Resident Tourist – Outdoor Movie Night

Cat from Solo Travels DC and I braved the heat to participate in one of DC’s summer pastimes – the outdoor movie.

Tonight’s feature was Wall-E and I looked forward to seeing it again.

After circling the block a few times, we spotted the NOMA movie grounds – an abandoned field adjacent to the raised metro tracks.  Luckily, the trains running from Union Station to New York Avenue Station didn’t take away from the experience.

We were unprepared tonight, having decided to watch the movie on a whim and we had to sit on the bare ground.

Others had blankets or lawn chairs and yummy picnic dinners.  For those who decided not to bring food, Food Trucks were parked in the lot  before the movie.

Even though the weather was muggy with a chance of muggy, the field was full of movie goers, kids and pets.  The atmosphere was relaxed, punctuated with laughter from groups of friends.

I love outdoor movie nights, but they take a chunk of my beauty sleep.

I guess it’s my fault for going to see a movie on the summer solstice!  It took forever to get dark enough to play the film.  A lesson learned.

Tips For Watching An Outdoor Movie

  • Bring a light sheet or something to cover the ground underneath you.  It helps with the bugs and allows you to have a little more room to lay out.  People will get kinda close if you haven’t used something to mark a decent space.
  • Bring food!  Even if it’s just something to snack on.
  • Bring drinks to stay hydrated.  Sure, you can bring alcoholic beverages to most locations.  If you’re watching a movie on the National Mall, be discrete since alcohol isn’t allowed, but tolerated.  By discrete, I mean drink out of cups and keep the bottles out of site.
  • Arrive early.  The earlier you get there, the better your space and the more likely you’ll avoid someone with a lawn chair sitting in front of you!
  • Bring a few friends. I love to recruit people for movie night.  It’s such a cool thing to do on a weekday afternoon and it’s free!

Movies are shown at various fields throughout DC.  Each location offers a different movie theme and plays their movie on a different weekday.  For a movie listings, check here!


How To Survive The Washington, DC MetroAre you planning a visit to Washington, DC? Check out the “How To Survive the Washington, DC Metro System – A Traveler’s Guide.”