8 Tips For The Perfect Picnic [For Optimal Fun]

Sharing 8 Tips For The Perfect Picnic that will help you create a memorable, classic-style picnic with ease.

Right out of the gate, I should be clear on the type of picnic we will be discussing in this post. Since the word picnic can conjure up different images for people that might not be relevant to the sort of tips I have for you today. The picnic I wish to create with these tips is one enjoyed in a leisurely fashion. Those Instagram-worthy picnics or ones you might see in an old movie.

There is a bit of nostalgia and possibly a touch of romance surrounding them. The scene is surely a blanket, with various finger foods laid out in a lovely display, the scene is cozy, laid back, and timeless.

Since my daughter was little, we have enjoyed picnics in various forms either in the backyard for lunch, at a favorite park, or at the city zoo. Many great and some bad, over the years I began to recognize the elements that made our picnics memorable. Furthermore, I began to change the parts that seemed not so memorable. What I eventually wound up with was a set of rules that I now stick to when packing our picnics.

The Perfect Picnic

Keeping in mind my vision for a classic, leisurely picnic. Set in a lovely scene, basket in hand, sitting under the shade of the tree. Eating pretty finger foods put together and eaten while enjoying conversation or a good book. When I first began packing our picnics, she was small and full of energy. There would be no way that she would sit.

But as time went on, she would sit a little longer and each time I tried to bring out something that would feel exciting. A special dessert, or her favorite book to read. Today, having a backyard picnic or one out is a regular part of our lives. This time together is itself memorable and as the years have passed I know these moments will stay with her.

a picnic blanket with food on it

I hope these 8 Tips for the Perfect Picnic that I have for you, help you cultivate your own perfect picnic setting. I encourage you to take lunch outside whether in your backyard or in the park and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy The Video Version

8 Tips For The Perfect Picnic

#1 Picnic Basket

I know, you might be wondering, what is the significance here? Well, for starters placing a picnic basket down to set up and keep items handy offers an overall aesthetic to your picnic. It is something very subtle that might not seem like anything at all. But the moment the basket is set down a tone for the picnic is set.

You might not have a fancy old-fashioned picnic basket but don’t let that stop you. Grabbing a large basket of any sort ought to do the trick. Which is exactly what I do as I have yet been able to find that perfect picnic basket to add to my picnic supplies. Keep your eyes peeled for large baskets at the thrift stores or antique shops the next time you are in as they usually cost just a few dollars. This one simple item can up your picnic game straight away.

#2 Pests

One of the biggest complaints my daughter has any time we eat outside is the flies. I can’t say I blame her here, who likes to swat flies away while eating? Certainly not us. So might I suggest that you have some solutions for the possible pests packed into your basket? These fly fans have been my go-to option for years. They are so handy and work well for keeping flies away from our food.

Collapsible food covers also work well and are easy just as easy to toss into the basket. Lastly, one can’t talk about outdoor pests without mentioning mosquitoes. This goes especially so if having an evening picnic! To avoid being eaten alive at your next picnic, grab a few of these mosquito bracelets to tuck away into your basket. You can wear them around your ankle or wrist and if they are really bad, both!

#3 Tableware and Cutlery

Pack good quality plates, and any cutlery needed for the food you have packed. I like bringing along a few cloth napkins, silverware, and these melamine plates to ensure we have something quality to eat with. Not only is this more cost-effective to use reusable items but it makes the eating experience elevated as having actual tableware and cutlery is a nice touch. If disposable makes more sense to you, ensure you use durable cutlery and nothing flimsy that can break off during use. I find these red gingham napkins and tan food trays give a cute touch while being completely practical.

#4 The Menu

Pick foods that are ready to enjoy as they are. Think finger foods, sandwiches, mini quiches, hand fruit, and chicken drumsticks. Foods that require little to no assembly on the spot. Keep the menu simple and if bringing any sort of sides that require a large serving dish, like pasta or potato salad, try prepackaging it into individual servings. I find mason jars and jam jars work well for this as they are cute and easy to eat right out of.

#5 Entertainment

Bring along some form of entertainment. A book to read aloud to your kids, cards to play, or a game. Word puzzles, mad libs, and crossword puzzles do well in this setting as you can do them together as you sit enjoying the picnic.

#6 Music

I like to bring along a Bluetooth speaker to set the tone, quite literally, for the picnic. Playlists like Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, and Otis Redding are a few favorites. My daughter’s favorite is Django, I must say, his music always does the trick. It transports you in time and the picnic suddenly has a charming quality.

#7 Think Ahead

One of the major reasons a picnic goes south, at least in my book, is when we fail to plan ahead. Not having something you need for the food you brought can be frustrating. No jam for the biscuits, or butter for the bread. Instead, as you pack the picnic, think of the details. What might someone need for the food you have selected? Go through your basket of food carefully then add any little details to ensure that you have thought ahead. Salt and pepper, straws for drinks, wet naps for sticky messes, or jam for scones.

#8 Food Containers Matter

When wanting to have a nostalgic, classic picnic we have to think bigger and better than standard plastic bags or tin foil to pack our food up. Mason jars, jams jars, flip-top bottles, and unbleached parchment paper are all great options for packaging up food. Unbleached parchment paper works especially well for sandwiches, hand-held pies, quiche slices, and scones. Making them individually packed and giving them a deli feel at the very same time. While mason and jam jars offer a vintage or rustic feel while being completely convenient food or drink containers.

Final Thoughts

Picnic season is officially here and I hope today’s tips help you to create that perfect picnic you are going for. I can’t write about picnics without including some of our favorite perfect picnic recipes. Check out these Best Cucumber Sandwiches, Quick No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, and this Strawberry Basil Lemonade. It might possibly be, the perfect picnic menu!

With all this talk about the perfect picnic, I wanted to also mention another idea you might be interested in and that is to have afternoon tea. In this post, How To Serve Afternoon Tea at Home, I share several tips along with a few recipes to try. You can also watch the video version here. On occasion, I like to combine the two with an afternoon tea-style picnic. Blending these two loves is a great way to elevate an average afternoon.

Happy summer and picnic season to you!

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a blanket with a picnic set atop

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  1. Your blog is a total delight! I discovered you a couple months ago, and although I have been a full-time homemaker for over 30 years (and am now an empty nest homemaker), I find myself encouraged and inspired in that calling by my visits to your beautiful site. I love picnics—though as I have gotten older, my tolerance to the summer heat has faded, so I prefer my picnics in the spring and fall.

    Thanks for being a blessing!

    1. Thank you so much!! You are so kind. I am really glad to hear from you and happy that you are finding encouragement here. That is absolutely what I hope to be to other women. And I am right there with you on the picnics! Above 90 degrees, and I won’t go out! I do love fall and spring picnics! The weather is always perfect for sitting outside. I hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂

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