Jan. 15, 2019.
To stay in or to go out tonight? If you’re trying to think of a way to entertain your kids, the choice might be a no-brainer. And if you’re trying to think of a way to entertain your friends or your date, a movie night is also a safe, cozy, and inexpensive bet. With your Netflix selection queued, don’t forget to incorporate one or more of these fun ideas to make an ordinary night in more festive.
16 simple hacks that will make your movie night a success
Movie night will never be the same again:
1. Classic pre-games
You can never go wrong with games like Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples, and Bananagrams. And you can upgrade these games by giving away actual prizes, whether they’re silly or legit.
2. Competitive cooking
If you hate that moment when no one can decide on a movie, make a competition out of it. Whoever bakes the most delicious movie-themed dessert will get to pick the movie.
3. Cotton candy cupcakes
These cupcakes are adorbs. Top a traditional cupcake with its own tiny puff of cotton candy, like these from the Layer Cake Shop. (Our edible cookie dough cones are pretty great too.)
4. DIY concession stand
Set up a concession stand with old-fashioned favorites like root beer floats and colorful taffy. Print out classic movie posters and put them on display. Better yet, ask everyone to arrive in vintage hats and bow ties. Then have everyone compete for a top prize of your choice.
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5. DIY movie projector
A projector can cost a few hundred dollars to $1,000, depending on quality. If you want to save money (we’re always a fan of that!), try a smartphone projector. Though you can make your own smartphone projector with a shoe box, you can also buy a ready-made box for around $32 via Uncommon Goods.
6. DIY photobooth
You can order photobooth prop sets online or make your own out of cardstock, glue, and wooden dowels. To make the backdrop, get some sparkly material from the craft store or try this easy ticket backdrop idea from Brooklyn Bride.
7. Extra sweet popcorn bar
Yeah, you could drop $10 on a tiny bucket of popcorn at the movies. Or you could create your own awesome popcorn bar. We’re talking popcorn + candy crumbles + marshmallows + chocolate + coconut shavings + everything your heart desires.
8. Funky nightlights
Set the mood for fun with some quirky outdoor (movie-themed) lights like these Star Wars lights from Amazon.
9. Gigantic floor pillows
These are like dog pillows, except they’re for humans. That’s what makes them so comfy and so awesome. Try this $3 Ikea hack from Retropolitan, this fancy leather pouf from Brittany Makes, or this adorable Rollie Pollie bean bag chair pattern from the Economist at Home.
10. Glitter donuts
This is so amazing and so simple. Buy a box of ready-made donuts, make a quick DIY glaze, and add edible glitter. Check out the recipe over at The Glitter Guide.
11. Larger-than-life games
Sure, you could play an ordinary board game while you’re waiting for everyone to get to movie night. But you could also play giant Jenga, Chess, Connect Four, or Scrabble, right in your backyard. Though you can buy these online through Amazon or Ebay, you can also DIY. Here are some great DIY ideas from Brit + Co.
12. Movie theater popcorn from scratch
Add a blend of clarified butter and coconut oil to a large stove pot on high heat. Pour in your popcorn kernels. Shake the pot as the popcorn pops. In a few minutes, your popcorn will be ready. Pour more of the clarified butter over the top and toss well.
13. Outdoor chalkboard
Indoor chalkboards are crazy popular, but how cool and convenient is an outdoor chalkboard for the kids? They could make a new mural for every family movie night to come. Check out the tutorial at Hey There Home.
14. Red carpet runway
Turn your guests into stars! Make your own red carpet with felt from the craft store and ask everyone to dress up in “Oscar-worthy” dresses, hair, and makeup. Whoever has the best ensemble wins a fake Oscar and has to give a speech.
15. S’mores smorgasbord
If you have a backyard fire pit, go crazy with your s’mores. Add things you never thought about adding to your s’mores, like caramel, Nutella, or peanut butter.
16. Vintage cocktails
Turn your ordinary movie night into a smash when you serve vintage cocktails like The Manhattan and The Bee’s Knees. Best served with classic movies.
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For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.