Throw a Backyard Summer Movie Party!
By Jeanne Benedict, celebrations.com
A Backyard Movie Party is a slam-dunk idea for your niece’s or nephew’s next birthday party. Everyone has a great time – from the kids watching the movie on a big screen in the backyard to the parents who tag along to hang out. Pick one of these five cinema favorites, and create a movie theme for the next birthday party.
Create two specific areas in your yard for the birthday party:
The “movie lobby” is where your food and drink will be set up. Consider renting a popcorn machine and offering a grab bag of movie theater candy concession items. The “theater” is your viewing area, which should have ample ground seating and an electrical outlet nearby. Research DVD projector rental vendors in your area, and ask a lot of questions. If you are not the “technical type,” make sure that you set up everything in advance with the help of a tech-savvy friend so that there are no mishaps at the party. If you can, ask the DVD rental house to draw you a diagram if you are unsure of how to set up the equipment.
Here is a list of items that we usually rent or use for movie parties:
-DVD projector and player
-Movie screen (or you can use a white wall or hanging white sheet)
-2 speakers for stereo sound
-Speaker receiver with cords that hook up to the DVD projector and player
-Speaker cords that are long enough to extend from the screen back to the receiver
-Table to set equipment on
-Duct tape or mats to secure cords so that kids don’t trip on them
Top 5 Backyard Movie Party Themes
*The Celebrations team chose these movies for the perfect backyard movie party:
1. Willy Wonka
A nostalgic movie that is great for all ages! The songs will have everyone singing along, and you can play out this theme with a candy-clad birthday cake and movie tins full of candy for party favors.
2. Lady and the Tramp (Italian Theme)
Who can forget the iconic spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp? Luckily, pizza delivery is the #1 kids’ party food, and a red-and-white check motif is classic Italian decor. They’re all easy to prepare for your party!
3. Superhero (Any Superhero Movie)
Superhero movie themes are simple, as there are plenty of decorations specific to Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man. Add to the atmosphere with hanging metallic stars from trees.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean (or Sea Themes)
For older kids, a Pirates of the Caribbean party is ideal with adventurous food and nautical décor. For a younger crowd, go with a sea-themed movie, such as The Little Mermaid or Finding Nemo.
5. Harry Potter
Who doesn’t love the magical adventures of Harry and the gang? For party favors, give guests a simple magic trick or a collapsible wand with a list of spells. Ask everyone to come as his or her favorite magical character, and stop the show with a magician at the movie’s intermission!
*Before you pick a film, make sure it’s age-appropriate for all children at the party. Nothing sours the mood of a party than scared kids crying for Auntie!
Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Kothari
Published: July 31, 2012