Friends enjoying a picnic outside in the shaded woods with toast with wine.

How to Plan a Picnic

Are you asking yourself how to plan a picnic?

With springtime approaching, and all of us looking for some serious outdoor time with our friends and family, it’s time to put together exactly what you need to make that happen! Here’s how to plan a picnic for the spring or any time of year!

What kind of food do you bring to a picnic?

Keep food simple. 

A picnic is the last place you want to overcomplicate things.  Here are some easy picnic foods you can easily pack up: 

    • Chicken Salad – I use Ina Garten’s recipe every time.   It’s simple to make, yet it’s not the pre-made version from the grocery store. Taking something that is simple to put together and then adding preservatives isn’t a great idea in my book.  I serve the salad on crusty Italian rolls.  Wrap them in parchment paper to make them feel extra special.
    • Cold Caprese Pasta Salad – Take a recipe that’s super simple and let it chill.  Literally.  Bring along a small bottle of balsamic glaze and you’ve got the perfect portable and delicious picnic food! Use spaghetti, bow ties, or ziti.  Whatever is in your pantry is absolutely perfect.
    • Charcuterie Lunch – pack up everything you would use to make an epic charcuterie and make it to go.  Use individual containers or bring personal size cutting boards.  It all depends on how fancy pants you plan to be.  You can learn what you need for a charcuterie here.
    • Pick one of my favorite summer salads!  Picking a dinner salad makes it simple to get everything you need for a picnic into one package! Check out these incredible dinner salads and choose one for your next picnic!

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Salad with feta cheese, tomatoes, red onions, black olives on a blue plate.

How to Plan a Picnic – Beverages

Picnic Beverages

Keep picnic beverages simple as well. Also, make sure you bring a bottle opener if you need one!

Picnic Beverages for Kids:

  • Sealed juices
  • Bottled water
  • Thermos of lemonade

Picnic Beverages for Adults:

  • Sparkling water
  • Thermos of iced tea or lemonade
  • Bottled water
  • Wine – red or white
  • Bottled craft beer

Picnic Essentials – Picnic Supplies & Picnic Games (including a beach picnic favorite)!

Picnic Essentials

These are some of my favorite picnic essentials! Each can help you to keep organized and ready for all of your picnics this year!

Friends gather at a picnic table in a wooded area. The table has picnic food, and drinks.

How to Plan a Picnic – More Picnic Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to pack sunscreen!
  • Bring along a charged wireless speaker for some tunes.
  • Always have a first aid kit on-hand.
  • If people are meeting you at the picnic site, make sure you give good directions!
  • Place paper cupcake holders on top of drinks to keep the pests away.
  • Eat out of the container! (example: use mason jars for individual salads)
  • Offer all parts of the meal you have packed at one time.  No fancy courses needed!
  • Bring along hand sanitizer, wet wipes – even a bottle of Lysol. Keep everyone safe!
  • Have extra garbage bags, napkins, and paper towels ready to go! You’ll always need more than you think.
  • Pack at least one sharp knife and one small cutting board.
  • Grab an extra mason jar and fill it with wild flowers for a pretty centerpiece.

Enjoy your picnic! Don’t forget – pack a fun dessert!



Planning a picnic date? Check out this post on how to put together a picnic date for your sweetie!

Need romantic picnic food ideas? I’ve got you covered!

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