Southern Mom Loves: Have a 'Kick Off Summer' Family Movie Night {Snack Bar + a Watermelon Mint Cooler Recipe}

Have a 'Kick Off Summer' Family Movie Night {Snack Bar + a Watermelon Mint Cooler Recipe}

Monday, June 6, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

Summer vacation is here and I couldn't be more excited! It's time for long days, warm weather, swimming, exploring, and adventures. To kick it all off I organized a fun Family Movie Night Party, and with #DataAndAMovie we made it an all-night event! I'll show you how I did it, and give you recipes for yummy flavored popcorns and a refreshing Watermelon Mint Cooler to help you kit out your own movie night snack bar!



To organize a snack bar, you'll need a table and any fun movie-themed decor you like. I used our dining room table (minus a leaf), a black plastic tablecloth, foil stars, and a blackboard. You could write your theme on it, the movies you'll be watching, or identify snacks or popcorn flavors on it.



We are all partial to different flavors of popcorn, so I made a selection to choose from for our snack bar. Homemade popcorn tastes so much better than microwave popcorn, that once you try it, you'll be hooked. You don't need any fancy equipment, only a large pot with a lid. We had Buttered, Ranch, and Kettle popcorns, and you can make these at home too.


Homemade Buttered Popcorn

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil + 2 Tbsp. salted butter OR Butter-flavored popcorn oil
  • 1/3 c. popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid on medium-high heat. Add in 3 popcorn kernels and cover.
  2. When you hear the 3 kernels pop, pour in the rest of the popcorn kernels, salt, and butter and cover with the lid.
  3. As soon as the kernels start to pop, shake the pan back and forth across the burner constantly until the popping slows down. When the pops are about 2 seconds apart, remove from the heat immediately and pour into a serving bowl. 

Homemade Ranch Popcorn


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 packet ranch dip seasoning

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid on medium-high heat. Add in 3 popcorn kernels and cover.
  2. When you hear the 3 kernels pop, pour in the rest of the popcorn kernels and salt and cover with the lid.
  3. As soon as the kernels start to pop, shake the pan back and forth across the burner constantly until the popping slows down. When the pops are about 2 seconds apart, remove from the heat immediately and pour into a serving bowl.
  4. Shake the ranch seasoning over the hot popcorn and toss thoroughly to coat.

Homemade Fair-Style Kettlecorn


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid on medium-high heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover.
  2. When you hear the 3 kernels pop, pour in the rest of the popcorn kernels, sugar, and salt. Stir the sugar into the oil and cover with the lid.
  3. As soon as the kernels start to pop, pick the pot up off of the heat and shake every few seconds.
  4. When the popping slows down, remove from the heat and pour into a serving bowl immediately. If you don't remove the kettle corn from the hot pot immediately, the sugar will start to burn!

Add a scoop to your snack bar and everyone can help themselves to their favorite popcorn flavors! I found these adorable popcorn boxes and they were perfect for our movie night.


And what would a movie snack bar be without candy?! I picked up some of our favorites and put them in individual bowls for easy serving. You could also dump them in large decorative bowls or jars with small scoops for guests to help themselves to a custom mix of candies.


Don't forget the drinks! Because we were partaking in a lot of junk foods, I wanted a healthier (and refreshing) drink option, and nothing says "Welcome, summer!" like watermelon! I created a Watermelon Mint Cooler that will be perfect for all of your summer celebrations.


My Watermelon was naturally a little sweet, but I added a mint-infused simple syrup to sweeten it a bit more and add a cooling mint finish.

My directions will give you 1-1/2 cups of mint syrup, perfect for sweetening and adding a barely-there mint taste to one gallon of fresh watermelon juice. If you like your mint flavor stronger, cool your syrup with the mint leaves still in it to infuse more mint flavor. If your watermelon is very sweet, you can reduce the amount of simple syrup used until you get the perfect sweetness for your taste.


Watermelon Mint Cooler

Makes: 1 gallon

  • 1 large watermelon
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • a handful of mint leaves, crushed and torn




  1. Cut your watermelon flesh into small chunks, and add flesh (with seeds) to a blender. Blend for 10-20 seconds on low to avoid crushing the seeds.
  2. Pour the juice into a mesh strainer over a large bowl or your jug. Use a spoon to move the pulp around to allow it to strain completely. Keep blending watermelon chunks and straining until you've almost filled your one-gallon container.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, water, and mint leaves to a boil.
  4. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, around 3 minutes. 
  5. Remove from the heat and strain out the mint leaves. Let cool completely.
  6. Add the cooled mint syrup to your watermelon juice and stir thoroughly. Serve over ice and garnish with thin slices of watermelon and mint leaves. If your watermelon juice starts to separate, just give it a good stir. Enjoy!
If you don't use all of your mint simple syrup, the remainder can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. It would be delicious in iced teas or other juices.


Everyone loved this drink so much, I'm glad I made a gallon!


For the movies, we chose some of our family favorites from Vudu to watch on our smart TV. 

You may remember we're on Walmart Family Mobile PLUS. Our plan features Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data which includes up to 10GB of 4G LTE data PLUS a free movie on VUDU (new release rental $7 value) every month, per line for $49.88, so our movies were totally covered!


I have the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime and I love it. It's only $79.92 at Walmart (on Rollback from $99.92.) You will also need to purchase the Starter Kit for Walmart Family Mobile, which for the first time ever is on rollback for $19.88 (from $25.) Since Family Mobile bills you later, you only have to pay $19.88 when you sign up. It's a great deal for Unlimited EVERYTHING! 

Since getting unlimited data (the first 10GB is super-fast 4G LTE data!) I use my phone for everything and don't have to worry about going over. It's a nice feeling just paying one low monthly payment and not having to curb my use. 

We travel a lot, especially during the summer, and I use my data to get driving directions to our destination, any side trips we take, map restaurants and attractions in the area, and most importantly, keep the kids busy in the car. It's a lifesaver! 

Also, our Family Movie Night becomes FREE! BONUS!



All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to this page or your local Walmart store (in the Entertainment/Electronics section) for current pricing.

Party set-up selfie!
I hope this post helps you set up your own fun Family Movie Night with Walmart Family Mobile and your free VUDU movies!

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Are your kids out for the summer yet? Will you be throwing an End-of-School Movie Night celebration? Are you with Walmart Family Mobile (let me know your favorite VUDU picks!)? I love to read your comments!

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