Host an Outdoor Movie Night


Indulge anticipation by sending out real invitations for your outdoor movie night. A set of cards decorated with real leaves will help to set the tone for your outdoor event.

*Helpful Tip:

Don’t forget to invite your neighbors. Outdoor movies can be a little noisy, but there is one surefire way not to disturb your neighbors—invite them over to join the fun!


Being comfy is key. Provide your guests with lots of pillows and blankets to ensure that everyone feels right at home. Blankets that are bright and colorful set a playful mood. Garlands create a festive atmosphere and get guests excited about the outdoor space.

How to host an outdoor movie night | DIY Summer Party

The technical setup is actually not as difficult as you might think. If you have access to a projector and speakers, great. But if not, bringing your TV and DVD player outside with an extension cord is just as good.


Don’t forget snacks! Popcorn is a given. Some sweets like cookies or brownies are good too. And provide something yummy to sip on, like lemonade or bottles of soda.

How to host an outdoor movie night | DIY Summer Party

If you want to keep your drinks cool in something a little prettier than a cooler, a large planter filled with ice will do the trick. The drainage holes in the bottom of a planter will allow the ice to melt and drain without creating an icy soup.


The most important part. Choose a family-appropriate film that most people have already seen. 80’s comedies are usually a safe bet. It’s okay for your movie to be more of a background ambiance than the main event. If there are kids or puppies around, a little bit of commotion is inevitable, so embrace it! Let your guests relax and have fun in their own way.

Some suggestions for an outdoor movie night feature:

1. E.T. (1982)

A Stephen Spielberg classic. When a space alien is left behind on earth, he is befriended by a 10 year old boy named Elliot.

2. Christine (1983)

Based on the Stephen King novel. A great choice if you’re looking to get a little spooky. A high school student named Arnie buys himself a 1958 Plymouth Fury in need of some serious TLC. But the more repairs he makes, the more his friends notice changes in Arnie’s behavior.

3. Back to the Future (1985)

Starring Michael J. Fox. Marty McFly has a kooky old scientist friend (Dr. Brown) who invents a time machine. When Marty finds himself mistakenly transported back to 1955, he must find a way to get back to the future.

It’s okay for your movie to be more of a background ambiance than the main event.

TenThousandVillages_Mosaic_Outdoor-Movie-Night4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Starring Matthew Broderick. A high school student named Ferris has a poor attendance record. He pretends to be home sick from school so that he can go out and have fun in the streets of Chicago with his friends. Principal Feeney knows there’s something suspicious about his absence.

5. Big (1988)

Starring Tom Hanks. A young boy can’t wait to be an adult. His wish is granted and he finds out that being a kid isn’t so bad after all.

6. Say Anything (1989)

Starring John Cusack. Diane is the valedictorian of her high school class, but as graduation approaches, she realizes that she spent so much time studying that she forgot to make friends. Lloyd is an unlikely match for her, but the two soon realize that they were made for each other.

7. Hook (1991)

Starring Robin Williams. Peter Pan swore to never grow up. But what if he did? Enjoy a new twist on a classic fairytale.


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Jessica Wieser

A previous copywriter for Ten Thousand Villages, Jess is fond of campfires, rainy days and dark chocolate. She enjoys filling her house with furry and not-so-furry critters (currently counting two rats, one puppy and a tortoise). With a secret love for punk rock and horror film, she spends her free time writing weird poems, drinking tea, and dancing badly to old songs.

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