Finding family-friendly activities for summer nights doesn’t need to be difficult – watching a movie under the stars can be a cost-effective pastime for the entire season. An outdoor movie night is more convenient than going to the movie theater and more exciting than regular indoor binge-watching. Planning an outdoor movie night might seem challenging at first, but these tips and ideas make preparing for the night simple.

Get your friends together for an outdoor movie night.

Pick the right hardware

Choosing the right equipment is the first step in making your outdoor movie night a success. Buying a small projector that can easily be moved outside is a great investment that will pay off all summer long.

Don’t forget to factor in where you plan to show your movie. The size of the screen or wall you want to project on will be a factor when you go to buy your projector. Although buying a projector screen provides the clearest image, you can also use a large white sheet or a smooth, light-colored wall for your movie viewing.

Make sure whichever projector you choose can connect to your movie viewing device. Many projectors have USB and HDMI ports, but you should check before buying. If you plan on connecting your laptop to watch the movie, make sure the projector includes the proper HDMI cable or purchase one separately. While many projectors play sound directly, connecting them to wireless speakers greatly improves the quality of sound and will make your outdoor movie night feel like a personal outdoor theater.

Set the stage

Once you’ve obtained the proper technical equipment for your outdoor movie night, it’s time to set up the rest of the space. Comfortable seating is essential to a relaxing movie night outside – picnic blankets or lawn chairs are great options that you might already own. Air mattresses or inflatable pools are another fun alternative. Everyone might have a different preference for seating, so it’s a great idea to have multiple options for them to choose from.

It’s a good idea to bring extra lighting outside so that people can move around if needed during the movie. Smart lightbulbs can provide mood lighting that is more appropriate for the night than regular harsh bulbs. You can dim them using your smartphone when the movie starts without getting out of your seat.

Every good movie night needs snacks: set up a snack or dessert table to make the night festive. Choosing snacks that don’t need silverware and won’t cause a mess such as popcorn and movie-theater candy is a great option. You can also provide a cooler full of drinks. Choose a variety of options so you can keep all your guests happy.

Outdoor movie nights can be fun for the whole family.

Get up to speed

When selecting a film for your outdoor movie night, you should also consider how you’ll access it. Hooking up bulky equipment like a DVD player can cause unnecessary headaches. Using video streaming services is the ideal option as it only requires connecting a laptop or streaming stick to your projector.

Video streaming needs a strong, stable internet connection. You definitely don’t want the movie to buffer during a high-speed action scene or right when the romantic leads are about to kiss for the first time. High-speed internet can prevent lag issues that would interrupt your movie.

Depending on your device, you may need anywhere from 5 to 25 Mbps to prevent buffering. For optimal performance, consider getting fiber internet, a fast and reliable option.

Make your outdoor movie night memorable

Once you’ve figured out the basics of your outdoor movie night, make it an even more special event by getting creative. These ideas will make your outdoor movie night memorable:

  • Fill an inflatable pool with pillows and blankets for extra comfortable seating
  • Choose a classic, summer-themed film
  • Buy or make themed décor to accompany the film
  • Spruce up the snack table with a make-your-own sundae bar
  • Serve popcorn in individual paper bags
  • Give out handmade invitations and tickets

An outdoor movie night is an easy way to liven up the warm summer months. These outdoor movie ideas will make sure you have the right equipment, from a fast internet connection to comfortable seating and tasty treats. Make the most of your outdoor space for outdoor movie nights and more with modern technology.

Smart tech meets summertime

Make the most of your outdoor space for outdoor movie nights and more with modern technology.