It’s not always easy to feed a crowd.  Even if you just decide to do finger foods, it can get expensive and time intensive before you know it.  There’s the planning and the shopping.  There can be lots of preparing and cooking.  And not to mention the clean up. 


With everything that’s involved, entertaining can sometimes be downright exhausting even if you love playing hostess… which I do.

And that might put me in a bit of a spot, except for easy, no-fuss, fun ideas like a “make it your own way” popcorn bar!

Popcorn bars are pretty popular things right now.  You find them at weddings, birthday parties, outdoor movie nights, and all sorts of get-togethers.  I mean, what is more fun than being able to pile your very own buttery popcorn sky high with all your favorite candies, pretzels, and nuts?  Nothing! It’s like a veritable concession stand dream!

And what is even better is that there is little to no preparation, cooking, or clean up!  I think I can handle popping some popcorn and opening a few bags of candy even on my most hectic or low energy days, can’t you?

I put together this popcorn bar for an outdoor movie night we had not too long ago (hence my choice of that old home movie camera as my “centerpiece”).  We have an air popper machine just like this one, so popping up this much corn was a snap.  It pops much quicker and is much less expensive than microwave popcorn.  But the best part?  You can’t burn it!  Yep!  No more burned popcorn smell!  Let’s just listen to all the angels rejoice for a minute.

M&M’s are hands down the number one favorite topping over here, followed closely by chocolate covered pretzels.  You can choose what you think your family and friends will like the most.  Caramel candies and honey roasted nuts are usually a big hit too.  And there is nothing wrong with the plain ol’ chocolate chip either.  If you’re going all out with a movie-themed popcorn bar or party, think of the candy that might be available at the movie theatre!

And here’s a little tip as you create your own delicious popcorn treat!  Don’t forget to layer your candy throughout your popcorn so that you get some of that sweet and salty throughout your whole bag!

Thinking about having a popcorn bar the next time your friends and family come over?  You can get my entire set up here.

These are items that I have collected over time and actually use frequently in a variety of ways.  That helps to keep expense down so that I can actually focus on enjoying my guests.  If you’re feeling pinched right now, don’t stress over decorations.  Just use what you have!  Though decorations are nice, parties are just as fun with or without them.  Remember, the secret to being a good hostess is making sure that your guests feel welcome and special, and you can do that best with your time and attention.


It's not always easy to feed a crowd. But a popcorn bar has to be hands down the easiest, most fun way to entertain. I am sharing all my secrets for a no-fuss popcorn bar that's perfect for indoor and outdoor movie nights, sleepovers, swim parties, or just getting together with friends and family!

Interested in more outdoor entertaining ideas?  Check out these ASD favorites!


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