How to throw a great outdoor projector party

One of the best ways to enjoy the warm summer weather is with an outdoor projector party. These parties offer the best of both worlds: a large, immersive screen (just like at the movies) and the fresh, crisp smell of the outdoors. They’re great for both large and small groups. Whether you want to have an intimate experience with a few friends or you’re planning to invite the whole block, a powerful projector can project onto the right size of screen for your party.

How to set up an outdoor projector

You can check out this recent Best Buy post on how to set up an outdoor projector to learn how to pick out or set up your perfect projector and screen. In some cases, you can move your indoor movie projector outdoors for use on a small screen.

In most, however, a dedicated outdoor projector will provide you with a better experience. These brighter, more powerful projector models compensate for larger screens and more ambient light (be it streetlight or starlight) so your movies and shows look vibrant and saturated. 3000-4500 lumen models can even be used during the daytime!

Outdoor lighting philips hue

1. Choose a space to transform

One of the things that makes projectors so great is that they provide a lot more flexibility than a fixed TV screen. You can set them up anywhere you have an outdoor projector screen, sheet, or white wall to project onto, and that projection can be a pretty significant range of sizes.

Create a magical space with comfy outdoor seating, picnic blankets, and decorations. Solar lighting, smart lights and fairy lights deliver a cozy ambiance, and they help light up paths with a warm glow (without distracting from your projector screen). Some projectors come with built-in speakers powerful enough for intimate settings like your family’s backyard, but for large, open spaces like a field or forest, make sure to bring additional speakers if needed.

2. Pick a party size

There’s no right size for an outdoor projector party. With a powerful projector with a 1:1 throw ratio, you can create a special date night for two or a wild party for the entire extended family.

Frigidaire popcorn machine

3. Make sure to provide snacks!

Snacks are an essential part of any party—but especially a viewing party. Pre-make or pre-buy healthy snacks like veggie trays with hummus, or look up recipes for themed desserts.

For a classic movie night, make a few large batches of popcorn before the event and keep a popcorn machine on hand to supply more snacks throughout the night. An array of popcorn toppings allows each guest to customize their snack, and popcorn is an easy option that’s naturally both gluten-free and vegan. (For toppings, I like to supply butter and truffle oil, plus a few flavour shakers!)

4. Know your audience

The classic projector party, depending on where you grew up, is probably either “movie night in the backyard” or “movie night in a field.” But here’s the thing: this is your party. You can do whatever you want with it!

If you and your friends aren’t movie buffs, you can use your outdoor projector to play giant video games, watch a sports game, or joke over old Vine compilations. (Just make sure that you have internet coverage where you set up, if you need it.)

The world is your oyster, and the projector is your all-you-can-eat oyster bar.

KODAK outdoor inflatable projector screen

5. Plan an after-party

If your party has a main event, an after-party can be an exciting way to pivot the night and keep things going after it ends (or after the kids go inside to go to sleep). By changing what’s up on the projector, you can make it easier for your guests to relax and chat. The party pivot is like the first couple on the dance floor. Everyone wants to get out there; someone or something just has to break the spell first.

If your movie night was full of action-packed blockbusters, try switching to black and white classics to shake things up. If you spent all evening watching the big hockey game, try switching to NHL 21 (or whatever release version you have).

Other fun party pivots to try during your after-party include a fresh set of snacks, retro music videos, and big-screen karaoke. It’s late, and your guests will be having a blast. Get groovy with it!

Start planning your ultimate outdoor party with an outdoor projector today.

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.