How to Host the Ultimate Backyard Family Movie Night
The Seating Setup
Scatter cushions and seats around the backyard for the adults, while the kiddos grab smaller pillows and blankets. If you're setting up in the grass, you can even bring out a few sleeping bags for the kids to get extra cozy during the movie! Baskets from the house keep everything organized while oversize balloons add a pop of color and make the night feel more special.
Assemble a grab-and-go concession stand on a long table. For an extra fun touch, wheel in a theater-style popcorn cart (you may be able to rent one for the day if you don't want to invest in buying one). Sparkling twinkle lights are a must for lighting that won't compete with the movie.
Set the Scene
Turn your backyard into an outdoor theater with a scattering of adorable tents, chairs, and blankets. Keep the seating close and hang bright balloons from tree branches, and be sure to set up the snacks near the screen for easy mid-movie munching!
DIY Movie Screen
When the lights go down, it's showtime! Stream a movie from a laptop or office-standard projector. We created this DIY outdoor movie screen from a few PVC pipes and a drop cloth.
This silver screen-inspired garland is fun, easy, and perfect for decorating your cinema concession stand. To make one, grab a roll of paper tickets and rip off multiple strips of tickets to the desired length. (We used four tickets per strip.) Cut a piece of jute rope to the desired length, and layout straight. Fold top ticket or two over jute rope; hot-glue in place to secure. Repeat across jute length, using a ruler, if desired, to evenly space ticket strips.
Mix and Match
Let the kiddos (and adults!) create their own custom snack blends. We chose a variety of popular movie theater candies, but you could swap in nuts, fruits, and crackers. If you're looking for something a bit healthier, this homemade cheesy snack mix is one of our favorites.
Stack colorful ticket spools for a fun, low-cost centerpiece. Stack the rolls on a tray and finish the display with a vase or jar of colorful cut flowers. We like the look of multi-color ticket rolls for a display that really makes a statement.
DIY Snack Cones
Even if it’s just a casual gathering of friends, neighbors, or coworkers, it’s easy to turn your backyard into the ultimate summer movie-viewing spot! Since no movie night is complete without popcorn, pop enough for the whole crew just as the guests arrive. Set out bowls or cups so guests can grab individual servings, and don’t forget the toppings! The Landon Dinnerware Set (from $4, Bed Bath & Beyond) from the new Our Table collection includes bowls to hold individual servings, as well as smaller dishes to place different toppings in so each guest can create their ultimate movie night snack.
Sponsored by Bed Bath & Beyond
Butter is good, but these homemade popcorn seasonings are better. Try our favorite blend: dried basil, garlic salt, Parmesan, and red pepper. In the mood for something sweet? Try sprinkling on a mix of cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar.
Cinema Snacks: Burgers x2
Cinema Snacks: Hot Dogs 8 Ways
If hamburgers aren't your style, go with hotdogs instead! These dogs are all about the toppings. We've got eight creative ideas for our backyard favorite including a Hawaiian dog, Reuben dog, and a melty mac and cheese dog.
Cinema Snacks: Rolling Root Beet Floats
It's time for a brief intermission! Wheel a DIY root beer float around and prepare for a round of applause. Fill a galvanized party tub with ice, and place ice cream and root beer bottles in it. Don't forget a scoop and opener. Use plastic glasses to avoid breaking.
Cinema Snacks: DIY S'mores
Silver Screen Sweets
It wouldn't be a movie night without popcorn and candy! Set out a mix of classic favorites and small cups for mixing. Try a sweet-salty blend of homemade popcorn, chocolates, and gummy candies.