Joel and I put together the ultimate backyard movie night last summer, so this year I wanted to do a Halloween movie night at home to continue the fun. I wanted the setup to be simple, but to reflect the Halloween theme. I didn’t go all out with pumpkins on everything, because that’s just not my vibe. I did, however, incorporate our fun gourds and pumpkins from our front porch, in addition to fun Halloween-themed candy. Joel LOVED the Jones sodas because neither of us had had any since we were kids.
This post is all about hosting a fun Halloween movie night at home this fall.
You can make your movie night as on theme as you would like, so go all out if that’s your idea. A fun activity could be to carve pumpkins with the movie on in the backyard and patio lights hanging to light the scene. We’ve seen these movies a hundred times over, so it’s okay to have them playing in the backyard to create a vibe while you play a fun game, talk, or carve pumpkins.
The Ultimate Halloween Movie Night Setup
Make it comfy to sit. If you’re planning to sit for most of the movie whether actually watching it, chatting over wine, or playing a game, you’ll want to make it as comfortable as possible for sitting a while. I recommend lots of pillows, even bed pillows if it’s just your family, lots of blankets, and cushions if you have them. Amazon and Urban Outfitters sell floor pillows. Don’t be shy in the setup if you really want to go all out. I don’t mind cleaning up after or the next day if it means I’m creating a truly fun experience for my family. A lot of times I will pull rugs from our house, because they are easy to move in and out from the furniture, and throw blankets on top of those. I give them a good shake and vacuum ahead of time!
Plan the lighting. For this Halloween movie night, we set it up on the deck under the patio lights. That came in handy while turning on the movie, getting situated, and it created a nice ambiance. We switched the lights off once we turned the movie on to get the full effect of the film, but the patio lights added a very subtle detail that I loved! I used a mixture of real candles as well as LED candles for a pretty ambiance once the movie was playing. It added the perfect amount of light for the snack area.
Use Halloween decor. Don't be afraid to make things fun by using Halloween decor that can easily be grabbed from around or home or bought specifically for the backyard movie night. I kept things classy and simple by bringing the pumpkins from our front porch to place around the screen for a little touch of Halloween. You can be as fun as you want to!
Buy a screen. We’ve tried everything from using a sheet to a wall, and the easiest by far was investing in a screen. They aren’t expensive, so it’s not a huge investment, it’s just another item you should buy to make setting up easier. We didn’t have one the first year using our projector, but it’s worth it! We can put the projector anywhere inside or outside of the house, because we know we have a screen to project the film onto.
Use a projector. If you read my Backyard Movie Night post from last summer, then you already know this is the most important step. If you haven’t read it, then be sure to buy a projector. We bought this one and love it, but you can go as expensive as you would prefer. Obviously the more you spend, the higher quality and resolution you are going to get, but we are happy with our projector.
Make the technical setup easy on yourself. When you’re getting ready to set up your projector and turn your movie on, make it easy on yourself by having everything you need ahead of time. This means extension cords, power strips, all necessary cables and cords for your electronics, as well as remotes and backup batteries. There have been so many times that we were scrambling last minute to find this cord or that remote, or even worse, pulling every battery from anywhere that we could find them. Plan ahead and save the hassle. This includes double-checking that the wifi works in your setup area if streaming! I made sure that the wifi reached the backyard when we were first setting up farther out in the grass.
5 Halloween Movie Night Snack Ideas
Plan easy snacks. There are so many fun snack ideas that you can do here! I love this snack board for kids by Almost Makes Perfect if you are hosting enough kids to make it worth it. For this particular backyard movie night, it was just Joel and me so I kept it simple.
Use candy! Obviously, we don’t want to eat a ton of candy or have our kids overindulge, but candy IS part of the Halloween scene. I used Reeses Pieces for the Halloween color effect as well as candy corn.
Drinks. Have drinks chilling on ice nearby that can easily be grabbed. We did Jones sodas, but typically we do La Croix or water bottles. Coke is fun, but with the candy, it’s a ton of sugar. I recommend having water, sparkling water, wine, or beer, depending on the scene of guests.
Plan a Halloween cheese board for adults. If you’re hosting mostly adults, you can do a fun cheese and meat board such as this one for adults to snack on. You can always add popcorn and the movie night usuals, but having a cheese board makes it on the theme as well as classy.
Make it a pizza night. You really can’t go wrong with a pizza movie night. This is such an easy way to have food while making it a fun pizza party in addition to the Halloween movie.
10 Halloween Movies to Satisfy Your ‘80’s & ‘90’s Nostalgia
Harry Potter Full Series
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Double Double Toil and Trouble - Mary Kate and Ashley
The Adam’s Family