first feature of the backyard movie season

we had out first feature of the season in our backyard on monday night.

outdoor movie 2015 1

the cousins from new york had not seen big hero 6, so we watched it on the big screen in the backyard. it was a bit cool, so they bundled up with blankets while the adults sat around the fire.

outdoor movie 2015

last summer, i wrote a post about the basics of our backyard movie set up. i have included it below with some changes that we have made…

big screen basics 2015


1. projector…ours is about 7 years old…it is an optoma ex530. you could use 

2. laptop, iPad, or iPod…we have only connected our macbook pro to the projector…we may try streaming from the iPad now that our speaker situation has changed

3. speakers…we used to have wires connecting the speakers to the laptop, and it was just a disaster waiting to happen with kids running all over the place..we now use this bluetooth speaker

4. movie screen…i updated our movie screen by purchasing blackout curtain fabric and sewing it to fit over poles (8 ft. tree stakes) that we pound into the ground… it seems to work better as the light from the sun setting behind the screen is blocked, which means we can start our movies before it gets completely dark

5. extension cords…we plug one into the projector and one into the speaker

you’ll want to get a feel for how everything needs to be set up…do you need a table for the projector? how far should the projector be from the screen? what connects to what (i.e speakers connect to the laptop, laptop connects to the projector)?

we always do a test run by ourselves or with neighbors for our first movie of the year…there are bound to be some minor glitches and you want those worked out before you invite the entire neighborhood!


1. snacks: i purchased this popcorn maker and not only does it look cute, but it keeps ryan from spending the entire night making popcorn on the stove!

2. drinks: just like the snacks…keep it simple, BYOB, or provide something that goes along with the theme of the movie

3. blankets: thrifted quilts are awesome for backyard movie nights…i have a stash of them and put them on the grass. in the cooler months i stick a few thrifted afghans on the chairs around the fire pit and in a basket on the deck in case people need one.

4. chairs: use what you have or ask everybody to bring their own

5. twinkle lights: twinkle lights just make the whole scene magical. we have ours up year round in our backyard and it just sets the scene for a festive evening.

backyard movies have become one of my favorite things about summer in our backyard. we hope to have a lot more movie nights well into the fall…as long as the rain stays away!

have you tried a outdoor movie in your back (or front) yard? do you have any additional tips or ideas to share? please comment below!!

home is…making memories for our kids.

12 thoughts on “first feature of the backyard movie season

  1. ABeautifulWhim says:

    This is such a great set up! Our home owners association does a movie in the park once or twice a year but this would be such a cute idea for a summer night party. I love it!

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