Real Parties: Firefly Theater Outdoor Movie Night

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A balmy summer night, twinkling fireflies, good food, good friends, and a movie on the lawn.  What could be better?  That was the inspiration for the Firefly Theater for the latest issue of Festivities Magazine.

Desert Sun Child Development Center was preparing to host an outdoor movie night for the families of the school to help launch their annual silent auction fundraiser.  I stepped in to help with a bit of the design and the after-dinner snacks.

As this was a fundraiser for a truly wonderful preschool, this became an excercise in stretching decorating dollars, so that Desert Sun could keep as much of the money raised as possible.  Rented tables and chairs were set out family style for the spaghetti dinner portion of the evening.

Inexpensive vinyl tablecloths were perfect for covering the many tables, both to fit with the spaghetti dinner/summery theme, and to protect the tables from tomato-sauce smeared little hands.

Mason jars and sunflowers were the perfect simple centerpieces.  The flowers, bought at Trader Joe's, were very inexpensive and required no fancy arranging skills.

I used the same submersible AquaBrites that I use to make magical, twinkling punch to create the blinking firefly effect in the flower arrangements.  

The pasta portion of the spaghetti dinner was catered by a local restaraunt.

And each family brought either a salad or bread to share.  Simple, kid-friendly, but something the adults could enjoy, too.

The children played happily on the amazing grounds of Desert Sun, until the sun went down, and it was time for the movie to start.

What's the logical choice to feed the masses at a movie?  Popcorn, of course!  The flavor possibilities are pretty much limitless, and the cost for the volume is incredibly inexpensive.

We served plain buttered popcorn, rosemary parmesan popcorn, caramel corn, grape popcorn, strawberry popcorn, fruit punch popcorn, and cookies and cream popcorn.  Something for every taste!

Little kids will often take as much as they can stuff in the container they're given, no matter how much they can and should reasonably eat.  I knew I wanted small containers, and the snow cone/drinking cones from my local Smart and Final were the perfect solution.  Dirt cheap, easy to embellish with the wonderful printables from Frog Prince Paperie, and just the right size for the small guests.  Parents could easily go back for seconds (and thirds!  and fourths!).

it was a bit of a blustery day, but the cones didn't blow away because they were tucked inside apothecary jars.  Not just for candy!

Clever cupcakes that looked like miniature buckets of popcorn were a hit with big and small movie-goers alike.

Picnic blankets and chairs spread on the wide grass lawn in front of the projector screen, a perfect perch for families to enjoy a movie together in the warm night breeze.  

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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