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Backyard movie parties are a great way to spend an evening with family, or connect with friends while staying safely distanced. With so much time spent apart this year, trying to figure out how to get together again (while keeping everyone healthy) can be a bit challenging. Luckily, you can leave the difficulty and stress of planning and preparation to us and follow this simple guide to an effortless evening of fun and relaxation.
(Movie themed birthday inspo from Crazy-Wonderful)
Craft organization bins make great snack caddies. They not only organize and make treats manageable for kids to carry, but if you're planning on making "drive-in movie cars" out of boxes for the little ones- these fit over the side for easy snacking. We got ours from Dollar Tree (that's right, just $1 each for next level movie night snacking) But these are shared from One Crazy House who has a zillion uses for these little guys around the house once movie night is over.
Individually wrapped and self serve snack buffets are definitely the way to go for a movie party (emphasis on the individually wrapped to avoid the spread of germs right now, ya dig?) Here's a cute set up from Sunshine Parties to replicate the fun, old timey, candy counter of a classic cinema experience. Mmmmm... sugar coated escapism.
Obviously it wouldn't be movie night without popcorn. This DIY popcorn bar by Happily Hughes honestly puts standard theater corn to shame. Add a hand cleaning station on the end, or use single serve toppings and condiments to be sure no germs are shared when you pass the salt.
You can definitely throw some canned drinks and juice boxes in a cooler and call it a day, nobody is gonna judge you. But if you wanna be just a bit extra (and since you're reading this, I'm guessing you do) you could mix it up with some pre-made jar cocktails like Frog Prince Paperie has done here! It's cute as all get out, and saves the trouble of missing the movie to mix up more dranks. I would recommend sticking to two or three simple cocktails you can batch make in a pitcher beforehand (punches and boozy lemonades can be made a day or two in advance, while anything with a fresh or time sensitive element like herbs and carbonation should be added just before party time).
And since it will be dark, here's a clever way to make finding your next sip easy without disturbing the other viewers with a flashlight. Glowing drink tub! Just snap glow sticks and add them around the beverages. Bonus points for coordinating the colors to the movie/party theme (i.e. green and red to represent light sabers for a Star Wars party. Blue and purple for Frozen).
Even when we're not in the midst of a pandemic, if you're having a party outdoors, it's a good idea to have a hand cleaning stations- especially where food is being served. Here's a simple, but brilliant way to make an outdoor sink and sanitizer station demonstrated by Of Life and Lisa, who also offers us the most necessary of all outdoor accouterment for parties in the South... the bug spray station.
When it comes to seating for your yard cinema, let the season and theme lead the way. We've compiled a list of some inspiring arrangements that encourage social distancing here, but obviously use whatever is on-hand or least stressful. A mix of lawn chairs and picnic blankets is right for Summer, but for chillier film nights some air mattresses and fleece throws might be more welcome. This dreamy Christmas movie party from Haute Off the Rack is a great example.
Of course, you can't have a movie party without a screen, projector, and sound set up. Luckily Backyard Movie Party has removed all the struggle of attempting a DIY screen with bed sheets and fruitlessly trying to sync your indoor speakers with the low quality projector you bought online. This all-in-one rental comes with everything you need for effortless at-home film nights, including snacks (it's not movie night without popcorn). Set up is super simple, plus 24/7 support is offered in the off chance you do need assistance. After booking with Backyard Movie Party, all that's left to do is call your crew and argue about what to watch first.
Now that you're equipped with all the fun and easy ideas for a safe, at home, film night- go forth and make it your own for all those quarantine birthdays, bachelorette parties, or "just because" get togethers. And for more movie night ideas and party planning tips, check out our Movie Party Board, or visit My Party Hero on Pinterest.