Ideas and inspiration for easy entertaining and a fun home life


Outdoor Movie Night

October 27, 2020

I implore everybody to give this a try — it was an idea well worth the extra effort and a night that will hopefully be a core childhood memory for Rory. I know so many of us are doing our best to create magic for our children during these scary days; this was fun, celebratory and a worthwhile investment. We already have several iterations in mind: whether we’re tucked up in under heaps of blankets outside or in a fort next to a roaring fire in the living room, I know we will be creating “movie magic” for months to come. The two main ingredients, the projector and the screen, are now household staples. Everything else is secondary though the twinkly lights, cozy blankets and pillows round out the setting very well. Here’s quick step by step of what we did:

The screen is put together on a simple wooden frame and attached with twine. Will nailed four pieces of 2×4 together and then created a simple set of feet to keep it stable (it was a bit windy). Will says these wood screws are great to have on hand, as is this saw. We wrapped the frame in LED battery powdered twinkly lights and place hurricanes (also, random, but are you signed up for the Bed Bath and Beyond membership? It’s amazing) and pumpkins at it’s feet for a festive feel.

The blanket is laid out on a TARP — probably the most critical step! We used indoor blankets and pillows and didn’t wish for them get damp. It worked really well. I always like to be cozy and use the “good stuff” but to keep it protected.

We used a small wooden outdoor table for dinner and layered with a tablecloths folded in half. On here we placed some decorative accents like flowers and extra candles to help illuminate what we knew would be a very dark setting once the night came. We also used this for our dinner — melamine plates, easy glassware.

The projector is on an outside table, and the hay bails are just extra, festive seating. The paper bag lanterns which have become a favorite are stuffed with gravel to keep them from blowing away and each has three LED votives in it. We used these to light the path and edges of our creation!

Any kind of tent is a hit with children — this was super fun for Rory. We tied together three logs with a nylon rope and taped a painter’s drop sheet to the sides. Again, twinkly lights! We didn’t have another tarp but we laid out big garbage bags underneath the blankets to avoid a soggy mess.