Summer is right around the corner and my mind is going crazy thinking of all the fun things I want to do with my family and children this year.

Summer is the perfect time for casual parties, afternoons with backyard water slides, water balloons and homemade popsicles.

When the weather starts to warm up I am more likely to invite friends over for a backyard BBQ or an afternoon coffee date while the children play.

I think I come out of hibernation in every way.

One of our favorite family end of summer traditions is our annual outdoor movie night party.

{we have also held a chili dinner before the movie}

It is so fun for us to put it on and I know that the families that come love it as much as we do.

We wait until late summer for the movie night so the little kids don’t have to stay up so late.

You could do it in the middle of summer just remember that the sun doesn’t go down until 9pm.

The day of the movie night we prepare the yard and start setting up.

Here is a quick list of how we prepare:

*We use our picnic table for the popcorn and large boxes of movie candy.

I buy all of the candy at Walgreens and we order the popcorn from our Subway in Wal-mart (weird but true).

I have a large metal bin that I use for the candy and I put all of the popcorn in popcorn boxes from Cost Plus World Market.

We open up the umbrella and we hang white lights so even when the movie is playing people can come and get refills of popcorn and candy.

*We use old laundry tubs (in the summer we use them for our herb garden) to hold all of our sodas.


*We have a smaller table against the house that holds the coffee pot and the crock pot of hot chocolate.

I like to have a ton of whip cream available for the kids (who am I kidding…for me).

I also bring out my reproduction drying rack full of all my different mugs to use for the coffee and hot chocolate (the little kids use paper cups).

I try to have cream, sugar etc. on the table too.  We also have another crock pot full of hot cider.


*I have a large basket set on the patio full of blankets and quilts if people get cold.


*Kelly always makes sure to get hundreds of glow sticks and glow necklaces/bracelets.  The kids are usually full of them before the movie starts.


*Our Maddy is a performer at heart and for a few years now there is a “pre-show” that includes the neighborhood girls singing for everyone.

A few boys get up there too.


* You can rent an outdoor movie screen that blows up but we made our own.

We have a pergola in our yard that Kelly built.

Kelly made our own screen using PVC piping to wrap a kings size sheet at the top and bottom.

He also used PVC piping to create holders on our pergola so we could attach the “screen” to our pergola.

It works perfectly for us because our pergola is a little higher than the rest of the yard.

*We use self powered speakers or PA speakers.  We place the speakers to the left and right of the screen.


*We use a projector. You can use a LCD or PLP projector.  We project the image from behind the screen but you can also project from the front.

We do it this way so the equipment is out of the way and no one trips on the cords or knocks over the projector on accident.


* Check your sound before everyone arrives.  You will need your sound to be louder than you may think.

With all of the children, adults, candy wrappers etc. you want the sound to be clear.


* We love this kind of party because we get to cuddle up with  100 people in our backyard:-)  Everyone shows up with their own blankets/folding chairs and we supply all of the snacks.

This is such an easy party to set up and it is so affordable when you think of how many people we get to invite.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!


If you are looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift for your favorite mom:-) or a treat for yourself, sister or best friend…

Jennifer Rizzo has an amazing new Santos Cage Doll e-course that will launch May 27th!

Click HERE for the details.

You can register directly on my creative network HERE.

If you would like to gift this course please email me at and we will help you give the class.