21 Ways to Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Read next

This summer, swap out your usual Netflix on the couch for something way more exciting—an outdoor movie night! Stock up on popcorn, invite some friends and set up a movie screen in the backyard. We’ve rounded up plenty of inspiration for your cinematic soirée, from decor ideas to irresistible snack options. The only thing you’ll have to worry about: which movie will it be? This list will give you some great ideas. 

Printable Magic

Your backyard will be movie night–ready in no time thanks to these fun printables from Hostess with the Mostess. There are signs to welcome your guests, DIY popcorn boxes and even a checklist to help keep track of party prep. 

A Night at the Drive-In

Bring the drive-in theater to your backyard by crafting a cute cardboard car for each kid. Hop over to Simplistically Sassy to get the details on how they’re made.


Stress-Free Setup

If you're at a loss on what projector setup to purchase, make it easy on yourself with CINEMOOD. This three-inch rechargeable cube allows you to connect to WiFi and stream Netflix, Amazon Prime or YouTube, or download content to use when offline. It even comes with educational Disney content included on the device. 

Get your CINEMOOD here and save $100 when you use code REDTRI

Get Cozy

Need decor inspiration for your movie night? We love this party put together by Camille Styles, complete with fluffy pillows, low tables and draped lights. 

Go Glam

We can't get over this gorgeous setup from Welcome to Sarahdise. Head on over to her blog to see how she made a killer drink cart and movie viewing area on her back porch. 

Camp Chairs FTW

You don't need to go all out with your movie night setup. Use what you've got like those chairs you bring out to sit around the campfire. We especially like this double-wide version for movie snugglefests as it's low enough to keep from blocking the view of the row behind you. 

Tickets, Please

Set the mood by draping a chain of tickets around your seating area. Get the 411 on this easy craft from Cakies.

Top of the Pops

A movie night isn’t complete without popcorn! Check out our roundup of delicious popcorn recipes to find the perfect pick for your party.

Sweet Tooth

What’s for dessert? We love this on-theme idea from Lito Supply Co. Your basic chocolate chip cookie recipe is taken to the next level with nutty brown butter and (the best part) lightly salted popcorn. To get the recipe, click here.

Super Seating

If you’ve got DIY know-how, craft these cool pallet lounger chairs like these from Home Tree Atlas. Click here for all the info on how they’re made.

Gimme S’more

If you’ve got a fire pit, now’s the time to use it to its full potential! But even if you don’t, you can still make s’mores—click here for all our favorite s'mores recipes including the ultimate s'mores dip!

Portable Pizzas

Of course, you can just order a bunch of pizzas from your favorite restaurant, but if you want to switch it up, try these pepperoni pizza bites from Culinary Hill. With refrigerated biscuit dough and a few toppings, they’ll come together in no time. Click here to get the recipe.

Drink Up

After all that popcorn and pizza, you’re going to need drinks. We love this Italian cream soda bar created by Thirty Handmade Days, which lets the kids make their own concoctions. For other fun mocktail recipes, click here

Kick Back and Relax

Here’s another cute setup from Amy’s Party Ideas—a low seating area for the kids (with snacks, of course) and higher seats for parents. Click here to learn how to make the movie seats yourself, plus another way to set up the outdoor screen.

Pop a Cold One

Keep your drinks chilled and close at hand with this clever idea from Ashley of Bird's Eye Meeple. Be sure to visit her blog to see all the other sweet touches she added to her backyard movie night.

The Comfier the Better

Our jaws dropped when we saw this outdoor space designed by Patterns and Prosecco—and while we might not have Moroccan-style poufs and piles of pretty rugs at our disposal, we’re definitely inspired. Click here to learn more about this setup.

Coolest Backyard Ever

File this one under “dream backyard”: The Horticult has built a wow-worthy theater in their own garden. Click here to get all the details on how they did it, including 3D sketches!

Comfort Is Key

You don’t have to make it fancy—just make sure you have lots of pillows and blankets, like at this party by Urbanic Paper. If you can get them all in the same color scheme, even better.

Bright & Beautiful

We love this setup from Fresh American Style, which incorporates a few area rugs, floor pillows, and low chairs. Click here for a bunch of helpful tips on how to pull off your movie night.

Kick Back and Relax

Take a cue from Bev Cooks and keep your setup simple for maximum fun. Cozy blankets, some candy to munch on—what more could you ask for? Click here to learn more.

Wrap It Up

Cap off the evening with some sweet party favors. Bundle up microwave popcorn and candy and top them off with these cute tags from Bird in a Cage Creations on Etsy. Click here to grab your own.

—Kate Loweth & Susie Foresman



This Is How You Host a Movie Night for Kids

Everything You Need to Host a Drive-In Movie Night at Home

10 Movies That Will Change the Way Your Kid Sees the World

19 Movies Kids (and Grown-Ups) Love