Summer 2020: Take Family Movie Night Outside in Des Moines

Summer 2020: Take Family Movie Night Outside in Des Moines

This summer kick-off the season with an outdoor family movie night. It’s the perfect time to watch your favorite flick under the stars. Visit a local drive-in theater, rent a jumbo screen or DIY it and create your own backyard movie experience! We’ve rounded up a few Des Moines area businesses and tips to show you how easy it is to plan an outdoor family movie night.

To find even more kid-friendly summer fun, be sure to visit our Calendar and Summer Fun Guide

Here’s how to take family movie night outside in Des Moines:

Drive-In Theater Close to Des Moines

Drive-In theaters are great for keeping your distance! Unfortunately, there is no longer an old-school drive in movie theater still operating in the Des Moines Metro.  However, there is one within a short drive to Newton!

Valle Drive In

4074 Highway F48 W • Newton, IA 50208 • (641) 792-3558

Valle Drive In is an old-fashioned drive-in theater with double features, a concession stand, and it’s open Memorial Day through Labor Day (They will open on June 26, 2020 due to the pandemic). Gates open at 6:30 pm and the main feature starts at dusk.  General Admission (Ages 12 and up ) $8.00; Kids Admission (Ages 5 to 11) $5.00; FREE Admission (Kids 4 and under).  

Where You Can Rent Outdoor Movie Equipment in Des Moines

If you’re planning a special occasion or you just want to take movie night up a notch, there are several rental companies in Des Moines that will provide you with everything you need to host an amazing outdoor movie event.  Admittedly, these options are a bit pricey, so it might be easier on your wallet to share the expenses with neighbors or another family. 

Fun Flicks Outdoor Movies

(515) 528-7781

FunFlicks Outdoor Movies of Des Moines provides an extraordinary outdoor movie experience. Rent huge inflatable movie screens, projection and sound equipment to entertain crowds of 5 or 5000. Packages start at $299.  Request a quote on-line.


(515) 255-9620

Known for their bounce houses and inflatable obstacle courses, this local party rental company also has an inflatable movie screen available for rent. The rental fee is $450. Contact them to make a reservation for your next outdoor movie night.   

Nerotek Industries

(515) 599-NERO

Rent Nerotek’s giant mobile jumbotron screen and you could host your own drive-in movie!  They currently have a sale on their Silver Weekday Package (Mon-Thurs) which includes the outdoor LED screen, sound system, on-site technician, and mood-light kit for two hours at $300.

Zap Mobile Entertainment

(515) 512-9270

Grab a blanket, some popcorn, and get ready to watch your favorite movies under the stars on Zap Mobile’s massive inflatable movie screens. This Gilbert, IA based company offers two party packages starting at $399 which includes: movie screen, sound system and projector.

Summer 2020: Take Family Movie Night Outside in Des Moines –

DIY Movie Night at Home

Bringing family movie night outside, takes a little more effort than just pushing play. But, it doesn’t have to be that difficult either!  Here’s a few tips to make it a success:

Set Up a Screen

These days, many families have TV’s located on their decks and patios, if you do, you’re all set for an outdoor movie night!  Even if you don’t, you can still pull the TV out of the family room, run an extension cord and bam…instant screen.  If outdoor movie night is going to become a regular thing, and you’re really looking for that “big screen” experience, you might want to invest in an outdoor projector and screen. 

Make it Comfy

It’s a movie, so you’re going to be there for a while. Grab pillows, blankets, camping chairs, lawn chairs whatever you’ve got to make your outdoor area a little more comfortable.  It is summer in Iowa, so be sure to have some bug spray on hand. And, you’ll also want to make sure that you have adequate lighting for people to get in and out of the house if they need to.

Don’t Forget the Snacks!

I just don’t understand how people watch movies without popcorn! Satisfy sweet-tooths with theater candies like Twizzlers, Mike and Ikes, Swedish Fish, Junior Mints and more. Drag the cooler out of the garage and fill it with ice and beverages, so you don’t have to run in and out of the house.  You’re all set for outdoor movie night.



What do you think?  What are your tips for taking family movie night outside this summer?

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