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Family Fun: Outdoor Movie Night Ideas

Getting outside is what camping is all about! If you're looking for something more interesting to do than sit by the fire and roast marshmallows at night, we have the solution for you! Try these outdoor movie night ideas for some great family fun!

Building the Screen

Building an outdoor TV screen is much easier than it sounds. Whether you have sewing skills or not, you can easily make this project. Gather a sheet of blackout material and a plain white sheet. The blackout material will help to keep the image clear on the screen by not allowing light to go through it. Place the two pieces of fabric together. Attach them together by either sewing them or stapling them. It doesn't have to look perfect. Then hang it from a clothesline at your campsite. If it's windy, you may want to weigh down the bottom corners with rocks or tablecloth weights. You can make this screen as big or small as you like! Another option for a screen is the side of your RV. If your RV has a flat area without slides, windows, or graphics, you can project a movie right onto that spot. No assembly required.

The Projector

Depending on how much you want to invest in this, you can either purchase a projector or make your own with your smart phone and a few basic supplies. Turning your phone into a projector is actually shockingly easy, so get out your crafting skills.


Gather together the following supplies: a shoe box, white glue, a magnifying glass, a hacksaw, a pencil, an X-acto blade, hot glue gun and glue sticks, foam board, an angled ruler, strong double-sided tape, and an inexpensive phone case to fit your phone.


1. Remove the lid from the shoe box and look for any flaps at the shorter ends on the inside. If there are flaps that open up, on one end, fold them open and line the entire inside with white glue, and then press the flaps back down. This will help to make the ends stronger for when you cut a hole in one end. 2. While the glue dries, use your hacksaw to cut the handle off the magnifying glass. Throw the handle away but keep the round part. 3. Place your glass part of the magnifying glass on the outside end of the box where you glued. Trace a circle. Using your X-acto blade, cut the circle out of the box (just make sure the glue is dry before you cut). Place the lid on the box , and if it covers any of the hole, make sure to cut the lid so that the hole is unobstructed. 4. Place the glass inside the shoe box and into the hole you just cut out. Using your hot glue gun, glue the glass into place. 5. While this hot glue dries you're going to make the stand for your phone. Using the foam board, cut two pieces. One will go on the bottom and the other you will glue standing up in the middle of the bottom piece. Use the ruler to make sure that you have a 90 degree angle from the base up the middle piece, and then glue it into place with the hot glue. 6. Once the glue on the stand is dried, turn your phone case over and place the double-sided sticky tape on the back. Ensuring it's level, stick the case to the vertical part of the foam board. Once the glue is dry, you'll be able to pop your phone in and out of the case as needed. 7. Find the movie you want to watch on your phone. Lock the rotation of the screen so that you can put it upside down without it flipping around automatically. The shape of the glass will invert the image, which is why you need it upside down. 8. To set up the projector, place the glass facing the screen, pop your phone into the case, and place the stand inside the box. To focus just move the stand forward and back in the box until it's clear on the screen. Put the lid on the box and enjoy! Obviously this takes care of the visual part, but not the audio part. You'll need some outdoor speakers. If your travel trailer or fifth wheel RV has them, you can probably enable the Bluetooth on the phone to play through them. Otherwise you can get wireless outdoor speakers that will pair up with your phone. If wired speakers are your only option, just punch a small hole in the back of your box where you can run the wire to your phone.

Camping/RV-Themed Family Movies

Now that you have your cinema all set up, you just need to pick the movies you're going to watch. Choose a new release, a family favorite, or stick with the camping theme. Here is a list of camping or RV-related family movies to check out. Now get out your popcorn, set up your screen, projector, and seats, and enjoy some amazing family time as you bond over these great movies. Some of them are older but many kids will still like them. Let us know how your outdoor movie night goes! Find amazing pricing on bunkhouses for sale at National RV Detroit. With the lowest possible price in the nation and worldwide delivery, you won't find a better deal than this. Click here to see what we have available.

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