A picnic is a fun but inexpensive outing, whether you’re looking for a safe quarantine date idea to get you out of the house or struggling to pick the perfect first-date restaurant. Why not scrap the pricey dinner altogether and take them for an intimate, thoughtful picnic instead?
If you do, don’t forget these five essentials!
#1 Cozy Picnic Blanket
Once upon a time, picnic blankets were nothing more than thin layers of fabric with funky and vibrant designs. Nowadays, you can find luxurious, waterproof picnic blankets for those cold weather dates. Keep your pants dry even on damp grass, and curl the cozy fleece around your shoulders for extra warmth (and a little extra cuddle time).
Bringing a picnic blanket on a picnic date is a no-brainer (it’s in the name!) but bringing the right one will take it to the next level.
#2 Assortment of Favorite Foods
Picnic food can include whatever you want it to, as long as it travels well and is relatively easy to enjoy. However, there are definitely some classic picnic meals that we’d recommend:
- Fresh sandwiches – There’s nothing like salami, pesto, mozzarella, and spinach between two pieces of fresh bread. If you can’t decide on ingredients, create a delicious (but not too messy!) mini sandwich array with all the classics.
- Charcuterie board – This cheese, meat, bread, and fruit combo may be more like a charcuterie box than charcuterie board, but it hits all the right spots. You can easily tailor this to your preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Just don’t forget a set of cheese spreaders!
- Potato salad – Easy to pack, easy to eat—cold salads are great for picnics! There are hundreds of recipes out there, or you can always go for a store-bought baked potato salad (shhh, we won’t tell!).
Room-temperature or cold foods are easiest to deal with on a picnic. Cured meats almost certainly won’t go bad in the time it takes you to drive or walk to your destination, but if you feel more comfortable you can pack it up in a refrigerated picnic cooler.
#3 Wine or Cider
As you enjoy your delicious meal, you’ll need something to wash it down. What better than a glass (or two) of wine?
Finding your perfect wine is the easy part. But how do you keep it cold on your picnic?
Easy! Leave the bottle behind and pour it into your insulated wine bottle ahead of time. This will keep it chilled all night long, plus you can forget about the corkscrew, bottle opener, and shady looks from the family nearby—move along, nothing to see here!
#4 A Little Something For Dessert
The perfect meal isn’t complete without a little bite of dessert, no matter how small. You can bake or buy in-store, just be sure to round out the evening with a hint of sweetness:
- Chocolate covered strawberries – This very well may be the ultimate picnic dessert. Pick up a box of straight strawberries or opt for an assorted box of chocolate dipped treats.
- Dessert bars – These miniature bars come in all different flavors and travel easily to and from your picnic destination. Decide between lemon raspberry, chocolate, pecan butterscotch, and about a million other flavors.
- Cheesecake in a jar – If you’re feeling up for a homemade treat, miniature cheesecakes are another perfect picnic delicacy. They’re super portable and easy to eat, no matter where you are.
#5 Bonus: A Hint of Ambiance
If you’re looking to set the mood with this picnic, pack a few extra items to sprinkle some romance into the air:
- Candles – A few scented candles always hit the spot. Just be extra careful of forest fires if you’re in a dry or wooded area!
- Bluetooth speaker – Bring a high-quality speaker and the right curated playlist to set the tone for the evening.
Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labor
Planning a picnic date is relatively straightforward, especially when you follow this helpful guide. Once the cooler’s packed, the location is decided, and the wine is chilling in the tumbler, all that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your evening with that one special person.