16 Reasons We're Obsessed with Picnicking

Ethnic family picnicking on a blanket in the grass
Photo: C. Devan/Getty Images

Whether it's at a park, a beach, or right in your backyard, roll out your picnic blanket and have a seat—it's time to get your alfresco on. Not convinced by fresh air and food alone? These 16 reasons we love picnics will have you planning your next outing, stat.

01 of 16

The Picnic Blankets

picnic side view
Carson Downing

No need to buy a new picnic blanket, just lay out your favorite throw and surround it with pillows for lounging. Toss a few throw blankets in your basket just in case the weather gets chilly.

02 of 16

The Perfect Picnic Food

Spicy Three-Meat Picnic Hero
Andy Lyons

Some foods are just made for summer picnics—like a delicious sandwich. This spicy hero is filled with sliced meat, cheese, and pepperoncini. This simple dish is easy to transport to a picnic; fill your basket with premade sandwiches wrapped in parchment paper. Don't forget the potato chips and sparkling water so picnic-goers can dig into a full lunch!

03 of 16

The Picnic Baskets

Basket filled with picnic supplies
Andy Lyons

Why buy a fancy picnic basket when you can build one of your own? Transform a plain wicker basket with handles into the perfect picnic accessory. All you need is a quick coat of white spray paint. Fill the basket with everything you need for the ultimate outing.

04 of 16

The Cheese Boards

picnic with sandwiches, charcuterie, and pink plates
Carson Downing

The coolest thing since sliced bread? A selection of cheeses for topping it, of course! Fill up on favorites like Brie, cheddar, and Gruyère. If you really want to get jazzy, add some meat and fruit to your tray. No-mess finger foods like bread, cheese and fruit are perfect for picnics. Pack small containers of cheeses, fruits and bread or crackers, and toss them in the picnic basket with the board. When you arrive at your picnic location, all you have to do is unpack!

05 of 16

The Quality Time

Ethnic family picnicking on a blanket in the grass
C. Devan/Getty Images

Picnicking is typically all about the food, but we also love spending time with the people we take on the picnic. Having a picnic is a great way to get outdoors with a few friends or family members and just enjoy the time together. Rather than meeting up for a hurried lunch at a busy restaurant, grab a few pals and head to a park for an hour or two of relaxed socially-distant conversation over food and drink.

06 of 16

The Finger Foods

Asparagus-Egg Breakfast Sandwich
Andy Lyons

The best foods to pack in your picnic basket are things that are easy to eat and require minimal setup once you arrive at your picnic location. Premade sandwiches are a great option–and they don't have to be boring! Ditch the plain old peanut butter and jelly and go for a delicious veggie sandwich.

07 of 16

The Foods-in-a-Cup

Veggie and Dip Cups
Andy Lyons

Because we can't bring our china everywhere. Get extra creative by filling plastic to-go cups with salads, snacks, and more.

08 of 16

The Treats

Cherry-Crumble Pie Bars
Scott Little

Whether it's brownies, bars, or pies, no picnic is complete without a sweet treat. Pack individually-wrapped bars (they travel better than most desserts) and stick a few cartons of milk in your picnic basket, too.

09 of 16

The Themes

man child July party
Sabrina Helas

While you certainly don't need an excuse to have a picnic, decorating for an outdoor holiday gathering can be fun. Invite family and friends to a backyard picnic adorned with balloons, streamers, and themed food.

10 of 16

The Mini Mason Jar Treats

Apple-Berry Pie in a Jar
Karla Conrad

Mason jars are one of the easiest ways to transport picnic food, especially treats that aren't good finger foods. We love the idea of this adorable mini pie, which is baked right inside a small jar! Pop a lid on each jar after these tiny treats are baked and cooled, and add them to the picnic basket with a few forks or spoons! Bonus points if you include a jar of whipped cream to share!

11 of 16

The Picnic Decor

bandanas in bamboo trays
David Tsay

We're obsessed with these adorable picnic trays, complete with individual place settings and colorful napkins. To recreate the look, grab a set of plain serving trays and adorn each with everything guests will need to enjoy their food.

12 of 16

The Fresh Air

person on bench with picnic basket
Rebekah Molloy

There's nothing better than enjoying some fresh air on a warm day—especially if there is food involved! A relaxing picnic doesn't have to be a big planned event; fill a basket with a few favorite treats, grab a friend, and head outside.

13 of 16

The Plaid

picnic basket with pink cake
Karla Conrad

It's no secret we love plaid. It's classic, inviting, and screams summer spread. A picnic without it would just be wrong.

14 of 16

The Views

Mother and daughter picnicking in a field
harpazo_hope/Getty Images

Why wait in line for a patio table at a restaurant when you could be eating your favorite foods outside right now? Not to mention picnics are a breath of fresh air from your normal routine—literally. For the most relaxing picnic, choose a pretty spot on a warm day. If you're more comfortable sitting at a table instead of on a picnic blanket, choose a local park that has a few picnic tables.

15 of 16

The Cake

Six Layer Strawberry Cake
Kritsada Panichgul

This viral trend is fun addition to any picnic. Grab your pals, a cake, and a few wine glasses to have a mess free dessert. Each person uses their wine glass to cut and scoop up part of the cake.

16 of 16

The Drinks

Basil Lemon Drop
Andy Lyons

Relaxing in sun with your favorite people is the perfect day. Make sure to bring pitcher of a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail!) to beat any thirst from the heat. This basil lemon drop drink is a boozy twist on homemade lemonade.

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