People always say that NYC is expensive, and that may be true. But savvy locals know that there are plenty of free, fun things to do in Brooklyn.

I love making a picnic dinner and going to see free, outdoor movies. There are many outdoor movies in parks all across the city, so check the NYC Parks & Recreation website for even more cool flicks, but check out this list below for my favorites.

Habana Outpost

Every Sunday night from May 6-Oct. 28 you can sit outside at this beer garden type of hotspot and watch cool films, mostly cult classics. Habana Outpost (757 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217) is the first solar powered, Cuban/ Mexican restaurant in the city. You’ll love the grilled corn with cheese, tacos, award-winning Cuban sandwiches, and popular Mexican dishes, but to be honest, many people come to get drunk and listen to the hot tunes the DJ’s spin. It’s not always easy to find a seat here, but you can usually squeeze in and share a picnic table with some cool strangers.

Prospect Park A Movie Under the Stars

A Summer Movie Under the Stars Get takes place in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow for four Wednesdays in July and August this year. A Summer Movie Under the Stars series is presented by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Prospect Park Alliance in partnership with Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema. The free family-friendly movies are a huge hit with locals, so it does get crowded. Remember to bring food, beverages only in plastic containers, not glass, and bring blankets or chairs. Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell also offers a few free movies during the summer, so check the calendar for more information.

Movies With a View Brooklyn Bridge

This is one outdoor film that I really love because they usually have cool themes, like sci-fi movies. Since 2000, Movies With A View has taken place every Thursday evening in July and August. You have to get there super early because the hill gets packed, but the view of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline, and of course, the Brooklyn Bridge, is so gorgeous you won’t mind being there long before the movie begins.

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach

Most people can’t stand Mondays; back to the grind all over again. But if you’re in Brooklyn, you’ll look forward to the first day of the week when you get to take a blanket and grab some hot dogs from Nathan’s (or bring your own food) and lie on the beach while you watch a free movie under the stars as you listen to the ocean. How romantic is that? The last movie of the season is a great one; August 20: Black Panther. 

McCarren Park Summer Screen Movie

Each Wednesday during the summer, head over to Williamsburg to the pool. When you’re finished cooling off, relax on a blanket and watch a free outdoor movie at the SummerScreen Movie Series. The movies are held every Wednesday night from 6:00 p.m.10:30 p.m. at  Berry Street and North 12th Street (in McCarren Park). You’ll have to fight with hipsters who stake out their spots early, but with movies like Die Hard and This is Spinal Tap, it will be worth it. 

Fort Greene Movies Under the Stars

Fort Greene only offers a few movies each summer, so be sure to check out the NYC Gov Parks site early to find out the dates. Sadly, there don’t seem to be any more this summer, but I added it to the list so you will know for next year. One of the reasons I love Fort Greene Park is because they host the Soul Summit Dance parties held two or three times each summer. Check Facebook for more info if you love house music.

There are so many more movies held in Brooklyn at parks and public gardens, and on rooftops throughout the summer. Check each park’s website for details.

Which outdoor films are your favorites?