11 Pieces of Gear for a Backyard Movie Night


Bring the movie theater to your backyard with these gadgets. Now all you need to do is choose the movie.

1. Dr. J Movie Projector and Screen; $230

DR. J Professional projector.
DR. J Professional/Amazon

The first step in creating your own backyard movie theater is the right projector. Dr. J’s 1080p projector, which has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, has a 50,000-hour lamp life, built-in stereo sound, and is compatible with laptops, tablets, Blu-ray players, smartphones, and more (though you may need an adaptor for some hook-ups). It even comes with a 100-inch screen, so you don’t have to worry about buying one separately.

If you want to splurge, The Wirecutter recommends this projector, which is good for smaller yards, as well as this easy-to-set-up screen.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repeller; $50

A bug repeller that's available on Amazon.

Movie night will not be fun if you have mosquitoes buzzing in your ears (or biting your legs!). This rechargeable device lasts 40 hours on one refill; simply turn it on, place it in the middle of your viewing area, and wait 15 minutes to enjoy your skeeter-free zone.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Best Choice Products Set of Two Zero Gravity Chairs; $155

Two reclining outdoor chairs that are available on Amazon.
Best Choice/Amazon

These weather-resistant chairs have 160-degrees of movement, allowing you to sit up or lounge back—whichever your preferred movie-watching position is. The chairs also have a tray for two cups, books, and your phone.

Buy it: Amazon

4. AlphaBeing Inflatable Air Lounger; $46

An inflatable outdoor cushion.

If zero-gravity chairs aren’t your thing, kick back in these durable nylon inflatable loungers, which come in eight colors, have a headrest and mesh side pockets to hold your drinks and phone, and pack down small for easy storage.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Yeti Tundra Cooler; $250

A cooler from Yeti that's available on Amazon.

Avoid having to keep going back inside by storing all your movie-night drinks in this Yeti cooler, which, with its 2-inch-thick insulated walls, will never let your beverages go warm. Even better, thanks to the Yeti’s durable construction, you can haul it along on camping and tailgating trips, too.

Buy it: Amazon

6. West Bend Hot Theater Style Popper Machine; $59

A popcorn maker.
West Bend Store/Amazon

No movie night would be complete without movie theater popcorn. This popper can whip up six servings of popcorn in just a few minutes and is equipped with a tilt door for easy serving. And consider grabbing these cute containers, which have that movie theater feel (and will also keep kids from chowing down on everyone else’s popcorn!).

Buy it: Amazon

7. Bite-Sized Candy Care Package; $23

A box of candy that's available on Amazon.
Premium Penguin/Amazon

If you’re more interested in indulging your sweet tooth during movie night, this care package—which includes 50 different candies—should satisfy.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Acrylic Glasses; $20

An acrylic glass set that's available on Amazon.
US Acrylic Store/Amazon

Shattered glass will put a damper on any movie night, so drink out of these shatterproof acrylic glasses instead.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Last Lake Camping Blanket; $23

A camping blanket from the brand Last Lake.
Last Lake/Amazon

Summer nights can be surprisingly cool; keep cozy under this blanket, which has one waterproof side and one side equipped with plush fleece.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Sunthin Outdoor String Lights; $86

Backyard lights that you can find on Amazon.
SUNTHIN Store/Amazon

Illuminate the way from your backyard theater to your door with these waterproof and shatterproof LED lights.

Buy it: Amazon

11. AmazonBasics 100-foot Extension Cord; $29

Someone hooking up an extension cord outside.

It would be terrible to get set up for your outdoor movie night only to realize you have no way to turn anything on, so make sure you’re prepared with an extension cord and a surge protector.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

13 Father's Day Gifts for Geeky Dads


When in doubt, you play the hits. Watches, flasks, and ties are all tried-and-true Father’s Day gifts—useful items bought en masse every June as the paternal holiday draws near. Here’s a list of goodies that put a geeky spin on those can’t-fail gifts. We’re talking Zelda flasks, wizard-shaped party mugs, and a timepiece inspired by BBC’s greatest sci-fi series, Doctor Who. Light the “dad” signal ‘cause it’s about to get nerdy!

1. Lord of the Rings Geeki Tikis (Set of Three); $76

'Lord of The Rings' themed tiki cups.

If your dad’s equally crazy about outdoor shindigs and Tolkien’s Middle-earth, help him throw his own Lothlórien luau with these Tiki-style ceramic mugs shaped like icons from the Lord of the Rings saga. Gollum and Frodo’s drinkware doppelgängers each hold 14 ounces of liquid, while Gandalf the Grey’s holds 18—but a wizard never brags, right? Star Wars editions are also available.

Buy it: Toynk

2. Space Invaders Cufflinks; $9

'Space Invaders' cufflinks on Amazon
Fifty 50/Amazon

Arcade games come and arcade games go, but Space Invaders has withstood the test of time. Now Pops can bring those pixelated aliens to the boardroom—and look darn stylish doing it.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Legend of Zelda Flask; $18

A 'Legend of Zelda' flask

Saving princesses is thirsty work. Shaped like an NES cartridge, this Zelda-themed flask boasts an 8-ounce holding capacity and comes with a reusable straw. Plus, it makes a fun little display item for gamer dads with man caves.

Buy it: Toynk

4. AT-AT Family Vacation Bag Tag; $12

An At-At baggage tag

Widely considered one of the greatest movie sequels ever made, The Empire Strikes Back throws a powerful new threat at Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion: the AT-AT a.k.a. Imperial Walkers. Now your dad can mark his luggage with a personalized tag bearing the war machine’s likeness.

Buy it: ShopDisney

5. Flash Skinny Tie; $17

A skinny Flash-themed tie

We’ll let you know if the Justice League starts selling new memberships, but here’s the next best thing. Available in a rainbow of super-heroic colors, this skinny necktie bears the Flash’s lightning bolt logo. Race on over to Amazon and pick one up today.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Captain America Shield Apron; $20

A Captain America themed apron

Why let DC fans have all the fun? Daddy-o can channel his inner Steve Rogers when he flips burgers at your family’s Fourth of July BBQ. Measuring 31.5 inches long by 27.5 inches wide, this apron’s guaranteed to keep the cookout Hydra-free.

Buy it: Toynk

7. Doctor Who Vortex Manipulator LCD Leather Wristwatch; $35

A Doctor Who-themed watch

At once classy and geeky, this digital timepiece lovingly recreates one of Doctor Who’s signature props. Unlike some of the gadgets worn on the long-running sci-fi series, it won’t require any fancy chronoplasm fuel.

Buy it: Toynk

8. Wonder Woman 3-Piece Grill Set; $21

Wonder Woman three-piece gill set

At one point in her decades-long comic book career, this Amazon Princess found herself working at a fast food restaurant called Taco Whiz. Now grill cooks can pay tribute to the heroine with these high-quality, stainless steel utensils. The set’s comprised of wide-tipped tongs, a BBQ fork, and a spatula, with the latter boasting Wonder Woman’s insignia.

Buy it: Toynk

9. Harry Potter Toon Tumbler; $10

Glassware that's Harry Potter themed
Entertainment Earth

You can never have too many pint glasses—and this Father’s Day, dad can knock one back for the boy who lived. This piece of Potter glassware from PopFun has whimsy to spare. Now who’s up for some butterbeer?

Buy it: EntertainmentEarth

10. House Stark Men’s Wallet; $16

A Game of Thrones themed watch

Winter’s no longer coming, but the Stark family's propensity for bold fashion choices can never die. Manufactured with both inside and outside pockets, this direwolf-inspired wallet is the perfect place to store your cards, cash, and ID.

Buy it: Toynk

11. Mr. Incredible “Incredible Dad” Mug, $15

An Incredibles themed mug

Cue the brass music. Grabbing some coffee with a Pixar superhero sounds like an awesome—or dare we say, incredible?—way for your dad to start his day. Mom can join in the fun, too: Disney also sells a Mrs. Incredible version of the mug.

Buy it: ShopDisney

12. Star Wars phone cases from Otterbox; $46-$56

Star Wars phone cases from OtterBox.

If your dad’s looking for a phone case to show off his love of all things Star Wars, head to Otterbox. Whether he’s into the Dark Side with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, the droids, Chewbacca, or Boba Fett, you’ll be able to find a phone case to fit his preference. The designs are available for both Samsung and Apple products, and you can check them all out here.

Buy it: Otterbox

13. 3D Puzzles; $50

3D Harry Potter puzzle from Amazon.
Wrebbit 3D

Help dad recreate some of his favorite fictional locations with these 3D puzzles from Wrebbit 3D. The real standouts are the 850-piece model of Hogwarts's Great Hall and the 910-piece version of Winterfell from Game of Thrones. If dad's tastes are more in line with public broadcasting, you could also pick him up an 890-piece Downton Abbey puzzle to bring a little upper-crust elegance to the homestead.

Buy it: Hogwarts (Amazon), Winterfell (Amazon), Downton Abbey (Amazon)

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

This $30 Guide Will Help You Understand the Stock Market

Viktoriia Hnatiuk/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Viktoriia Hnatiuk/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Demystify the stock market once and for all with this Wall Street Survival and Stock Trading Guide while it’s discounted to $30. With the help of these eight courses, you’ll learn to strategically grow the money you have in just 13 hours.

Long-term investing may take decades to see a steady return, but day trading can earn profits daily, even hourly. The guide's included Day Trading 101 course will teach you about technical analysis and chart indicators, helping you can analyze trading psychology and trends.

Some stocks are better to keep beyond a day as rumors ramp up about changes within a company. The Beginner’s Guide to Swing Trading will teach you the basics of swing trading (where you hold on to a stock for a few days or weeks) and how you can turn it into a part-time moneymaker. You’ll learn from a full-time trader and investor about the mistakes he made in his career, which can help you dodge them yourself.

To the uninitiated, stock charts might as well be in another language. Even if you understand the information it’s conveying, analyzing it into a story for investment is a challenge. This guide includes a course in technical analysis to teach you to see patterns in all time frames, so you can use them as a day trader, swing trader, and even long-term investor.

Once you understand strategies for investing, you may begin to wonder where to start your trading career. That’s why the bundle sets you up to start with a step-by-step guide to finding winning stocks, diversifying your portfolio, and minimizing risk across penny stocks and more. You can continue your education with guides in the Fibonacci method and tape reading.

Get a deeper understanding of the economy and learn how to cut your own sliver of the pie with the Wall Street Survival and Stock Trading Guide for just $30.

The Wall Street Survival & Stock Trading Guide Bundle - $29.99

See Deal

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.