Free or Cheap Movies for Kids {Summer 2018}

A great way to beat the summer heat is with a movie in the cool and comfortable air-conditioning. With the cost of the tickets, popcorn, and drinks it can be so expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be, there are many places that offer free or very inexpensive movies for families all summer long. We’ve rounded up some of the special low cost series as well as some free options so you can stay cool in front of the big screen.

discounted summer movies for kids

Discounted Movies for Kids

Retro Series Animated Classics
Saturdays & Sundays 10:00 a.m. and Mondays at 7:00 p.m.
Gurnee Mills Cinema, 6144 Grand Ave. Gurnee

Tickets are only $5 and include a FREE complimentary sized popcorn.

  • June 2-4: An American Tale
  • June 9-11: The Iron Giant


Regal Summer Movie Express
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10:00 a.m.
Regal Lake Zurich 12, 755 S. Rand Rd, Lake Zurich
Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18, Rollins Crossing, 500 East Rollins Road, Round Lake Beach

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office only. Movies start at 10 and each week the both movies are shown on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

  • June 5-6: Hop and Max
  • June 12-13: The Iron Giant and Curious George
  • June 19-20: Despicable Me and Ice Age: Collision Course
  • June 26-27: Storks and Mr. Peabody & Sherman
  • July 3-4: Despicable Me 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • July 10-11: The Lego Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • July 17-18: Sing and The Peanuts Movie
  • July 24-25: The Secret Life of Pets and Alive and the Chipmunks the Squeakguel
  • August 7-8: The Lego Batman Movie and Trolls
  • August 14-15: Minions and Boss Baby
  • August 21-22: Paddington 2 and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • August 28-29: Despicable Me 3 and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
  • September 4-5: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Kung Fu Panda 3


Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse
Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:00 a.m.
Century 16 Deer Park, 2160 West Field Parkway, Deer Park

Admission is $1 per show at box office or see all 10 movies for $5 with a punch card. Same movie is played both days.

  • June 6-7: Boss Baby
  • June 13-14: Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • June 20-21: The LEGO Ninjago Movie
  • June 27-28: Storks
  • July 4-5: The Nut Job 2
  • July 11-12: My Little Pony
  • July 18-19: Ferdinand
  • July 25-26: Padddington 2
  • August 1-2: Captain Underpants
  • August 8-9: The Emoji Movie


Classic Cinemas Wednesday Morning Movie Series
Wednesday 10:00 a.m.
Fox Lake Theater, 115 Town Centre Lane, Fox Lake

Admission is $1. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. for games, activities, and character visits, movie starts at 10:00 a.m.

  • June 6: Boss Baby
  • June 13: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • June 20: Despicable Me 3
  • June 7: The Emoji Movie
  • July 11: The LEGO Ninjago Movie
  • July 18: Ferdinand
  • July 25: Paddington 2
  • August 1: Surprise PG movie
  • August 8: Surprise PG movie


Kids Dream Summer Film Series
Sunday, Monday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  (Saturdays added in August only)
Gurnee Mills Cinema, 6144 Grand Ave. Gurnee

Tickets are only $3 each. Popcorn and Drink special for $2.75.

  • June 24, 25, 27: Ferdinand
  • July 1,2, 4: Wonder
  • July 8, 9, 11: Trolls
  • July 15, 16, 18: LEGO Ninjago
  • July 2. 23. 25: Paddington 2
  • July 29, 30, August 1: Early Man
  • August 4, 5, 6, 8: Despicable Me 3
  • August 11, 12, 13, 15: My Little Pony
  • August 18, 19, 20, 22: Peter Rabbit
  • August 25, 26, 27, 29: Sherlock Gnomes



discounted summer movie series
Photo Source: Vernon Area Public Library Facebook Page

Free Movies for Kids

Many of the local libraries have movie showings that are absolutely free. Little kids may actually prefer the more relaxed and familiar setting of their local library for their first big screen experience. Check out some of the upcoming ones and watch our calendar for more dates.

Lights, Action, CRAFT
Tuesdays 10:00 a.m.
Fox Lake District Library, 295 East Grand Ave., Fox Lake
For children ages 3-5. Watch a short film and make a related craft project. In the Children’s Activity Center.

Drop-in Movie
June 13, 1:00 p.m.
Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Rd., Round Lake
Bring your own snack and join the library from a summer of books to movies.

Incredibles Movie Day
June 14, 4:00 p.m.
Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Rd., Round Lake
The Incredibles 2 is just around the corner so, why not refresh your brain with one of the best animated films to date just as the sequel arrives in theaters! Pizza and Drinks will be provided as we screen The Incredibles at the library!

Kids Movie Night
June 21, 6:00 p.m.
Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Rd., Round Lake
Monthly kids movie night. Contact the library for this months movie title.

Movie Matinee
July 17 2:00 p.m. and August 6
Warren Newport Public Library, 225 O’Plaine Rd., Gurnee
Watch a movie on the libraries big screen. July’s movie is Cars 3 and August’s movie is Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory


Which one is your favorite movie series program? Are we missing any? Let us know in the comments!

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About Melissa Haak 901 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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