Fun, Family Event

At-home entertaining can be fun and easy when you pick a theme everyone will love. Movies transcend many generations, and can prove the ideal backdrop for a special night under the stars with friends and family.

Host a movie night in the backyard. All that's needed is some equipment (which may be rented or borrowed from someone with access to AV equipment), a movie of choice and some tasty refreshments.

A movie can be streamed from a laptop computer with the help of a projector and displayed on a garage wall or even a sheet serving as a screen. Encourage guests to bring their own lawn chairs or set up blankets right on the grass.

Popcorn and movies are the perfect pairing. Rent a popcorn machine that can be plugged in right in the backyard, so guests can serve themselves piping-hot popcorn. Or pop plenty of microwave popcorn indoors and package it in paper bags that guests can hold individually.

Keep cans or bottles of soft drinks in a cooler filled with ice. Schedule an intermission during the movie so that filmgoers can get up and help themselves to a drink or visit the restroom.

Other snacks to have on hand include typical movie theater fare:

* nachos and cheese

* boxed candies, such as "Snow Caps" or "Ike & Mike" brands

* licorice

* cotton candy, etc.

For those looking to offer a more extensive refreshment spread, finger sandwiches or chicken nuggets and dipping sauces are foods to enjoy.

Make sure the movie is rated for all in the viewing audience and in case neighbors with young children are also able to get a peek of the display. External speakers hooked up to the computer can help amplify the sound.

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