When the weather is nice, there’s a 99% chance I eat my meals outside. But on my balcony, on the patio in the restaurant, or in the garden, I like to eat al fresco. Even my morning coffee tastes better out of the sunshine and fresh air. To fuel my love of outdoor dining, one of my favorite springtime activities is photography. I’ve had picnics alone in the park with books and some snacks, planned a romantic picnic date at a winery, hosted one for friends—complete with menu, music, and cocktails—and it never fails to be a good time. . .
The best part is that a picnic is one of the easiest events to host. Requiring only a little preparation and refreshments, it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a plan so everyone knows where you’ll be showing up, when you’ll be there, and what to expect. Read on for everything you need to have a wonderful outdoor picnic this season.
1. Choose a time and place
When it comes to climate, you want a place where you can enjoy the sun and retreat to some shade if you get too hot. A public park, beach, or even your own backyard is the best choice. The next step is to choose a time, and IMO, there is no bad time of day to have a picnic. Make it a brunch, afternoon party, or even a late-night soirée that ends with s’mores and watching the sunset.
If you want to add a special activity to your picnic, you can make it a wine tasting, play croquet or giant Jenga, or have a corn competition. Whatever you decide, be sure to check your local park rules and regulations to make sure everyone has a great time!
2. Create something fun and healthy
Blankets and pillows are essential for picnic comfort. You don’t want to sit directly on the floor, and if you’re hosting a large group, it’s not always possible to get a seat for everyone.
You’ll want to grab a blanket that’s designed for outdoor use, meaning they’re not waterproof on one or both sides. That way, your bum won’t get wet while you’re sitting on the floor, and the thing will be leaking, if at all. For pillows, be sure to bring enough outdoor seating for everyone to sit on and some extras, both for bedding and other decor.
3. Based on the natural aesthetic.
Since you’re already outside in nature, there’s no need to go crazy with decor. If you want your picnic to be picture-perfect, grab a bunch of fresh flowers, bring some pretty glasses, and add serving trays or cutting boards to act as a centerpiece and which is beautiful. Don’t forget a fun picnic basket to hold your refreshments. You can find many different options, including traditional wicker baskets, with built-in charcuterie boards, cooler-style bags, and everything in between.
4. Plan your picnic menu
When it comes to picnic recipes, you want the dishes to be easy to eat while sitting on the ground, fast and clean, and, most importantly, delicious. From my experience, these shareable dishes and finger foods are always winners. Here are a few no-fail options:
- Charcuterie: Charcuterie is always a crowd favorite. Arrange a selection of meats, cheeses and snacks such as nuts and olives. Remember: You’ll need about 2-3 ounces of meat and cheese per person.
- Pasta Salad: Pasta salad is easy to prepare and goes with everything at a picnic. This recipe is my go-to.
- Caprese skewers: These skewers is another staple on my picnic menu. They are easy to make and delicious to eat. If you don’t like caprese, try a version using watermelon and feta instead.
- Eat with veggies or chips: Everyone likes a good put. Choose your favorites and combine them with new chips or recipes.
- Finger sandwiches: Slider style sandwiches or pinwheel wraps are perfect for a picnic. You can make variations like chicken salad, ham and cheese, or Italian sandwiches.
- Fruit Salad: Like pasta salad, fruit salad is a picnic classic. Mix together your favorite fruits and add honey and lime juice for an easy and delicious meal.
5. Make some cocktails (or mocktails)
Drinks and picnics should be light and refreshing. Keep it simple with a nice lemonade, or add some fresh fruit for the occasion. For something fun, you can’t go wrong with a rosé sangria, watermelon mojito, or Aperol spritz. These are great options that you can make ahead of time in large batches for easy preparation.
There are also many delicious mocktail options that would be perfect for a picnic. To make it easy, pick up a few bottles or cans of your favorite non-alcoholic beverages—I personally love Holiday, Health-Ade, and OliPop as alternatives. taste for wine.
6. Don’t forget the important things
The last thing you want is to get into your picnic and find out you forgot something. Make a list of essentials before you go, such as utensils, plates, glasses, towels, ice, water, a Bluetooth speaker, a portable charger, and sunscreen. Once you’ve got everything, you’re ready to enjoy your picnic in the beautiful spring weather!