Summer Fun Idea: A Backyard Movie Night

Last summer, we moved into a new home. When we saw that we we had an upper level deck, I immediately envisioned a good old fashioned movie night in the backyard. 

That July, we picked the movie (Zootopia), invited friends and neighbors, bought a king-sized white sheet from Target, and found a killer deal on a projector on Nextdoor. 

Needless to say, it was a HUGE hit, and now we plan to make it a tradition every summer. 

If you want to plan a fun “just because” event or summer birthday party, I humbly suggest a backyard, outdoor movie night.

Here’s what you need: 

A white sheet. Seriously, no fancy outdoor screen needed. We hung our king sized white sheet from the deck with plain old duct tape, and it worked great. If you don’t have a deck, just hang it from the back of the house. 

A projector. No need to buy a new one, you can find one on Craigslist, or see if you can borroone from the local library. 

Sound stuff. You need a speaker (we used our Bose Radio) and a DVD player or laptop to play the disc. In our set up, we hooked the sound into the DVD player and the DVD player to our projector.

Invites! This is a GREAT “get to know your neighbors” activity. You can make some homemade invites and pass them out to friends and neighbors on your street who also have kids. Here is a link to a free printable invite you can use. 

Snacks. Make some homemade popcorn in a big pot on the stove if you have a crowd, so you won’t be microwaving loads of popcorn bags. Since we plan on doing this every summer, we plan on getting a big stack of popcorn bags to have on hand.  We also go to the grocery store and buy some packs of movie theater type candy (goobers, Mike and Ike’s, MILK DUDS. You know, the good stuff). Another idea: root beer floats. 

Set up. Lay out some blankets and lawn chairs, as well as a table and bowls for food. Plan your movie night around dusk (so if you have younger kids, the movie night may work best in August, when then sun starts to go down earlier). Plan at least an hour for set up your first time.

Movie Ideas for Summer 2017:

Kids movies include: Moana, Sing, Trolls, Toy Story, Parent Trap. 

OR get babysitters and have couples date night with these movies: LaLa Land, Hidden Figures, or go old school with Goonies or Jurassic Park.

Now, you’re all ready for a good, old fashioned movie night with friends! Have fun!

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