movie deal packages will be available including Pimms Jugs, bubbles & dips.

Flicks on offer this month include Moana, The Lion King, and The Lego Movie

What you need to know

Location: The Common Man, South Wharf

Ticket prices: Kids $9 (up to 14yo) | Adults $13 | Kids under 4 free

Session Times: Wednesday 7pm | Thursday 7pm  | Sundays in January 5.30pm & 8pm | Sundayss in February 5pm & 7.30pm

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Image Credit: Barefoot Cinema

Barefoot Cinema

The screen will definitely vie for your attention at the spectacular Seawinds Garden at Arthurs Seat, set among majestic pine trees and beautiful gardens righ tin the middle of Mornington Peninsula wine region. 

Hang out prior in the pre-movie area (with beer and wines for the grownups), grab your treats from the Barefoot Candy Bar, or select some hot food options from Martha's Table food truck.

There is no special seating arrangements at either Seawinds Garden or Rippon Lea Estate, and there is plenty of room for everyone, so take your own beanbag, picnic rug, blow up chair, sleeping bag, low back chair or whatever grabs your fancy. 

Up for grabs this season for the kiddies is Aladdin, Shrek 2 and The Lion King.

What you need to know

Location: Seawinds Gardens Arthur's Seat (until January 27), Rippon Lea Estate Elsternwick (Feb 1 - 16)

Ticket prices: Kids $15 (up to 15yo) | Adults $22 | Family (2 adults, 2 children) $65

Session Times: Check the website.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Image Credit: Barkly Square

Barkly Square Open Air Cinema

The popular Barkly Square Open Air Cinema is back in December and January, with an eclectic mix of family-friendly, arthouse and modern favourites. All proceeds with be donated to a different local charity each week, so round up the family and head down! It's one of the cheapest options, if you're on a budget post-Christmas.

What you need to know

Location: Barkly Square Shopping Centre, McDougall St Brunswick 

Ticket prices: $11.50, with all proceeds going to charity

Session Times: Every Saturday night in December and January, to see what's on head to the website.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Image Credit: Village Cinemas Facebook

Coburg Drive-In

For a night of good old fashioned movie fun, bring your family or a carload of friends to the Village Drive-In, where they screen a variety of blockbusters projected onto the huge 33 metre wide screens, and sound is picked up through your car's FM stereo broadcast.

You can grab a bite to eat in the retro style diner or you can order from your car via via the Coburg Drive In app (available through the app store) to have snacks delivered straight to you. From popcorn to burgers and fries, there's sure to be a treat to complement your night out.

This is a great option for families as everyone can chill out in their own area, and kids under 12 are free. Coco 2D, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2D are just a couple of options running currently.

What you need to know

Location: Newlands Drive, Coburg North

Ticket prices: Child/concession/student: $7.50 | Adult: $10 | Carload (5 people maximum): $25 | children under 12 are admitted free. Cheap tickets are on Monday nights.

Session Times: You can find session days and times here.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Image Credit: Moonlight Cinemas

Moonlight Cinema, Royal Botanic Gardens

Head out for a perfect night under the stars at the Melbourne location for the Australia-wide Moonlight Cinema. The summer season runs until April 1, showing advance screenings, new releases and cult films. Don't forget your blankets and pillows!

What you need to know

Location: Central Lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens

Ticket prices: Children 3 - 15 years: $14.50 | Concession: $16.50 | Adult: $19 | Cinebuzz Members: $15 | Gold Grass: $35 | Family Pass: $50

Session Times: You can find session days and times here.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Image Credit: Victoria Harbour Facebook

Park Cinema, Docklands

Bigger and better than in previous years, the summer 2018 cinema season at Victoria Harbour, the summer 2018 season runs Friday nights until March 2. On the agenda: new and old favourites such as Strictly Ballroom (for Australia Day, naturally), The Karate Kid and Ethel & Ernest, the latter of which arrives after featuring at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival.

Pack a rug and some snacks, or leave the work to whichever eatery you like, with the site featuring a designated UberEats drop-off point. The event is alcohol-free, but if you're keen for a pre-movie tipple, stop in at Collins Street's Bar Nacional on the way to the park. Just note that there is no reserved seating, so make sure you're on time to score a prime spot on the lawn — gates open at 7pm, with the screening kicking off around 8.30pm as the sun goes down.

What you need to know

Location: Buluk Park 894-910 Collins Street, Docklands

Ticket prices: FREE

Session Times: Friday nights at 7pm between January 26 and March 2

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Main image credit: The Common Man