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HOW TO HAVE THE ULTIMATE OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT


Lockdown or not, sometimes a cosy night at home is exactly what you need, and in summer (as unpredictable as it is), we’ve got the opportunity to take those precious moments outside. We all know a movie night is the ultimate evening in, whether it’s a romantic one with your partner or something fun with the kids, so here are our tips for having the ultimate outdoor movie night.

Screen

If you’ve already got a projector at home or are looking for an excuse to invest (this is it, you’re welcome), you’re already well on your way – just set that up outside with a laptop and you’re good to go. If you haven’t got a projector, there are plenty of instructions out there on how to DIY one using a shoebox and magnifying glass (no, really) – or you can, of course, all just huddle up round a laptop.

 

You’ve also got options when it comes to the screen. You can quite easily get away with an old white sheet – just iron out as many creases as you can, and hang it tense between two stable supports. A great low-cost but effective way is to do this but with blackout fabric (the white cloth used to back curtains) – you’ll end up with a really clear picture and a long-lasting projector screen for just a few quid. Of course, if you’re really investing in your garden setup, you can get a specially-designed projector screen – we recommend trying to get an old one from a school or business centre to give it a new lease of life and keep it out of landfill.

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Setup

Once you’ve decided on your screen setup, time to get the atmosphere just right. That means cushions, pillows, blankets, duvets - the more things to sit on, lie on or otherwise get comfy with the better. Just make sure you choose older/cheaper ones you don’t mind getting dirty! Garden lanterns or fairy lights will add some extra magic, as well as being essential lighting for when the sun goes down – and making the whole thing very Instagrammable.

 

If you’re skipping the tech and keeping it simple with a movie on a laptop, we think there’s nothing better than cosying up in a tent – think outdoor cinema with all the indoor comforts, and none of your pillows getting muddy. Sleeping bags are perfect for extra warmth and, if it turns into a surprise overnight campout, you’ve got everything you need already set up. Win-win.

Food

Food can turn anything – even just watching a film - into a whole experience, and when you’re outdoors, nothing beats a firepit. A firepit makes any outdoor gathering immeasurably better, but in this case it’s a two-in-one: a lighting centerpiece and the basis for a serious campfire cookout. Classic BBQ offerings or colourful vegetarian options – just make sure you follow up whatever you serve with plenty of movie snacks and all the marshmallows you can toast.

 

If you’re feeling really creative, customisable food options are always a winner, especially with kids. Think homemade pizzas or burgers with any toppings, or a variety of sweet and savoury popcorn flavourings – bonus points if there’s a theme, double bonus points if it ties in with your film.

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Outfits

An outdoor movie night is great, but half the fun is pretending you’re *not* just in your garden – so the last thing you want is to keep interrupting to go inside and change your clothes. This means comfort and versatile layering is everything – think comfy pants and leggings, organic t-shirts and a classic insulated jacket for when the sun goes down, and don't forget those essential accessories like hats, cosy socks and super-warm tent slippers