This post, How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night for Teens with Netflix PG-13 Movies, is part of my participation with the Netflix #StreamTeam. Opinions are my own.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with a group of teens who are looking for something to do. Mostly they end up sitting next to each other with their heads bent over their phones and eating all of your food.
I love having the kids around, but sometimes I feel like they should be doing something else. Something outside. But still close enough so we can keep an eye on them.
An outdoor movie night is a great way to get kids off their phones and out of the house. They will still eat all your food, but at least they will be doing it outdoors watching Netflix PG-13 movies.
How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night for Teens with Netflix PG-13 Movies
Create your outdoor theater:
You do need some equipment to host an outdoor movie night. You need a projector and a relatively flat, light colored surface or screen to project onto.
I use a ZTE Spro 2 Wireless Wi-fi Smart Projector. It works great! The interface is just like a smartphone making it easy to play and project any movie from Netflix. You can get this awesome little device from Amazon or Best Buy.
This projector is stand-alone, meaning you don’t need a laptop to use it. But there are other types of projectors that you can get that connect with a laptop. I do recommend getting a set of speakers to attach to it as well to make sure the movie can be heard loud enough.
As for the flat surface, you can use a garage door, purchase a screen, or make your own using this DIY outdoor movie screen tutorial.
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Make it comfortable:
We all prefer to be comfortable when watching a movie. Some cushioned outdoors chairs, blankets in the grass, or even an air mattress on the ground can create an outdoor seating area they will want to use. You could also use pool floats placed on a soft blanket.
Also consider citronella candles or a mosquito trap to help keep the bugs at bay. I use a Dynatrap flying insect trap. In addition, make sure to have some bug spray handy too.
Snacks, snacks and more snacks:
You can’t entertain teens without food. I recommend that you limit your food choices to ones that produce as little packaging waste as possible so you don’t have a big cleanup job in the morning and it doesn’t go blowing across the neighborhood.
Popcorn is obviously a movie-time favorite, you can serve it in paper lunch bags. Sub sandwiches cut up small and jumbo sized bags of chips from a box store like Costco is a great idea too. Use compostable plates in case some do end up in the wind so they don’t harm the environment.
A big bowl of fruit salad can help you feel better about what they are eating, and who doesn’t love bite-sized fresh fruit! For drinks serve sparkling water in cans, and make sure you put out a recycle bin for the empties.
No cell phones:
Since the whole point of this is to help get them off the cell phones, I would collect them at the door. Use it as the price of admission. Collect them and put them in a bag or a basket and then hand them back out when the movie is over. Use these claim tickets to ensure everyone gets the right phone back.
You could also combine the cell phone return with incentive to clean up their snack garbage. You could use non-disposable plates and bowls and require their return in order to get their phones back.
Chose the perfect movie:
Last, but definitely not least, you need to select a movie!
Choosing the perfect Netflix PG-13 movies for the teen audience shouldn’t be too difficult as Netflix has a seemingly endless selection. I put together a list of 25 Netflix PG-13 movies that I think would be perfect for an outdoor teen movie night.
But there are plenty of others!
1. Adventures in Babysitting (PG-13)
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13)
3. The Benchwarmers (PG-13)
4. The Ridiculous 6 (TV-14)
5. Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse f the Black Pearl (PG-13)
6. MaximumRide (PG-13)
7. Hellboy (PG-13)
8. Captain America: Civil War (PG-13)
9. Titanic (PG-13)
10. Sharknado (TV-14)
11. Trollhunter (PG-13)
12. Can’t Buy Me Love (PG-13)
13. School for Scoundrels (PG-13)
14. License to Drive (PG-13)
15. Scary Movie 3 (PG-13)
16. True Memoirs of an International Assassin (PG-13)
17. 1 Mile to You (TV-14)
18. American Fable (TV-14)
19. The Host (PG-13)
20. The Giver (PG-13)
21. The Invasion (PG-13)
22. Dream House (PG-13)
23. Lost in Space (PG-13)
24. Mortal Kombat (PG-13)
25. Spectral (TV-14)
You could make this movie night for teens a weekly event and work your way through the list. Netflix adds new movies all the time, so they are sure to find one they can agree on.