With the inability to host "normal" parties this year becoming an increasing frustration, we're all looking for ways to have quality time with the ones we love and miss- while still being responsible. Enter: the Backyard Movie Party. Fun, out of the ordinary, and easily pulled off within social distance guidelines... with a little brainstorming. Luckily, we've compiled a list of five unique seating arrangements that will guarantee the correct lengths between guests are maintained all night long, without compromising on fun.
1.) DIY Car Boxes
I don't know about y'all but when I was kid, much like a cat, I loved sitting in any confined space that I could fit into (honestly I still do). There's a cozy sense of ownership I guess. Which is what makes the "car" box for a backyard movie party so brilliant. Kids can decorate their own, then have them set up in socially distant rows just like the real deal. We even included some little craft caddies for each kid, which they could decorate with their name and then fill with snacks. Best of all, it fit right over the side of their box to keep them from trying to juggle popcorn, juice boxes, and M&M's all at once.
This "Drive-in" party by Just Add Confetti really goes over the top by adding a cute lil ticket booth and road. Cute, creative, and safe- a total win.
2.) Pool Lounge
Inflatable kiddie pools become lush outdoor lounges when filled with comfy pillows and blankets. This one is shared from Ideas2Live4 but this is an easy idea to take and make your own *Hint* it works great with those giant inflatable pool floats, too (If you can't tell, my nephew is having a great time in my flamingo he commandeered ) Imagine how cool a yard full of unicorn floats would be for a magical birthday movie night ✨🦄
3.) Restful Nest
Take a cue from andeelayne and go for a luxe yet boho vibe using mismatched cushions, ottomans, rugs, blankets, and low tables or crates. Give everyone a designated area (six feet apart of course) for their own cozy nest like this, then add individual charcuterie boxes and rose' for the most glam 'Rona girls night!
4.) Yee (and I cannot stress this enough) haw
For a rustic harvest theme, build furniture out of hay bales! Okay, okay... maybe this one isn't super practical for everyone. But I found this pic on Pinterest and it was so unbelievably Autumnal I just had to share. Imagine this set up for a Friendsgiving turned film night, or Halloween movie marathon. Watching "Hocus Pocus" on hay definitely elevates the experience, trust me.
5.) Baby Tents
If you want to get really extra with making sure those kiddos stay distanced, assign them each their own mini teepee or yurt. These are super easy to DIY with 100s of tutorials on Pinterest with how to make them from all kinds of items. But if you're lazier than you are crafty, *ahem... def not talking about myself* they're also offered everywhere these days (big box stores, Amazon, etc.) but these particular ones are from Pottery Barn.
Let's say you're just using regular old chairs as outdoor seating because you hate fun and whimsy (I'm *mostly* joking), but are worried about guests knowing how far apart to space their seats. If you're doing this in your driveway or will be seated on a paved patio, you can easily mark out some designated areas with a measuring tape and some chalk. If you'll be on grass, I would do the marking with dots of spray paint. But you could also create "aisles" with solar light stakes/fairy lights/glow sticks. Or make some of these pom pom markers if you're itching' to hot glue something (shared from Off Beat Bride).
Like with any party, once you know the theme decision making becomes a lot easier. And like with any theme, creativity is key. Use what you have on hand (all those yard flamingos from last years tiki party would love to be space markers, I promise) and don't let it stress you out. It's possible to have fun while still following the rules (yes, typing that did make feel like a guidance counselor). It just requires a teensy bit more planning. Whatever style you settle on, it's sure to be a night of safe, at-home cinematic magic.
If this has inspired you to throw a backyard movie party of your own, check out our Pinterest board for all the best tips to simplify the night and make it an unforgettable blast. And for the easiest, most stress free at home cinema night ever, rent a complete movie party package from Backyard Movie Party to get a screen, sound equipment, a selection of snacks, and a projector, which can even sync to your streaming accounts (Netflix & Grill anyone?) all shipped right to your door for contactless film fun!