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.
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. Click here for all the details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 an easy indoor s’mores recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to make.
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.
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
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
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
Kick Back and Relax
Wrap It Up
—Kate Loweth & Susie Foresman
Feature photo: iStock