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Throw a Backyard Movie Party!

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Lucy Riles: Outings to the movies can get expensive -- so bring the drama to your own backyard!

With the weather finally nice enough to spend the evenings outdoors, this is a great chance for you to host your next birthday party, sleepover, ladies' night, or a romantic date night under the stars with your special someone -- and the silver screen!

Family watching movie

Movie Décor: Send out invitations designed as movie tickets to your guests. Rent a projection screen and a projector that is DVD compatible. You can rent these at a local photography store. If you are having trouble finding them, look up a local wedding DJ -- they will either have the equipment or will know who does. If your house has a white outer wall or a white garage door, you can use that in lieu of the projection screen. And if you want to get even thriftier, hang a big white sheet from a clothesline or wall to act as the screen.

Comfy Seating:
Lay out blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and lawn chairs so your guests can be comfortable for the screening. If it's a ladies' night or a romantic date with your hubby, light candles and scatter rose petals to set the mood. If it's a kid's party, place a bunch of beanbag chairs for them to lounge on.

Movie Treats: Serve up popcorn, pop, and make up a sweet-tooth station stocked with Snow Caps, Milk Duds, Reese's Pieces, Twizzlers ... all the items that one might find at a movie theater. As a party favor, give each of your guests a separate popcorn box so they are able to help themselves to the sweet-tooth station.

It's Showtime!: Make sure to wait until it gets dark to show the movie, then turn off the backyard lights to add that extra element of drama and let the movie roll. It's important to have the sound high enough so that everyone can hear and it doesn't get upstaged by planes, trains, and automobiles.

Movie Suggestions:  
For a Kid's Birthday Party: "Mary Poppins," "Annie," "The Goonies," "Transformers," "Harry Potter," or "Twilight"
For a Ladies' Night: "He's Just Not That Into You," "Bridget Jones's Diary," "Sex and the City," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Mamma Mia," or "Shag"
For a Romantic Date Night: "Casablanca," "Say Anything," "Something About Mary," "50 First Dates," "Sleepless in Seattle," or "Gone with the Wind"

What movies do you suggest?

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristin June 24, 2009, 4:51 PM

LOVE IT! With summer upon us it would be a shame to spend those gorgeous nights inside a cold movie theatre or indoors. Also, with movie theatre trips becoming more and more expensive, how great to have it in your own backyard! Great ideas as always!

Wynn June 24, 2009, 5:29 PM

Great idea my sister is coming home and we are all getting together I thiink I will suggest a Movie night. I love the Goodie bags YUM! YUM!

Ginger June 24, 2009, 8:27 PM

This is SO-OOO much fun. We have done this at the park and even on the beach. In fact, next Monday night, a group of friends are going to the beach and doing this very thing. Everyone brings there own dinner, blankets, and chairs. It’s a blast. You can do a fire pit too.

brooke June 25, 2009, 9:00 AM

I love this idea….what a fun night it will be. I might do one with my husband and one with my kids.

Sue Pierce June 28, 2009, 7:30 PM

Love the outdoor movie idea. You should check out my site I have some great theme parties for kids and adults.

Brandy June 29, 2009, 2:28 PM

What an awesome idea!!! I may just have to use this idea for one of my ladies nights! Thanks so much for the idea.

Backyardflick July 3, 2009, 1:04 PM


Just happened to see this posting and I wanted to let you know we could probably assist with your movie nights.

My wife and I run a small business where we bring the backyard movies to you.

we serve the southern calif area and our prices are very affordable.

I’m sorry this sounds like a pitch, but it was intended to let you know that their is someone affordable who prefers to work with families like yours.

Thank you

virginia mary doherty July 12, 2009, 8:17 PM

great idea im 11 what movei do you think would be good for us and how many people
thanks love all your ideas your a great person

billigurlaub tuerkei February 14, 2011, 4:28 PM

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