How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night

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Our 15 year old is a social butterfly. Always on the go. And, if she’s not asking to go somewhere, she’s inviting friends over. I have to love this about her since I am the complete opposite.

How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Outdoor Movie Night

Last weekend she decided she wanted to host an outdoor movie night for some of her friends. The weather was going to be ideal for a backyard event, so we put it on the calendar and made it happen.

outdoor movie night pallet snacks

After running a few Instagram polls, it was decided that the movie for the night would be “Finding Dory.” Surprisingly, the teens and adults here actually sat and watched the whole film.

Except Jaden, of course. Sitting for that long watching a movie is not exactly a strength of hers.

outdoor movie night popcorn cupcakes

She went back and forth inside and out to keep herself busy while trying to keep her guests happy at the same time.

backyard movie night concessions

Although she thinks I may have been a bit “extra” when it came to planning and setting up the movie night event, I think it went well.

Everyone had a great time, enjoyed plenty of snacks, and have already asked about the next one. I’d say that makes it a success!

backyard movie night blankets cushions

And, even though my kids think I went overboard, here are tips to host an outdoor movie night of your own:

  • Set-up: You will need a screen (could be a sheet, side of the house, or actual projector screen), a projector, and sound system.
  • Comfortable Seating: We laid out a tarp (because several of us are sensitive to grass), then covered it with blankets, cushions, and pillows. I also added wooden crates here and there for holding snacks and drinks during the movie. We also rearranged patio furniture and lawn chairs for those not comfortable on the ground.
  • Mood Lighting: Even though we have plenty of ambient lighting from other sources, we still used a few strings of outdoor lights to brighten up the backyard. This kept our guests safe when they needed to use the restroom or grab more snacks during the movie.
  • Movie Treats: Because your guests will be sitting (mostly) on the ground watching a movie –in the dark– finger foods and other easy snacks are best. Movie popcorn cupcakes are my favorite, so I made them mostly for me. But, we also had plenty of candy, chips, and popcorn for our guests as well. For added thematic-flair, serve black and white popcorn!

Everything else will simply fall into place. The time spent before the movie should be about socializing and having fun (we had backyard games set up) with your guests.

After all, the real purpose of the outdoor movie night should simply about spending quality time with your family and friends! Have fun!


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