Grab some snacks and blankets and get outside! These fun Outdoor Movie Night Ideas are a perfect way to gather friends. Whether you’re hosting a party to celebrate something special or just want to enjoy some time with friends and family, these easy ideas will inspire you to snuggle up and enjoy a favorite movie.
While these movie night ideas can be copied for inside, my family loves outdoor movie nights! There is something so fun about watching a movie under the stars.
When the weather starts to cool down, though, the rules change. Everything needs to be a little bit cozier including the food and drinks. These easy Outdoor Movie Party ideas work any time of year but we love to host one in the fall!
How to Plan an Outdoor Movie Party
Find a place to hold your party that has a lot of room. You’ll need to make sure that the area is deep so that your guests aren’t too close to the screen.
We found a local vegetable garden to use for these outdoor movie night and it worked perfectly! But if your backyard is suitable, by all means, use that!
As you can see from the image above, we kept seating to certain parts of the veggie plots so we didn’t hurt the plants but you get the idea.
Make it a dinner party
Outdoor movie nights are fun for the whole family. Kids love to sit out on blankets and watch movies on a big screen. But you can easily make it an adults-only affair.
A dinner party held in a barn or garage could be super fun before settling into a favorite movie.
If you love to cook, you can easily do that, otherwise, just order in! Keep it as casual as you like!
Turning movie night into a dinner party is a unique way to celebrate a special occasion.
If you want to include the kids in the dinner portion, just have them eat picnic-style to keep things super easy.
Outdoor movie party decorations
Veggies are a great way to decorate for any fall party. They are usually less expensive than flowers and come in so many amazing colors.
Don’t let them go to waste and be sure to send them home with your guests as a party favor! You can easily purchase burlap bags to make carrying your bounty home a breeze.
We also used them to create the centerpiece for the dinner table above. Boom. Done.
I added some super easy DIY corn husk flowers around the party. I love using corn husks when entertaining. They are inexpensive and totally durable. They cut and bend easily and are crazy versatile!
How to Make Corn Husk Flowers
- Buy a package of dried Corn Husks from the store.
- For each flower, you will need 5 each of 3 different sizes.
- Cut one side of each corn husk into a point. Make 5 all one size, then make another 5 about an inch shorter and another set of 5 an inch shorter than that.
- I used a large barrel curling iron to create the bend in each piece. (genius, I know).
- Take one piece of each size, layer them (lining them up at the bottom) and use hot glue to attach them together at the base.
- Do the same to all remaining sets.
- Glue each set to each other, making sure that they fan out and look like the example in the photo above.
Cornhusk flowers and a little rope garland are all you need to add rustic elements throughout the party.
To add in some movie flair, you can use old film to create garlands or use store-bought movie decorations. They’re easy to find at party stores.
Or you can plan your decor based on what movie you are showing.
You can use just about anything to create a movie screen for your outside movie party. We used a banner stand that we already had.
I love these banner stands for throwing parties because they are really easy to use and can hold just about any kind of backdrop.
You can also tape or tack up a sheet on a large wall or project the movie right on the side of a building (works best with a white building that doesn’t have too much texture).
Or purchase an outdoor movie screen so you can host even more of these movie night parties!
A small projector will make it seem like you are in your very own movie theater! You can use this projector inside too.
I remember watching home movies on a wall in our house and it was SO MUCH FUN!
Outdoor movie seating ideas
For seating, we used hay bales. To make sure that they weren’t scratchy or dirty for the guests, we sewed cute denim covers with fabric side pockets.
The side pockets held flashlights (in case you need to move around or find something during the party) and also water and snacks. We also set out blankets to make sure nobody got too cold during the movie.
If hay bales aren’t right for you just spread out blankets and as many pillows as you can. If the grass is damp at all, use waterproof drop cloths or tarps hidden under the blankets.
Low chairs, like beach chairs are good for people who don’t want to lay down. Just keep those towards the back so they don’t block any views.
Outdoor movie night food ideas
For the outdoor movie party food, we served movie night favorites along with other fun snacks. We served potato chips in cute waxed paper bags, popcorn in paper containers, red licorice bundles, Boston Baked Beans candies and more.
To tie it all into the rest of the party, I used coordinating bits of the fabric from the hay bale covers to decorate the candy and snack packaging. We served everything out of a wagon to make it easy for party guests to grab and wheel around during the show.
Here are 3 popcorn seasoning recipes you can set out to jazz up plain popcorn with ease.
Get even more movie snack ideas including how to make cupcakes that look they are topped with popcorn!
Serve fall-inspired drinks
We made sure to have a hot beverage to offer as the sun went down. A hot whiskey and honey drink was the perfect thing!
For the kids, this delicious Hot Apple Cider recipe is just right.
We used an insulated beverage container that would keep everything warm and used corrugated cardboard cups for serving. But a carafe would also work.
We also served this yummy Apple Spice Fall Sangria and it was a great addition to our backyard movie night!
A Pumpkin Michelada would be a super unique drink idea to serve that is great for any time of year.
Your turn to plan a backyard movie night
These easy outdoor movie night ideas are all you need to put together a fun fall party!
Images by Sadie James Photography
Shot on location at Park Ave. Restaurant
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- Here are more movie night ideas for a kid’s focused outdoor movie night.
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