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Level Up Movie Night with these 3 Family-Friendly Themes

Posted by Apartment Life on Jun 6, 2024 10:58:00 AM
Apartment Life

Things are heating up outside, which makes a great excuse for an after-dark movie night! By the pool or on the lawn under the stars, outdoor movie nights are a great go-to summer event for just about any type of community. All you need to get started is a projector with a screen (you can rent these from a vendor or purchase these on Amazon), a place to watch, and a snack bar full of soda options and classic movie snacks (freshly popped popcorn is a must-have!) 

Once you've got your bases covered, it's time to select a movie - but which movie to pick? When it comes to a perfect movie night, going with an epic theme that carries through the entire evening will kick this event up a notch from "fun" to "unforgettable." We've got you covered with our three family-friendly movie night themes (including menu inspiration!) that will wow your residents and create a core memory for your community. 


movie night-11. The Super Mario Bros Movie

Level up your movie night with Mario and Luigi and transport your neighbors to the Mushroom Kingdom! 

Ambiance: Create a show-stopping display with a Super Mario-themed balloon arch. Invite party-goers to show up dressed as their favorite character, with a prize for the crowd favorite. Decorate with the primary colors of blue, green, red, and yellow, with balloon bunches interspersed around your serving area. 


  • Yoshi’s Veggie Platter: Assorted fresh vegetables arranged in the shape of Yoshi, served with ranch dip.
  • Mario's Mushroom Pizza: Personal pizzas served with a variety of topping choices, including mushrooms, pepperoni, and plenty of cheese!
  • Luigi's Green Pasta: Pesto pasta with broccoli florets. 
  • Power-Up Popcorn: Popcorn with colored candy-coated chocolates and a sprinkle of edible glitter.
  • Princess Peach's Cupcakes: Vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting and a cherry on top.
  • Super Star Cookies: Star-shaped sugar cookies with yellow icing and edible glitter.
2. Moana 
Take your neighbors on a tropical getaway with a Hawaiian-themed night of fun and adventure!  Movie
Ambiance: Line your outdoor viewing area with tiki torches to provide a warm island glow, and greet attendees with a lei (or invite them to make their own at a lei-making station!). Challenge residents to a hula contest before the movie starts and award the winner a prize. Set out beach blankets for seating during the movie, and invite everyone to sing along with printed-out lyrics to fan-favorite songs "How Far I'll Go" and "You're Welcome." 
  • Tropical Fruit Skewers: Pineapple, mango, and kiwi on skewers.
  • Hei Hei’s Chicken Nuggets: Homemade or store-bought chicken nuggets.
  • Polynesian Sliders: Miniature sandwiches with pulled pork, pineapple slaw, and Hawaiian sweet rolls.
  • Heart of Te Fiti Cupcakes: Green velvet cupcakes topped with swirls of green frosting and edible flower decorations.
  • Hibiscus Iced Tea: A refreshing iced tea made from hibiscus flowers, served with lime slices.
  • Blue Ocean Mocktail: A mix of blue Kool-Aid and soda water, garnished with a slice of starfruit.
3. The Sandlot
You're killin' me, Smalls! There's nothing like the nostalgic charm of this 90s classic about baseball and friendship to bring neighbors together. Hit a home run with your community by serving classic ballpark snacks and creating the perfect summer night under the stars. 
Ambiance: Decorate with pennants, banners, and touches of baseball memorabilia. Create a themed photo booth where residents can pose with ball hats and gloves in front of a baseball field backdrop. Snap a Polaroid photo for each person to take home as a memento. Create a DIY scoreboard with cardboard and invite residents to a friendly game of wiffle ball before the movie starts. Or, test movie goers' knowledge with brain-teasing trivia questions all about the Sandlot and baseball. 
  • Benny’s Big League Nachos: A platter of nachos loaded with cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, and salsa.
  • Squints’ Soft Pretzels: Warm, soft pretzels served with mustard and cheese dip.
  • Ballpark Hot Dog Station: Hot dogs fresh off the grill, served with a variety of classic toppings. 
  • Ice-Cold Watermelon Slices: Fresh watermelon slices to keep everyone cool and hydrated.
  • Root Beer Floats: Classic root beer floats with vanilla ice cream.
  • S'mores Station: Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars with roasting sticks. (Make these over a community firepit or pre-purchase table-top campfires.
There you have it! Three fun and creative movie night themes that are sure to bring a little summer magic to your community. Make sure to share photos from your outdoor movie night events and comment below to let us know how yours goes. You can find more inspiration and ideas by following along with us on social media: @aptlife. 

Topics: apartment industry, multifamily housing, resident events, outdoor movie, movie night

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