Genius Outdoor Movie Ideas

Summer is just beginning and there’s a whole lotta time for some outdoor fun. And by outdoor fun I mean hosting an outdoor movie night.  This is an activity that your little ones (and big ones) will love and I have a hunch the adults will love it too.

This requires a little bit of planning, but I’m pretty sure that your family will love this so much that it will become a yearly tradition.  What I love about these Genius Outdoor Movie Ideas is that they work just as well with teenagers as they do with the younger ones.

3 Rustic Photos showing  outdoor movie night seating ideas

3 Must haves for a successful outdoor movie night

If hosting an outdoor movie night is on your summer bucket list then there are a few things you need to know. There are many things that will make this event a success but here are my top 3 Must Haves for A Successful Outdoor Movie Night.

Number 1 | Screen and Projector

To host a successful outdoor movie night you will need a screen and a projector. You can find some DIY movie screen tutorials all over the internet like this one from My Frugal Adventures and this one from Lia Griffith. If you want to host a last minute movie night and you don’t have time to secure a screen or projector, Kim from A Girl and A Glue Gun had this genius idea.

Projectors can be kind of pricey so if you’re looking to throw an outdoor movie night on a budget, you can try this tutorial on how to turn your smart phone into a projector from Thrifty Diving.

Number 2 | Seating

Seating is a must have for an outdoor movie night. With this idea you can really think outside the box. Air mattresses, pillows, blow up pools, lawn chairs – you name it. You can even have your attendees bring their own seating.

Number 3 | Snacks

I don’t know about you but any time we go to the movie theater with my kids, I’m pretty sure what they look forward to is the snacks. Forget the movie. Bring on the food! You can go as elaborate or a simple as you’d like when it comes to movie snacks but I love these DIY Snack Trays from Studio DIY.


genius outdoor movie ideas

If you already know you won’t have time to pull an outdoor movie night this summer, the good news is you can pull off this idea well into fall and even throw in a bonfire. It has all the elements of cozy, some-what lazy indoor activity that you can do right in the great outdoors. There are so many creative options as you see referenced earlier in this post but we’ve pulled together 10 ideas to give you some inspiration. Lots of the included posts have so many more fantastic elements for your outdoor movie night – be sure to click over for more genius ideas!

1| Cozy Outdoor Seating Area from Fresh American Style

This has all the elements of a pajama party right in the backyard! (And would you look at that view? Amazing!).  I love the blankets and pillows and ottomans – perfect for lazy lounging in front of a good flick.

2| Moonlight and Movies Birthday Party from Catch My Party

What’s a movie without the snacks? (Lacking, for sure!) This is a great idea for setting up a concession stand, especially if you are going to create a bigger event like a neighborhood get-together or a party.  It really brings the movie-theater feel right to the backyard.

3| Acrylic Snack Trays from Studio DIY

These acrylic holders work perfectly for a family get-together or for a party. Not only is it a way to keep the snacks organized and neat, but the little ones will love having their own personal snack tray.

4| Drive-In Movie Cars from Kara’s Party Idea

Oh my goodness, how fun are these cars??? There is not a kid in the universe who would not love to watch their favorite movie in a car made just for them! Love!

5| No Fuss, All-Fun Popcorn Bar from Southern Discourse

Here’s another gorgeous take on the snack area.  This popcorn bar has lots of other yummy options available. The old-fashioned root beer is a genius touch!

6| S’mores Station from Style Me Pretty

No backyard event is complete without S’mores! If you didn’t want to go the whole bonfire-route, these S’mores stations with sternos are the perfect alternative.

7| Outdoor Movie Theater Seats from Not Just a Housewife

How fun are these chairs! Not only are they beautiful, but what a cozy and comfortable way to enjoy the movie!

8| Summer Backyard Movie Night from Camille Styles

Outdoor movies don’t just have to be for kids!  This set-up creates the perfect mood for adults kicking back and having some down-time.

9| Outdoor Movie Free Printables from Kitchn

If you are looking for some free printables for your outdoor movie event, check these out!  Printables always add that extra touch that everyone notices and appreciates.

10| Blanket Station from The Junk Drunk

There’s no reason not to enjoy an outdoor movie when the weather gets a little chilly.  This blanket is perfect for when the colder weather starts to move in, and your guests will definitely appreciate your thoughtfulness.

11 | DIY Movie Screen from Lia Griffith

I came across this DIY Movie Screen tutorial and I just had to include it in this collection. Over at Lia Griffith you’ll find all of the instructions neatly laid out with pictures and all the specifics. Your outdoor movie night will be up and running in no time after you follow her movie screen directions.

12 | Cozy Picnic Style Outdoor Movie from Honestly Yum

I saved the best for last. This post had me at those cozy, giant floor pillows. The rustic wood crates and trays , earthy blankets and rugs…….swoon. Would it be in poor taste if I invited myself over?

Big kids and little kids alike will love the novelty of watching a movie in the outdoors.  It’s a fantastic way to take an ordinary, lazy Friday night event and make it something special. Let me know if you try any of these ideas. I’d love to hear how it turned out!

Want to add some more delicious treats for your outdoor movie event? Making s’mores is the perfect addition to these plans. Check out 25 Ways to Make S’mores and then go shopping for your supplies!

summer bucket list ideas

Every summer my kids and I like to make a bucket list. Quite a few years ago we finally tackled the one thing that always made our list but never got checked off – a DIY Lemonade Stand from Wood Crates and Scrap Wood. It was so easy to make and we knocked it out in a few hours. Here’s the whole tutorial below.

White lemonades stand with tissue paper tassels

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One Comment

  1. Wow, these are so awesome… I wish I had a nice backyard to conjure up something like this!

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