When the school year ended last month we offered to host an end-of-year party for my daughter and her friends. Our house has always been the place to host parties, but this year we decided to do something a little different; a photo booth during the party, and outdoor movies when the sun went down.
We knew the kids would want to eat and swim, and listen to "their music" by the pool. I'm so thankful we thought to consider an outdoor music and video system when we designed the pool and covered patio. While the backyard was all dug up we were able to have the patio and landscape area wired for speakers. We also wired for a TV in the patio that can be seen from the spa and the pool. The kids use this on an almost daily basis. What I like about it is that we can play the audio from the TV over the patio speakers and the landscape speakers. This is a great feature when we are watching TV in the pool. What I really like, however, is that we can play music from our mobile phones over the speakers as well. I can't tell you how many times my friends and I have enjoyed a drink on the patio and watched TV, while the kids were in the pool listening to their music. I like it when everyone is happy!
As her friends showed up, my daughter already had her favorite playlist jamming from the patio and by the pool. They spent the next few hours eating (they ate a lot!), swimming, and taking selfies in the photo booth. I've learned that teenagers are their happiest when there's food, music, and selfies involved.
As the sun went down we set up lawn chairs and blankets on the grassy area by the pool. We had already hung a sheet on the fence to be used as our movie screen. I brought out the projector on a little stand, and plugged the HDMI cable into a port on the side of the garage. Voila! Done. This was another thing we had thought of as well. In addition to our speaker system, we also wired a place to connect a TV or projector in the backyard. I wanted it to be super simple, so that the kids or I could do it without having to call someone or break out a manual. As if that wasn't already a great feature, we also have the ability to play the audio over the landscape or patio speakers so that those in the pool don't miss out on the sound.
That night we opted to play the movie audio over the landscape speakers, while the adults continued to stream music under the patio. Did I mention I like it when everyone is happy?
Adding a covered patio and pool was a huge undertaking. I'm so thankful we thought ahead about how we would be using the space, and planned accordingly. Our kids don't go anywhere without their phones in hand. Having a strong wifi signal throughout the backyard was a necessity. In fact, I often find myself working on my laptop on the patio by the pool while the kids are swimming. We paid a little more for the distributed audio and video system, as well as the outdoor wifi, but it was well worth the expense.
The outdoor end-of-school party was such a success we have been designated as the house to host the outdoor middle-of-summer party. I love that my kids and their friends consider our house a cool place to be.