Outdoor Summer Movie Night Essentials 🎥🍿

School is out and summer is here, which means you’re probably looking for any reason to get the kids out of the house and occupy their time in fun ways.

After a long day at the pool or park, one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to get outside as a family is to have a backyard movie night. 🎥🍿

In honor of National Movie Night (recognized on June 10th!) we’ve rounded up what we consider the essentials to making an outdoor movie night quite the hit.


First things first, to make this happen you’ve gotta have some of the right equipment.

Now, I’m sure you’ve seen the aesthetic pictures with the big screen (pictured below) and while we love this look and you can definitely rent or buy something of this sort, this isn’t required to make your movie night a success.

What you will need no matter which screen choice you choose is a projector. HERE is a fairly inexpensive one on Amazon that is sure to get the job done. You may also be able to rent a projector at your local tech store.

Once you have your projector, you can choose your screen – here are some common options:

This is the most intense option and would work well if you have a large, open space and plan to have large groups of people attend your movie night. You can typically find these for rent at your local inflatable store if you aren’t wanting to make the investment. If you plan to host outdoor movie nights often, this might be the best choice for you!

This option is a little less intense, but still provides the same great set up and entertainment for your family and friends to enjoy on an ongoing basis.

If you want something you can re-use multiple times without the hassle of having to store the large screen somewhere, a basic projector screen is likely the best option for you!

  • Sheet from your linen closet

If you’re ballin’ on a budget and simply want to create a unique moment with your family without feeling pressured to buy a lot of items, a white sheet from your linen closet will do the trick!


Next up, decide your seating 🪑

Option 1: A backyard movie night is the perfect time to let the kids live their best fort life. To really get them involved, have them gather their favorite blankets, pillows and stuffed animals and create a fort on the lawn. 

Option 2: Keep it simple with your regular outdoor patio furniture. You likely already have outdoor seating or at least have lawn/beach chairs stored away. These will work just fine if you want to keep things simple!

Option 3: If you want to take things up a notch for your backyard movie night, take it picnic style. If you have access to wood pallets, use 3 or 4 to create your picnic table in the center – this can display your snacks! Then, line the pallets with cozy pillows and blankets so people can gather around for the show.


If you’re anything like us, you love to make things “Instagrammable” and a backyard movie night is the perfect place to do just that.

While decor definitely isn’t required for your backyard movie night, we’ve rounded up some of the best options that add an extra touch to make your night memorable.

Here are some ideas for you:


What’s a movie without snacks? Answer: not as fun 🍿🥨🌭

With your outdoor movie night, you have the opportunity to make your snack options one of the coolest parts, especially for the kids.

Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  1. Create a Concession Stand

To really bring the full movie theater experience, you could create a mock concession stand where your kids can “order” their snacks. You can have it complete with a popcorn machine and popcorn buckets so it feels like the real deal!

One of the easiest and unique ways to create this is by using a bar cart.

  1. Individual Popcorn and Candy Trays

If you want to keep things simple, but still include the movie theater experience on some level, individual snack trays are the perfect option!

You can order these on Amazon, makeshift with shower caddy baskets or DIY them!

(P.S. here’s a DIY tutorial we found that could double as a fun day time craft activity leading up to your move night event!)

  1. Charcuterie Board Night

And if you’re having a girls night or parents only movie night, you could make things fun and combine your outdoor movie night with a charcuterie board night.

This is where each person brings a different themed food board for guests to enjoy. This is all the rage on TikTok right now, so you can check it out HERE!

Once you’ve checked all of the above boxes, all you’ve gotta do is pick the movie and you’re good to go!

To make things easy for you, HERE is a link to all of our favorite finds to make your outdoor movie night one to remember – here’s to making moments 🎉

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