How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Nothing says summer better than late nights outside. Embrace the summer season by throwing your own backyard movie night! This is the best of easy party ideas (and with fantastic weather at the ready you could probably use a little easy in your life).

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Hosting a backyard movie night is not as tricky as you might think it is!  With a little imagination, a few treasured guests, and a warm summer evening, you have the perfect set up for a night to remember!

Today, I’m laying out a few simple ideas to get your very own movie night rolling.

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Greet your guests by creating a welcoming entry to your backyard movie night.  I used my light up DIY marquee sign that I created last week, some homemade bunting, a chalkboard, and some vintage movie posters.  I propped my back gate open with a bale of hay so that my guests would have no trouble finding their way to the festivities.

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

One of my favorite parts about watching a movie is the food at goes along with it!


I set up a refreshment table just inside the gate, with easy access for my guests to grab their treats before finding their seat.  I made cherry limeade cupcakes ahead of time, and set them out with a few candies and some popcorn.  I am so lucky to have a friend who owns a fancy popcorn machine! It was the perfect touch to the refreshment table!  (And, it had a nice warm glow in the evening darkness.)  I also had a metal tub filled with ice and lots of cold beverages.

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Your ironing skills will come in handy for your movie screen!  Any light colored, or white sheet will do!  I just thumb-tacked mine up to our side gate.  It was perfect!

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

I went bunting crazy for my movie night!  I bought a large pad of scrapbook paper, and yards of bias tape and spent 3 hours cutting and sewing.  It was the perfect touch, and set a fun mood for our evening.

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Your must have item to host your own backyard movie night is a laptop, projector, and a speaker.  We propped ours up on a folding chair, and it worked perfectly!  Pick a movie that fits your audience, and test out your set up a few times before the big night!  You don’t want to have technical difficulties pop up in the middle of your movie!

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

Last but not least, provide your guests with lots of comfy blankets and pillows to stretch out with.  If you anticipate a chilly evening, prepare your guests by warning them in the invite to bring a small jacket or a blanket to wrap up in.

How to Host a Backyard Movie Night

When the sun goes down, the magic begins!  As twinkle lights glow in the darkness, every one cozies up for an enchanted evening under the stars.  This is a summer adventure no one will ever forget!

Feeling Inspired? Keep Reading!

If you enjoyed this post on how to host a backyard movie night, keep reading. We have more for you! Or head over to our DIY Pinterest board for more inspiration.

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  1. says

    I have always wanted to do this. After seeing this post, I think I might do this in September. I also like the idea of doing it with some girl friends just like you mentioned above.

  2. says

    Great idea….I have rented big screen TVs and DVDs….kids love it….yes, something magical about movies outdoors at night…

  3. says

    That looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for the tips Emily! The only problem I see is that the kids’ll want to do it every night LOL!

  4. says

    This is so cute, love all the extra touches. I threw a movie birthday party for my eldest when he turned 5 and it went down a storm. Mine are both February babies, so we couldn’t do it in the backyard but I love this idea for whenever we sort our garden out :-)

  5. says

    This is a great idea! Even though you feature kids in the pictures, I can see doing this with my girlfriends or a couple night. Makes me feel like it’s easier to do since a plain white sheet will work.

    Now I have a plan for next Saturday :)

    Twitter: @LadyJWanderlust

  6. says

    This is so fantastic! I really really want to do this this summer… I’m in New Zealand and we are exiting winter and have all of summer to look forward to, so THANKS! x
    (I have pinned this post to my Movie night board on Pinterest)

    • Emily Louise says

      I have friends in New Zealand! A movie night would be the perfect start to any summer as well!

    • Emily Louise says

      I borrowed my projector from a friend! Ask on FB, spread the word! Maybe one of your friends has one you can borrow!

  7. says

    Yeah so we’re actually having a hard time getting our hands on a projector. Not easy to come by these days! But I loev all these idea and it looks so cute!