Host a Backyard Movie Night

candy concessions
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.

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. 

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. 

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! 

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

Napkin Wraps

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

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. 


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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Cinema Snacks: DIY S'mores

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

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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