Prepping Your Yard for an Outdoor Movie Night

Movie Night Ideas — Everyone loves a good movie night in, and we’re sharing easy ways to create an epic outdoor movie night right in your own backyard…

 outdoor movie night ideas for the whole family

The beauty of a good movie night is that it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like outside, they’re always a good time! 

While we’ve whipped up some movie night ideas for our an outdoor movie night, you can easily recreate these for a living room party, too.

Since we live in Houston where the Summers can be pretty brutal, we’re just now starting to enjoy our backyard space again. Needless to say, it needed a little TLC after ignoring it during the 100+ degree months this Summer and we partnered with Black & Decker to clean things up!

I keep joking that Jared thinks he’s preparing for his “hot dads using power tools in the yard” calendar, ha! All joking aside, here’s how we cleaned up our outdoor space for an epic movie night and tips to recreate your own…

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How to Prep Your Yard for an Outdoor Movie Night

Since we’ve spent a fair amount of time ignoring our backyard during the hottest part of the Summer, we had our work cut out for us on getting things tidied up!

We used a pole pruning saw to trim the low-hanging tree branches where we were planning to set up our projector screen outside so that we had a clear view of the movie. 

And since we were in clean-up mode, Jared used the electric hedge trimmer for making the dividing bushes between our lawn and our neighbors look MUCH tidier. Serious regrets on not doing that sooner! 

To clean up the random leaves left over from trimmings and to make sure we didn’t have any sticks or other pokey things underneath our movie night blanket, we used the cordless sweeper for cleaning up the deck and grass. 

movie night ideas outdoor - prepping the blankets

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Equipment You’ll Need for an Outdoor Movie Night

We kept it to the necessities when we were setting up our outdoor movie theater. Once we cleaned up our backyard space (more on that below!) to make it family friendly, we set up a portable projector and screen in front of a DIY outdoor blanket

For our waterproof outdoor blanket, I painted simple stripes onto a canvas drop cloth for an inexpensive, oversized outdoor blanket and pulled up chairs from our patio. 

When it comes to equipment, here are our top choices for creating your own movie theater experience —

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movie night outdoor ideas

outdoor movie night ideas - signage ideas

When it comes to styling your family movie night, you can go all out with the decoration and lighting, or keep it super simple and romantic for date night in. I like to think our setup has a little bit of both!

I loved the colorful stripes of the outdoor blanket but the battery-operated candles in the lanterns also make it feel cozy even after the kids have gone to bed. 

It’s a nice change of pace when you don’t have to have a toddler-friendly movie or snacks on hand at all times!

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cute and easy movie night ideas

Cute & Easy Movie Night Ideas

Once you have the basics covered when it comes to equipment, snacks, and your favorite movies and tv shows everyone agrees on, there are a few other fun ideas to customize your party with. 

Since you typically think of movie night as a fun family idea, we’re catering a lot of these concepts to families with kids (looking at you Lion King and Harry Potter!), but you can easily make them as sophisticated as you’d like for a date night in as well!

Here are some easy ideas for personalizing your movie night —

  • Roll out a faux red carpet for your guests to arrive on
  • Repurpose decorated cardboard boxes to use as a snack stand and movie tickets
  • Create DIY admission tickets from free printables as invitations
  • Host a themed movie night (i.e. – Disney movie night) where guests dress as characters or wear their favorite jammies

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Snacks To Serve At Your Outdoor Movie Night

No movie night is complete without a few snacks, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite quick and easy bites to serve at your backyard party…

movie night outdoor party ideas - lighting

outdoor movie night ideas - cozy seating

What do you think?! You can go as big or as small as you’d like with your home theater movie night, but we’re all about the bigger, the better!

Be sure to check out more of our movie night ideas below!…

This post has been sponsored by Black + Decker but all opinions are my own and we’re happy to work with them since they’re a platform we use regularly! Sugar & Cloth has chosen to donate 5% of all sponsored campaigns to charity, which you can read more about right here.

Please note that we may earn a commission for some of the above affiliate links. However, products featured are independently selected and personally well-loved by us!

18 thoughts on “Prepping Your Yard for an Outdoor Movie Night”

  1. Thanks for the great tips! My wife and I recently bought a new Paradise Developments house in Pickering and I was thinking about how to decorate my backyard. Especially this year due to lockdown, we have to spend more time at home, so outdoor movie night ideas are very practical this year. We’ll definitely use some of your tips.

  2. Thank you for sharing this great post, I am very impressed with your post, the information given is very meticulous and understandable. I will often follow your next post. driving directions

  3. The chairs (barrels, almost hanging style) that are pictured in the outdoor movie night, can you share where they are from or a similar style? Please & Thank You! The whole vignette looks wonderful!

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    • Hi! We just added it to the post because so many asked about them. They are from Target and you can find them here. The patio egg chairs are a bit pricey but its meant to withstand the outdoors. They’re really sturdy and great quality.

  4. The chairs (barrels, almost hanging style) that are pictured in the outdoor movie night, can you share where they are from or a similar style? Please & Thank You! The whole vignette looks wonderful!

  5. An outdoor movie is a great idea for gatherings with family and friends during nice weather. I was trying to do some yardwork this past week and really need one of those pole pruners.

    • The pole pruner made trimming the branches so much easier and quicker. You should totally do an outdoor movie night! It’s been a hit at our house. XOXO

  6. Thanks for all the tips…I seriously never gave it much thought before. I would have just set up a movie screen and called it good. But you set up such a warm, welcoming environment. I love that you took care to make sure the lawn and shrubbery were “company” ready and inviting. And the seating area is absolutely gorgeous!


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