Living in a northern state and knowing that we only have a few more months of this gorgeous weather, we try to take advantage of every hour of sunshine and warmth. This has extended into our evenings and we’ve been stretching our grill time to include dinner and a movie in the backyard.
When you’re moving your movie setup outside, it’s fun to create your own little theater experience in the backyard so that the night is memorable for the whole family.
As far as the movie screen itself, you’ve got a couple of options. First, you could actually purchase an inflatable movie screen. This one is a good idea if you plan on doing this more often. You can also do a little DIY and rig up a rope between a couple of trees and hang a white sheet with some binder clips, also holding it tight on the bottom with some rocks.
Either way, you’ll also need a projector. I like the idea of having one I can connect to my laptop so that I can play movies right from my iTunes account. (You know, where all the children’s movies are currently stored!)
When it comes to seating, it sort of depends on your yard set up and preferences. We like to pull a few of our patio chairs out into the yard, along with setting out a couple of comfortable blankets and outdoor pillows for laying on the grass, or covering up if it gets a little chilly. Also, little stools are really easy to move around and are great for keeping near your “theater” area for setting drinks and snacks. You can also pack up your cooler and keep it nearby.
With movie choices lately, we’ve been sticking with more family-friendly options like the newest live-action Cinderella, anything Disney cartoon (Big Hero 6 and The Lion King are current favorites) or The Lego Movie, and we even try to sneak in The Avengers or Ironman because superheroes are always a hit around here.
Whether you’re in the real movie theater or having a screening at home, snacks are key to a fun experience. The two things I like to have are a candy bar and a popcorn bar.
For the candy bar, you can round up your household favorites, which in our house are Sour Patch Kids, peanut M&Ms, licorice ropes, jelly beans and mini peanut butter cups. You can put each kind in separate glass jars with lids and set a spoon with each for serving.
For the popcorn bar, I pop and butter the popcorn in advance and put it in one or two large bowls. Then everyone can customize his or her individual serving by sprinkling on some truffle salt, Sriracha popcorn seasoning or cinnamon sugar. These cute little popcorn boxes are perfect for carrying around the yard and they’ve got the perfect theater feel.
I do like to keep the food setups on the patio with a couple of food domes to cover them and citronella candles nearby to ward off the bugs.
Have you done an outdoor movie night at your house? What are some of your favorite summer movie recommendations?