So National Picnic Day is a thing, and it’s coming up on April 23. The weather is just right, and whether you’re picnicking on April 23 or just because, our no-fuss guide to planning a picnic is here to help get you get your al fresco on.
Gingham recommended but not required.
There are no rules here. Go fancy with a full meal and baked goods, pick up food from your favorite restaurant, or just pack a bag of all your favorite snacks. It’s whatever you want, but there is something to be said for the convenience of picnic finger foods and snack plates. Clean up will be a little easier, and you won’t have to attempt to use a fork and knife while balancing a plate on your lap.
We think a charcuterie spread is the perfect blend of “easy finger foods” and “dreamy fancy picnic vibes.” Pack
a few types of cheese
spreads like jam or honey
extras like nuts, olives, fruit, dark chocolate
and of course, a spread of cured meats. If you aren’t using a cooler and ice packs, go for hard cheeses (just be sure to eat them within a couple of hours), and non-perishable cured meats like gourmet jerky (hey, that’s us!).
Our guide to the perfect charcuterie board can walk you through it step-by-step.
Classic Picnic Foods
For a more traditional spread, some other classic foods to bring on a picnic include:
potato or pasta salads
fresh cut fruit
easy desserts like cookies
pre-packaged picnic snacks like bars, jerky, and chips
Plain water is great, but if you want something a little more fun, pack:
Fruit/ herb infused water (strawberry + basil, lemon + mint, etc.)
Adult bevs (Use our wine and beer pairing suggestions to complement your charcuterie picks!)
Remember to go for fully sealed containers to avoid spills, and freeze some ice packs if needed!
Other Picnic Essentials
Food? Check. Drinks? Check. Now onto the rest of it:
Utensils & Napkins
They’re easy to forget, but you’ll definitely notice once you’re ready to dive into that potato salad. Go eco-friendly with compostable cutlery or skip disposal utensils altogether. Unless you’re backpacking to your picnic destination, the extra weight of your silverware won’t be a big deal!
Picnic Blanket or Tablecloth
If your destination has picnic tables, go for it. But if you’re aiming for the classic eat-on-the-ground picnic setup, a few blankets or beach towels are a must.
Picnic basket/ Bag/ Ice Chest
You’ve gotta have some way to carry all that food to your shady picnic spot. No need to invest in an actual picnic basket unless you just want the cute pictures. Your reusable shopping bags and an ice chest will do the trick!
Bring your speaker and make sure your phone is charged up! Find an upbeat playlist on Spotify, and you’re ready to go.
Honestly, eating doesn't take that long, so if you want to stretch out the picnic fun, pack a few things like kites, frisbees, balls, and outdoor game sets. If you’re picnicking with a group, games like washers and cornhole are always a hit.
Peppermint Oil Spray
This one seems weird, right? But, trust us, it makes all the difference if you don’t want to fight ants off your food. Peppermint oil is a natural way to repel ants without harming plants and wildlife. (Insects that are sprayed directly may die, but otherwise, they’ll just be repelled). You can buy premixed bottles, but it’s way cheaper to diy it. Just mix about 10-20 drops of peppermint oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle and spray a perimeter around your picnic blanket.
Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Because mosquito bites and sunburns are never a good look.
Text some friends and turn your picnic into a potluck – it’s a great outdoor activity that’s social distancing-friendly. (Of course, if you’re planning a romantic picnic for two, by all means, don’t invite your friends).