The outdoor movie night concept has entertained families for generations. I remember watching old black and white family movies on reels with a huge screen as a little girl. Thankfully, technology has advanced and these fun evenings aren’t so much of a production – so to speak. The invites, snacks and technology are now the easy part. The only challenge is choosing the film! Here’s what we used for a recent impromptu event.

Epson Home Cinema 1060The Outdoor Movie Projector

The new Epson Home Cinema 1060 is turnkey and easy. You simply plug it into a laptop, Blu-ray Disc, gaming console, streaming or MHL-enabled devices via 2x HDMI ports and this epic machine does the rest. The Epson is portable with full HD and mobile high-definition link (MHL). There’s a built-in speaker as well so you don’t have to worry about inadequate sound. For occasions like this I always have a spare HDMI cable on hand, as well as a couple adapters for the laptop.

Outdoor movie screenThe Outdoor Movie Screen

The easiest and cheapest screen is a plain white sheet! Use clips to hang off a balcony, grommets and rope to loop it across one side of a gazebo or build a frame using PVC pipes. Or you can drape it over a soccer net if you have one! We simply nailed it into our siding and the eavestrough keeps it dry throughout the summer. There are also some fancier options if you are making these nights a habit. Elite Screens makes a pop-up option and you can also rent inflatable screens locally in many cities.

Movie Night String LightsRomantic Movie Lighting

Stringing electric lights overhead is a great way to define your cinema area and create ambience. You can also insert necklace glow sticks into balloons and create moveable multicoloured lights. If you’ve got enough sunlight throughout the day, you can use SolarAid units that help people in remote areas of the globe with little access to electricity.

Toddler cars outdoor movie nightOutdoor Theatre Seating

So many options! You can use innertubes and pool floats wrapped in blankets for great cushy seats. Blow-up wading pools and filling them with pillows and blankets will keep the dew away and provide a cushy backrest. For little ones, you can make it a drive-in with toddler plastic cars, or small boxes fitted out with drawn-on gears and controls.

Drinks for your Outdoor Movie Night

Cupcake liners make perfect bug shields. You can also use a little red wagon as a traveling drink or snack cart. This can be fun and you could even give kids some monopoly money in order to purchase items at the concession.

Smore BasketSnacks

Individual s’more baskets are perfect for marching to the BBQ. A popcorn and candy bar is also fun for kids. Treat cones are a fun and colourful way to serve, but spillage can be an issue. I love inexpensive mason jars with lids. You can also serve edible ice cream cones filled with candy. For dinner items, covered jars are an easy choice that keep the pests away. There’s also no cleanup as raccoons will eat all the leftovers!

Cupcake drink toppersHomemade Bug Spray

You can make a homemade bug spray using citronella, water, witch hazel and a spray bottle for an all-natural solution. Enjoy your outing!!!