Baltimore Rec&Parks’ Rhythms & Reels Hosts FREE Events ALL Summer
Rhythms & Reels provides FREE movie screenings and concerts in Baltimore’s beautiful parks ALL Summer long!
Rhythms & Reels is part of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks new “Destination Active Baltimore” initiative, a push to get Baltimoreans outside having fun, exercising, and socializing. Rhythms & Reels started in 2016, and has since grown rapidly! The series features more than 150 free events throughout the summer, including movies and concerts.
Cortney Weinstock is the Park Events and Permits Manager for Baltimore Recreation and Parks, as well as the creator of the Rhythms and Reels concert and movie series. Weinstock has been with RecnParks for over two years, and says that she first imagined Rhythms and Reels when she was reviewing permit applications for events in Baltimore parks.
She said, “I noticed how many fun, FREE things friends groups and other organizations were hosting in the parks and thought it would be such a cool resource to collect all of the events into one ‘umbrella.'”
In 2016, Weinstock invited all the free events, concerts, and movie screenings in Baltimore parks to join the “umbrella” series, Rhythms and Reels. That first summer, Weinstock said only “61 events participated with only six of them being fully organized by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.” Now, Weinstock says the Rhythms and Reels program has doubled in size, with 150 events this summer, more than half of which are fully run and organized by Baltimore City Rec&Parks.
Weinstock says that the overall goal of the program is to “promote the parks and provide healthy and engaging programming in a fun and free manner.” The series features both movies and music, many of which are family friendly. A free concert or movie in one of Baltimore’s many beautiful parks is a special way to spend any evening, but the Rhythms and Reels series also provides a safe space for residents to engage in a healthy, positive activity. Weinstock says this is exactly what makes the job so rewarding.
One of her favorite parts of working on the series, Weinstock said, is “seeing people’s faces light up when they see the huge screen go up.” Aside from the pure joy Rhythms and Reels brings, the series also gives community members a chance to showcase their pride in their neighborhoods. Weinstock said each park has its own surrounding community group, and that “each community group has such pride and affection for their park and their neighborhood.”
When I asked Cortney Weinstock how the Rhythms and Reels series fits into the larger goals of Baltimore City Rec & Parks, and into the goals of the Destination Active Baltimore initiative, she said:
“[Rhythms and Reels] puts [Baltimore city] parks on the map as destinations to get engaged in. It’s an introduction and invitation to create new park enthusiasts and stewards. When someone comes to the park for an event, they discover a playground they might not have known about, or a new neighbor they’ve never spoken with, a new picnic spot or a place to come back and do their yoga.”
Weinstock says new comers are welcome at Rhythms and Reels events, from all over Baltimore and beyond!
Weinstock made sure to point out that there is also FREE POPCORN at each movie screening! A few of the movies showing in July include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Wednesday, July 12 at the Broadway Pier in Fells Point; Sing on Friday, July 21 in the Cecil Kirk Recreation Center; as well as the more adult The Big Lebowski on Saturday, July 22 in Herring Run Park.
If you’re more interested in music, don’t forget your dancing shoes! Upcoming free concerts include Swing ‘n’ Samba on July 12, in West Square, Mount Vernon; Spice on July 20 in Druid Hill Park; and Baltimore Brass Factory on Thursday, July 27 in Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park.
But there are so many more to choose from! Check out the full list of events here.
Which installment of Rhythms and Reels are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!