Backyard Movie Night


     Last night the hubs and I decided to create a backyard movie theater for our kids.  I always thought the drive-in movie was such a cool concept, and since we don’t have anything like that anywhere near us, we decided to get creative. Sure, they may not have had the whole experience of watching it in the comfort of a cozy car, but they had blankets and lawn chairs and their very own personal servant (AKA, me!).  What more could a kid ask for?! 

     We started by taking a white sheet and securing it to the kids’ swingset.  I had gathered up a bunch of clothespins to attach the sheet but later found out that my husband had actually nailed the friggin’ thing into the frame. (Guess we won’t be using that sheet anymore….)  We hooked up a laptop computer to a projector that my husband had borrowed from work, and voila — the theater came to life!  I’m embarrassed to admit that we have about five thousand kids’ movies from which to pick, so deciding on the night’s big feature was a bit of a challenge.  After a bit of arguing, the kids eventually decided on Ice Age.

     They were bouncing off the bushes waiting for it to finally get dark outside, so we actually ended up starting the movie before the sun really even went down.  Their little adirondack chairs were positioned just so, and they nestled in with a big blanket that they shared between the two of them.  We could’ve shown them one super-long informercial and they could’ve cared less. They were just so pumped to have their own personal show, and really, who wouldn’t be??!!  I popped some corn and delivered it to their little seats as they sat and stared in awe at the big screen before them.  

     Apparently, word must’ve spread throughout the neighborhood, because before we knew it, one of their little friends had popped over and made himself right at home next to them in the front (and only) row.  I felt kinda bad for my hubby cause I know he really was hoping it would be a family thing, and then we ended up with an extra kid.  Other neighbors passed by here and there in the hopes that we might invite their kids over as well, and who could really blame them for wanting free babysitting? Fortunately, though, no one else ended up crashing the party.  The three kids who were in our little audience were in seventh heaven.  I ended up popping four bags of microwave popcorn and made no less than five trips back and forth between the house and the kids to deliver the snacks and the drinks.  I couldn’t help but think that I would be getting at least some kind of tip if, in fact, I were waitressing at a drive-in theater.  Like usual, though, I had to just chalk it up to being part of my bazillion responsibilities in the world’s worst-paying occupation.

     The kids loved the whole outdoor movie experience so much that we decided to have a neighborhood backyard movie night some weekend with all their friends once school starts.  Who knew that a sheet and a projector could actually keep our kids out of our hair for a couple of hours?!  The night was a huge success and ended on an even higher note.  The hubs decided to camp out in the backyard with the kids in the tent, even though it ended up pouring down rain once the kids had finally passed out.  I tried to talk him into bringing them into their dry beds inside the house, but he refused.  So I gave up trying to convince him because that meant that Mama got a snore-free night of sleep in a bed all to herself.  Giddy up! Backyard Movie Night rocks!


9 Responses

  1. Our neighbors did the same thing this summer for their little boy’s third birthday, including the camping out, and all of the kids on the block LOVED it. So simple but such a special treat for them. Great idea!

    • It was a ton of fun, and the neighborhood kids are all jazzed up about a future backyard movie night at our house. Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment! 🙂

  2. How fun! I need to try that. I will have eleventy million teenagers in my yard if I do. LOL

  3. LOVE the idea! If we did something like that, I have a feeling we would have 4 – 10 drop in guests. But our house is like that… I wonder my hubs work has a projector like that…

  4. Thanks for the brilliant idea. I think it will be plenty warm enough in the coming weeks to try and work this in. As far as summer’s go I feel like this one has been a dud. They just go by too quickly.

    • It was such a fun night, and I highly recommend trying it out in your own yard if you can! We’re gonna do it again before the weather gets cold for good and invite more neighborhood kids. Good luck if you give it a go, and thanks for reading! 🙂

  5. What a wonderful idea and a pleasant evening!

    Kudos to you for being creative and inventive.

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto

  6. Welcome to the club. We do the same thing here in Ventura County, CA. Neighborhood kids love it and always come out to watch (and even help set up).

    Have good one,


    • I’m sure you have much more time available for you to do the backyard thing. I live in the midwest so time is limited here. It was such a fun night — can’t wait to do it again! Thanks for reading & for commenting! 🙂

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