Host a Backyard Movie Night

Bring the silver screen to your backyard! We've got DIY ideas for transforming your backyard into a family-friendly movie night. Serve some concession stand favorites, and cozy up for a movie under the stars.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    The Seating Setup

    Scatter cushions and seats around the backyard while guests grab smaller pillows and blankets. Baskets from the house keep everything organized while oversize balloons add a pop of color. 

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    Concession Stand

    Assemble a grab-and-go concession service on a long table. For a fun touch, wheel in a theater-style popcorn cart. Look for these online, or rent one from a local caterer. Sparkling twinkle lights are a must for lighting that won't compete with the movie. 

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    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. 

    Tip: Set up the snacks near the screen for easy mid-movie munching! 

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    DIY Movie Screen

    When the lights go down, it's showtime! Stream a movie from a laptop or office-standard projector. We created this screen from a few PVC pipes and a drop cloth. 

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    Oversize Cushions

    It's time to get comfortable. Oversize cushions, bean bag chairs, and (our favorite) papasan chair cushions make every seat the best seat in the house. 

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    Ticket Garland

    This silver screen-inspired garland is fun, easy, and perfect for decorating your cinema concession stand. 

    To Make: Rip off multiple strips of tickets to desired length. (We used four tickets per strip.) Cut a piece of jute rope to desired length, and lay out 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.

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    Colorful Centerpiece

    Stack colorful ticket spools for a fun, low-cost centerpiece. We found these raffle tickets at our local office supply store. They're also available online. 

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    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. 

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    Napkin Wraps

    For easy snacking, wrap up disposable untensils in compostable napkins. Tie the bundles off with twine. 

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    DIY Snack Cones

    Create a clever snack stand with wire pigtail stakes (available at the hardware store) and scrapbook paper. 

    To Make: Use pliers to widen circle at top of each wire spiral. Bend each stake stem to a 90-degree, L-shape angle. If desired, spray-paint stakes. Roll scrapbook paper into cone shapes; secure paper cones with tape or glue stick. Stand stakes in a bucket or vase filled with sand or decorative rock. 

     

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    Popcorn Toppers

    Butter is good, but these homemade popcorn seasonings are better. Try our favorite blend: basil, garlic salt, Parmesan, and red pepper. In the mood for something sweet? Try sprinkling on a mix of cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar. 

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    Cinema Snacks: Burgers x2

    Two kinds of burgers mean there's something for everyone! We whipped up a batch of lentil veggie burgers and our best-ever hamburgers. Remember to set out a DIY toppings bar. 

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    Cinema Snacks: Hot Dogs 8 Ways

    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. 

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    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 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. 

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    Cinema Snacks: DIY S'mores

    Paper berry baskets round up classic s'mores ingredients. Let guests help themselves before heading to the fire pit. 

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    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 popcorn, chocolates, and gummy candies.

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