easy outdoor movie nights

ZTE – SPro DLP Wireless Smart Projector – Black

It’s almost summer and it’s a great time to be outside. We have a rule here during the week that there is no television on during working hours, since I work from home. Nighttime for kids is an active time of running through the neighborhood, sleepovers, cookouts and gathering in groups. Putting together easy outdoor movie nights are a good way to keep the costs down for everyone. In just a few steps you have a fun, cheap evening of entertainment ready. No need to spend a ton at the big megaplex!

What to Watch, and What to Watch it on

Here is a list of movies that are good for just about any age. How many have you already seen? The original list of movies is 89, but includes sequels, such as the Harry Potter series. Many are free or really cheap to rent on Netflix, Redbox, or Amazon. This is a great list to consider if you have a yard with an inflatable movie screen that you own or can borrow. Some libraries have the screen/projector combo, as well. Libraries also have the movies you can check out and play through a laptop or DVD player. Here is a really helpful site that can tell you how you can rent or buy any movie available: http://sfs.tips/streamnemo is the link just for Finding Nemo. You can search for any movie. But, before you do that, see what your local library has available to check out. Your library can save you money on things like this for sure! With a projector (available on Amazon for under $100 with a 130″ max width or this one at right from Best Buy that is WiFi/Bluetooth enabled), the inflatable screen or a DIY version of a screen, you can have movie nights under the stars. In Northern Oregon, it takes a while to get dark, so we end up doing this late at night.

Easy Outdoor Movie Nights: The How-to

divin-movieBBQ or potluck with friends, let the kids build their slumber fort outside (or inside if it gets chilly at night) while you set up the screen and get the popcorn going. It could be a Friday Night Family Movie night at your house or your group can take turns hosting – just share the equipment or perhaps all go in on it together. Sharing this type of equipment is another really handy way to keep costs down. It’s also a great way to build that sense of neighborhood community. You’ll be surprised how many big kids will want to join you! I do suggest you keep a list of who has the “stuff” so you always know whom to ask for it or come up with a schedule. Nothing like wanting to show a movie but the family who has it went to Hawaii for two weeks.

Hey, you could be fortunate enough to have a pool and then you can set up a DIVE IN movie! H/T to Marne & Jay LaForge who host those regularly in the summer.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a rarity – a DRIVE-IN MOVIE near you – this is a great alternative without a limit on how many you can pack into one vehicle.