This post is all about how to have the ultimate picnic experience.
How To Have The Ultimate Picnic Experience
No Matter Where, When & With Whom
Whether you’re looking for date night inspirations, an activity for the whole family, or a solo self-care idea, having a picnic will be a fantastic choice. The possibilities are endless. In this post, we’ll go through all the key points of how to plan the perfect picnic so you can make the most out of it.
There are many fun family holidays during the year that your kids will love celebrating. One of them is International Picnic Day, celebrated on June 18th. No worries if you’ve missed it, who cares. You can have a picnic any day of the year and I’m about to give you all the info you need to plan the perfect picnic, whether for your family, a date night, or a solo picnic!
When is International Picnic Day?
We celebrate International Picnic Day (or World Picnic Day) on June 18th.
When is National Picnic Day in the USA?
We celebrate National Picnic Day in the US. on April 23rd.
How To Have The Ultimate Picnic Experience
– How To Plan The Perfect Picnic –
Before planning your picnic, think about your reason for wanting to have a picnic in the first place. Your focus point, “your reason”, will determine all the other factors and help you make the best decisions. Your reason could be spending time with a particular person or group of people, it could be simply wanting to take advantage of good weather, it could be wanting to check out a specific location, or show off your vegan cooking skills.
Who should you invite to a picnic? Types of picnics.
Obviously, it’s entirely up to you.
You might associate a picnic with a particular location, good weather, and certain groups of people. Well, don’t limit yourself as the possibilities are endless.
What types of picnics can you have?
You can have a family picnic, a church picnic, a picnic with colleagues from work, a picnic date night, a vegan picnic, a surprise birthday picnic, one with your girlfriends, a solo picnic, or even a professionally organized luxury picnic.
It truly is up to you how big or how intimate you want to make it. Either way, it’s crucial to determine the size of your “party” before making any other decisions like choosing your location or picnic menu.
Where can you host a picnic? Best picnic locations.
Again, don’t limit yourself by thinking it has to be for instance a park. Once you’ve determined how many people are coming you’ll be able to decide what the best spot would be. If it’s a big group of people a wide-open space, like a park, could indeed be a good choice, or your backyard as this will make the transportation of food way easier. If it’s a romantic date night, you might want a more quiet spot with a beautiful view.
You might find great spots for a picnic in a park, by a lake or a river, on the beach, your backyard, a forest, a field, or you could even have one in the trunk of your car/van (if it’s big enough), park it in a cool spot and enjoy the view!
Some of the best, most iconic spots for a picnic are:
- Central Park, NY
- Red Rocks Park, Morrison, Colorado
- Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
- Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
- Laguna Beach, California
- Angama Mara, Kenya
- Sacred Valley, Peru
- Regent’s Park, London
- Villa Borghese Gardens, Rome
- Champs De Mars, Paris
- Nielsen Park, Australia
- an Alpine meadow in Austria
What is the best time to have a picnic?
Obviously, the first answer that comes to mind is a warm summer afternoon, but it doesn’t have to be.
The idea of the post is to inspire you to have a picnic no matter the time of the day or year. We eat every day and we (at least should) relax a bit every day and a picnic is a great way to do both. To get yourself out of your usual routine for a second and turn an ordinary everyday activity into a unique experience.
You can head out with your kids for a picnic breakfast or lunch to get them out of the house in the morning, play in the park, have a playdate, get some fresh air and maybe eat some healthy snacks that they wouldn’t necessarily like to eat at home.
Or you can have a picnic date night, late in the evening with candles or fairy lights, stargazing and enjoying the quiet atmosphere.
So it’s up to you to decide what the best time for a picnic is for you. Yes, optimally a rather sunny, warm, and dry afternoon might be your best bet, however, you can make it work anytime!
Absolute Picnic Essentials
- food & drinks
- picnic blanket
you can, of course, use a picnic table in a park, however, I believe using a picnic blanket gives you the ultimate picnic experience
- utensils, plates, glasses, etc. depending on the food you plan to prepare
- cloth napkins
- trash bags
- water bottles
- a basket, tupperware, or some other container you can use to transport your food and drinks safely
Other (extra) picnic essentials, depending on your picnic type and location could be:
- bug repellant spray /candle
- portbale projector
- bottle opener/corkscrew
- candles/ fairy lights/ lanterns
- bottle chiller
- games and activities such as card games, board games, croquet set, volleyball, paddle ball set, sidewalk chalk, a Frisbee, a Bocce ball set, etc.
- sun hat
- beach towels
- battery charger
- first aid kit (or at least band aids for your kiddos)
- stainless steel or bamboo straws
Vegan picnic food and drink ideas
As with absolutely everything, what foods and drinks will be best for your picnic will depend on various things like your location, the temperature, the number of guests.
No matter the age of your guests and the weather, for the ultimate picnic experience, you should aim for food that’s easy to eat, won’t melt, won’t be super messy, and dripping on all over the blanket. Meals that are easy to store and transport will also be still good as leftover food for your lunch the next day. For the ultimate picnic experience try incorporating different textures, and flavors, but don’t think that a picnic with vegan croissants, breadsticks, grapes, and wine isn’t good enough. I’d happily join that one!
Here are a few picnic foods and drinks ideas:
- vegan charcuterie board
- raw vaggies plus hummus, peanut butter
- baguette, bread, crackers, breadsticks
- banana bread
- rhubarb bread
- tortilla chips
- cut up or easy to peel fruit
- vegan sausage rolls
- cupcakes/ brownie/ carrot cake
- no-bake cheesecake jars
- rice paper rolls
- veggie muffins
- oven-baked veggies chips
- energy balls
- drinks: water, lemonade, smoothies, wine, ginger beer, iced tea, sangria, punch
How to safely transport food and drinks to a picnic?
- use a cooler
make sure you have a cooler to keep the foods and drinks cold that are supposed to be cold, a. for the taste and presentation, you don’t want melted desserts and warm “iced” tea and b. to keep it safe and prevent the growth of bacteria
- make sure all your food is ready to eat, meaning for instance clean your fruits and veggies at home before packing them up
- use tupperware containers to prevent the food from getting mixed up, messed up and all over the place
- use jars for any dressings, dips, etc.
- use an insulated thermal food carrier or an insulated thermos container
- keep the meal in the “container” you cooked it in like a skillet with a lid
How to keep bugs away from picnic food?
- use silicon lids
- get a net food cover
- light a bug repellant candle
- use lavender, basil, rosemary, mint, lemon peels (not only to flavor your food but in this case as part of the decor) as bugs hate those; you can make a natural lemon peel repellant at home
Things to do on a picnic
You know yourself and your guests best. Let’s be honest, most of us will be happy with just eating and chatting on a picnic, but we can do so much more. If you want to have the ultimate picnic experience, make sure to plan and pack some extra activities, especially if it’s a picnic for a large group, a family picnic with kids, or a picnic for people that are just getting to know each other (like a work or student picnic). Some fun things you can do on a picnic:
hide and seek
truth or dare
never have I ever
- take photos
- have a dance party
- fly a kite
- walk on a slackline
- make a flower crown
- watch a movie using a portable projector
- have a piggy back race
For the ultimate picnic experience decide who you want to have the picnic with. First, make a guest list as this will help you with choosing the location, the food, and the activities. Next, choose a location (preferable with a beautiful view), then plan and prepare easy to eat (and to transport meals). Make sure you keep your food safe by storing them propery, using tupperware containers, coolers, jars, and once the food is laid out on your picnic blanket you can use silicone lids or net food covers. Set the atmosphere for instance by lighting a candle, adding some decor like a wildflower bouquet, or by playing music. Enjoying the beautiful weather, the company, and the delicious food and drinks might definitely be enough. Nonetheless, think about any extra activities you might want to do on your picnic, especially if there will be any kids coming! You can never go wrong with packing a Frisbee, a Bocce ball set, or a volleyball just in case someone wants to do more than eat, chat, and relax.