top of page

Harlingen Making Accessible Family Summer Memories

(This article was written by Steven Hughes and appeared in the July 2024 issue of Explore Harlingen Magazine.)

Thousands of primary and secondary school students are back home, and parents are stressing about keeping their children entertained until August.

Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District saw 17,000 students during the 2022-2023 academic year, the National Center for Education Statistics from the U.S. Department of Education reported. What’s a parent to do when school is out for the summer?

Thankfully for the families in and near Harlingen, the city’s Parks and Recreation department provides a free once-a-summer event that’s growing in popularity as Christina Mendiola, the recreation supervisor, has ensured the city’s movie events are more than just watching a movie at one of Harlingen’s beautiful and recently renovated parks.

A family enjoying the Summer Movie Series. Photo courtesy of Harlingen Parks and Recreation.

“We have parents busy and trying to find some family time,” Mendiola said. “To be able to provide something free, the city is able to take that factor out and provide so families can come out and have fun.”

The Summer Movie Series is once a month during the summer break, and Mendiola said it’s been occurring long before she took the mantle two years ago. June featured Jurassic Park at Lon C. Hill Destination Park, with entertainment provided by Jurassic RGV, face painting and balloons by Balloons and Faces, and various food vendors.

People dressed for the Back to the Future movie. Photo courtesy of Harlingen Parks and Recreation.

These events can bring a range of activities. Last year, the city featured Star Wars: Return of the Empire at McKelvey Park, including a costume contest. Mendiola’s creative mind powers these events as she loves bringing her family to the city’s Summer Movie Series.

Mendiola decides the movies, parks, and vendors. The event sees a crowd of 50 to 100 people through her work and support from community partners.

“It warms my heart to see the families enjoying themselves, being in their element,” Mendiola said.

The final movie of the summer is The Sandlot from 6 pm to 8 pm on July 26, 2024 at the Harlingen Sports Complex at 3139 Wilson Road.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page