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Sweet Summer Fun: How to Host a Backyard Movie Night!

July 22, 2018

We know that summertime parenting can be extra challenging. You've spent weeks running from soccer practice to little league games to swim lessons and then rushed home to get dinner on the table, and the second you sit down and put your feet up you hear the inevitable chorus of "I'm bored!" coming from every room in the house.

It can be tough keeping up with kids' boundless energy, but we've got a solution that everybody can enjoy: Backyard Movie Night!

There's no better way to spend some quality family time together with relatively little work involved. Everyone will get a chance to relax and have fun, and the simple act of moving movie night outside will make a world of difference to your kids, who will now think you're the coolest parent ever!

Our plans here are pretty elaborate and are written with multiple families in mind. This way, everyone can share costs, and planning and cleanup responsibilities. Plus it's a great way for everyone to have fun together. But even if you choose to simplify things a bit, the novelty and excitement of a backyard movie night can't be beat, and you might even end up making it an annual tradition! 

Here are our tips for the best movie night ever:

Equipment for Backyard Movies

The only challenge of backyard movie night might be getting the necessary equipment. You'll need a projector and a large screen or other plain surface to project onto. The good news is that projectors are getting less and less expensive all the time (some cost less than $100), and your screen can be as simple as an old white sheet.

Movie Night EquipmentIf you're not ready to make the investment, you can check with friends and relatives who may be willing to loan you the right equipment and you may even be able to rent a projector from a local business.

Of course, you'll also need a movie to watch, and we suggest having a "double feature" prepared. Choose something for the youngest in the group to watch first and then something for the older kids to show later. This will (hopefully) avoid arguments and will give everybody something to be excited about!

Movie Night Setup Tips
First, have another parent, or group of parents, keep the kids busy, preferably in another yard or at a nearby park, while you set up. This will keep the setup stress free for you and make the experience all the more exciting for the kids. Plus, it doesn't hurt to tire them out!

Set up lawn chairs, blankets, sleeping bags and pillows for your backyard movie night.Set up the screen and projector first and work out any technical gremlins, then spread out blankets, pillows and sleeping bags on the grass, making sure everybody has plenty of room to get cozy! Lawn chairs in the back row are perfect for adults keeping an eye on everyone and for older kids who will be staying up later. A few tiki torches around the yard will add a "wow" factor, and keep many of the nighttime pests away. It's also a great idea to have some bug spray available to keep everyone bite free and comfortable.

Imagine your kids' excitement when they return home to find their backyard transformed into an outdoor theater! For added effect give everyone a ticket (homemade is fine) and have a "ticket taker" collect them at the door.

Movie Night Snacks

We've said it before: it's not movie night without snacks! This is where All City Candy can really help out. We have a huge selection of theater box snacks including Junior Mints, Raisinets, Mike and Ike, and so much more! Visit us or shop for candy online ahead Movie Theater Box Candy at AllCityCandy.comof your big day and get an assortment of your kids' favorites, then set up a snack bar where kids can pick out what they'd like to munch. You can even give each of them a few dollars of play money so that they can "buy" their own. Just be sure to be generous if they come up a little short!

You can also add sweets from our great selection of bulk candy. Set out a few serving bowls full of goodies and let everyone scoop their own gummi worms, M&M's, or Jelly Beans into small paper cups. (Sounds like people may need to make a few trips to this snack bar!)

In addition to great candy, you'll also want some fresh, hot popcorn to enjoy. Bonus points if anybody has an air popper that you can plug in right at your snack bar!

Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans at AllCityCandy.comNo popcorn popper? No worries! Pick up some handmade gourmet popcorn from All City Candy's own kitchen. Or keep it sweet and chewy with Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans.

You'll also want plenty of juice or sodas to wash it all down. If you're hosting a neighborhood movie night, you may even want some "special" beverages for the grown-ups. Just be sure they're kept in another location.

Finally, make sure there's a garbage can nearby so everyone can take care of their own wrappers and keep your cleanup duties to a minimum!

Once everybody has their snacks and settles in, it's all about fun. Press "Play" and enjoy a spectacular evening of family fun under the stars. In fact, you might decide that your backyard theater is even better than going out to the local multiplex. Enjoy the show!

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