Creating the Ultimate Outdoor Movie Night

Creating the Ultimate Outdoor Movie Night
Memories are made in the summertime! At least that’s how it’s always been in my family. Everyone has more free time, is a little more relaxed, and is in a better mood when it’s beautiful outside. That’s why I’m going to try to convince you to do everything you can to pull off a (mostly) outdoor summer movie night this month or next. Here are a few things to try that will make it an extra-special occasion you’ll never forget: The Pre-Party – Research has proven that the anticipation you feel leading up to something you’re excited about actually increases your overall happiness. All the more reason to go bananas with your pre-movie celebration with:
  • A “red carpet” on your sidewalk, deck, patio or any space leading to your house or movie area. You or your kids could use chalk to draw “Walk of Fame” stars on the ground, or if you have a red sheet you’re willing to roll out for the occasion, go for it! Gold foil could also be used for the stars.
  • “Director’s chairs” set up around your lawn, picnic table or deck, each one with the name of a different guest on black paper taped to the back.
  • A concession stand offering a variety of popcorn, movie snacks, cotton candy and other treats. You could make this out of a large wagon or a spare table and set it up off to the side of the main festivities.
  • Mood-setting music — I’m talking famous film soundtracks or songs from that night’s pick.
  • Yep, even more balloons. Has anyone ever gone wrong with “more balloons”? The answer is no.
The Décor – You’ll want both your pre-party area and your movie-watching area (if they’re separate) to drop jaws. It’s honestly not that hard to do, I promise! You just have to search your house, be crafty or be willing to invest in some cheap party supplies. Then you could:
  • Make yellow and white popcorn balloons to place around the area or initially together in a big red box. The bigger the box and the more balloons, the better!
  • Scatter “Admit One” tickets everywhere – they’re cheap to buy and easy to make.
  • Drape red “curtains” around using spare sheets or colored fabric to really add to the look.
  • Cut huge white H O L L Y W O O D letters out of poster board and place them strategically.
  • Try to find movie-themed paper plates, cups, napkins or coasters to set out.
  • Keep everything glitzy by sticking to a color scheme of black, red, gold and white as much as possible.
The Main Event – If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor set-up for movie-watching . . . I’m jealous. If you don’t have a ready-made set-up but DO have a yard . . . I’m still jealous (city girl here). Because that means you could possibly still pull off a movie night under the stars, be it through the miracle of extension cords, or a projector and a makeshift white-sheet screen, or a tent and a large laptop or iPad screen to gather around. But if you have no choice but to bring the party inside when it’s movie time, fear not. As long as you have some cool decorations and plenty of snacks around, it’s all good. Once the movie comes on, it’s time to kick back, relax and congratulate yourself on adding another great memory to the bank for everyone who’s there. By Erika Olson, Redbox:
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