Catching an outdoor movie is a rite of passage for a summer evening. Celebrate this summer ritual by heading to National Harbor on a Thursday evening to catch a G or PG rated movie projected onto the giant sail on the edge of the Potomac.
The experience of watching a movie under the sky
This year’s movie line up includes both recent films like “Basketball County: In the Water” and older classics like “My Dog Skip”. The plaza seating area is located just in front of the peeps store. Families began showing up with chairs around 7pm but those bringing only blankets to sit on could find seats right in front as late as the start of the movie.
We put our blanket down around 7:30pm and then went down to the beach area to let the girls run around on “The Awakening” statue and play in the sand (bring wipes if you are planning to let your kids play on the statue – they were a mess after). When we returned an hour later our blanket was right where we had left it. The actual films do not start until after sunset. This past week the big screen did not light up until close to 9pm.
Spending an evening with kids at the Potomac
Aside from the beach area there are many diversions to keep your kids entertained until dark. DJs from the 94.7 radio station began playing music and giving away prizes shortly after 7pm. Two long piers jut out into the Potomac just to the side of the stage area allowing you to stroll around looking at all of the different boats. Many families set up camp and then went to get food from one of the take out style restaurants nearby.
Baja Fresh, Elevation Burger, Chidogo and Potbelly Sandwiches are all located close to the plaza area. Several other families brought in picnics from home. We brought food from home but indulged in dessert from Pinkberry nearby (which stays open until midnight). Ben and Jerry’s and Cake Love are also close enough to enjoy a pre-movie treat. Gourmet kettle corn is available for purchase near the DJ booth.
Parking and getting around
National Harbor has a lot of parking in close vicinity to the movie area in both surface lots and parking structures. The nearest option is less than a 5 minute walk. Parking can be pricey with the lots starting at $3 for one hour and topping out at $11 for 4+ hours. Credit card payment is accepted for all lots. Public restrooms can be found a block away from the viewing area just past Cake Love. Changing tables are available here and the restrooms remain open for the duration of the family film.
Movies on the Potomac also sponsors a Friday Night date night movie each week, showing classics like “Dirty Dancing” and “Apollo 13” on the outdoor screen for a more adult audience. Friday night movies run through September 28th.
The sail screen at National Harbor is a great spot for viewing a new film or an old classic. Don’t miss out on this great summertime experience!