Backyard Movie Night

Take It Outside: How To Host an Outdoor Movie Night

There are some movies that are made to be viewed on the BIG screen, but if you missed it the first time or if you miss watching an oldie but goodie, a BACKYARD movie night can be the perfect solution to your first world problems. Let us help make your own DIY backyard summer movie night one that your friends and family will never forget. 

Tickets Please:

The beauty of the backyard movie is that it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be based on your budget.  Seriously, a projector can be made from a magnifying glass and shoebox ( and an old sheet can be hung from the garage.  For those who want more of an instagram-worthy posh experience, projectors can be found for under $100 online and inflatable movie screens are only an amazon click away.  (HINT: Suggest your HOA or group of neighbors go in together to purchase a projector and screen for shared cost and shared memories.) 

Find Your Seat: 

Create your own cozy oasis for the best movie viewing set-up.  Summer is the perfect time to purchase inflatable baby pools as a base for comfy lounge space.  The baby pools provide a barrier from itchy grass and bugs while giving a supportive rim for pillows. Or if it is hot, they can be filled with water for a “dive in movie” experience after a day in the big pool.  Any combo of blankets scattered with pillows and cushions will work.  For a creative twist, hang on to the 90 boxes that are delivered each week to your home and let the kids decorate their own box cars to snuggle into for a DRIVE-IN movie. 

Concession Stand

Movie nights require popcorn!!  Create a popcorn bar complete with small bags; then fill them up with toppings like m&m’s, gummy worms, flavored salts, etc.  

Pro Tip: Bags of movie theater popcorn are sold at Ingles grocery stores if you have one nearby.  A fun option would be to provide individual trays for your guests to fill up on candy, chips, drinks and popcorn.  If you want to get fancy for adults, serve DIY charcuterie station.  

Snack area for movie night

Photo courtesy: Rachel Jeffers

Lights, Camera, Action:

Don’t forget ambient lighting!  Twinkle lights or outdoor patio lights around the perimeter of the space will help prevent tripping when folks sneak out to go to the bathroom. Don’t forget the bug spray too!  

Movie Audience:

Parents: This is a great idea for when you are ready for kids to wind down for the evening, but you aren’t ready to end your adult socialization and seltzers at your next cookout. 

Friends: Take this opportunity to relive a movie from your past while not getting shushed out of the theater by angry wannabe Siskel and Ebert movie critics, while you laugh and reminisce down memory lane of making out in the back row of the theater with you know who in high school. 

Date Night: Come on…Nothing says cuddle time like a pile of pillows and blankets while you have a front row seat to a scary movie or rom-com oozing with sexual tension.