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How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night

How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Sep 01 2015

Reduced daylight may not be everyone's favorite part of fall but longer nights create the perfect setting for certain outdoor activities. In fact, now is the time to start planning an outdoor movie night for all your friends and family. However, the key to having a successful outdoor activity is all in the planning.

Send invitations
Make your event official by sending invitations through the mail or online. Create a fun card by designing them around the event with a movie screen and popcorn decorating the front. Try online invite sites like Paperless Post. You can easily make intricate card designs and send them to your guests all at once after uploading your invite list.

 \"cinema-party-invite\"

Decorate the space
Setting up low outdoor lighting will illuminate your beautiful stone patio space and ensure guests can get around safely. You don't want people tripping over each other if they have to get up during the movie, so low outdoor lights are a perfect option for brightening the backyard. Another way you can decorate for your outdoor movie is providing people with some throw pillows, blankets and chairs. Be sure to give people several options so they can decide where they are most comfortable. If you don't have enough covers for everyone, ask your guests to bring a blanket or lawn chair on the invitation. 

\"outdoor-movie-lighting-pathway\"

Set up the movie
Locate an area in your yard that will accommodate the size of your screen and give you a good angle for setting up the projector. For instance, you may want to put the equipment near the house for easier access to an outlet and then place the screen near the back of the yard. If you're not technologically savvy, make sure you recruit someone to help you set up the projector system ahead of time. It will be a lot less stressful doing this than trying to figure out how to work the movie when everyone has already arrived. Also, test out the speakers in advance. You want to make sure everyone can hear the movie but that it's not so loud it will disturb your neighbors. 

Prepare food

There's nothing like a good bowl of popcorn to munch on when watching a movie. Provide your guests with popcorn and other delicious options, like hors d'oeuvres and biscotti, by laying out a variety of snacks and treats on your outdoor stone island. If you're really ambitious, you could also have everyone over for dinner before the event to spend extra time outdoors. Then you can really utilize your barbecue island by grilling burgers and brats and showing off your cooking skills.

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Select the movie
It's important to choose a movie that everyone will enjoy. A few options might include \"The Princess Bride\" or \"E.T.\" Kids will find these movies exciting and adults can enjoy the nostalgia brought on by these classics. However, while most of your guests will probably be entranced by the story on the screen, have a few other options available for other guests. For instance, you could set up a marshmallow roasting station around your outdoor fire pit or put some cards on your patio table. People enjoy options, and this way you'll be prepared for guests who aren't as interested in the movie.

\"movies-outside\"photo credit: shrimpandgritskidsblog.com

If you're not one for movies, elegant hardscapes and yard fixtures create a variety of opportunities for hosting outdoor events, from luaus to dinner parties. Your backyard offers so many creative ways to entertain guests - all you have to do is decide what sort of event should be held. 

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