Being outside during the summer with people you care for is one of life's simplest pleasures. Picnics are an easy way to plan something special without going far or breaking the bank. They don't require staring at your phone, and can be customized to virtually any theme and drum up a lot of excitement. They are also great for any group size, from an intimate romantic date to a reunion for the family. With Labor Day right around the corner, take a look at the ten steps listed below and start planning your perfect picnic.
1) Pick a Theme
One of the best tricks of getting your audience excited for your party is by picking a theme. People love an excuse to dress up, and it promotes creativity within your guests. There is no need to go over the top unless you want to! Simple themes like Red, White, & Blue for Labor Day or dress up as a color can be enough to add an extra element of fun. Sticking with a theme for a picnic also allows for faster curation and a more straightforward to-do list because you know what you're looking for.
2) Select a Great Location
The end of summer can be scorching, which is why it's essential to select a location with plenty of shade and chairs. Many rural areas have neighborhood parks that are open to the public. The benefits of these usually mean access to facilities and tap water. Depending on the location and theme of your picnic, you can also look for waterfront locations or urban art settings. Usually, a quick google search of picnic spots in your area will yield the results you're looking for. When combing out an exact location, look for shade and flat grounds. An even surface allows you to set up chairs evenly or lay a blanket down without it getting blown away.
You can also plan the picnic right in your own backyard if you have the space! Just be sure to have plenty of chairs and shade available for guests.
3) Divvy Out the Food Items
Depending on how many people you've invited to your enchanting summer picnic, you can separate the food items so that people don't have to carry items long distances. You can ask your guests to bring a simple side dish, appetizer, or dessert.
When looking at food items for picnics, consider your audience and things that don't produce a lot of waste. We recommend the following item types for a well-rounded meal; all of these can be customized based on the theme!
- Protein/ entrée- This can come in a handheld turkey club, a PB & J, or a cold pasta dish, or the classic hamburgers and hot dogs.
- Fruits and veggie options- Watermelon, fruit salad, and veggies & dip are all popular options. You can conveniently pack these in Mason jars or make them into kabobs for easy transport and clean-up.
- Snacks- Chips and Dips, trail mix, or one plate charcuterie boards. Your guests will be thankful for the salty crunch!
- Dessert- something easy to pack, light, and no messy clean up- like cookies or brownies can be a great option!
4) Divvy Out the Drink Items
- Water. Having enough water around is essential for throwing a good summer party. When selecting a location, if the picnic is not at your house, look for access to tap water or drinking fountains. A good rule is that everyone should have access to at least 30 ounces of water (2 bottles).
- Glass jars filled with sangria or other fruit-infused drinks are always a big hit and look beautiful and refreshing.
- Try to stay away from utilizing too many cups. Items like personalized themed cups and glass jars are easy to transport and good for the environment. It also looks cleaner and is a simple way to create a beautiful summer aesthetic.
5) Pick the Right Blanket/ Surfaces
When looking for the perfect picnic blanket, think about how many guests you have. In terms of picnic blankets, experience dictates the bigger, the better. Look for a stiffer fabric that maintains its shape, even if the surface underneath is a tad bumpy. You'll also want something that is machine washable and, at the very best, waterproof. This will help clean up after the picnic and will also be important in case of any spills or wild weather.
If you would rather use chairs, make sure you have plenty of benches and foldable chairs handy. You can even ask guests that have foldable chairs to bring a few with them.
6) Create the Playlist
One of the most crucial elements to throwing a good party is having the right music. When creating your picnic playlist, consider your audience and how closely you're relating to the theme. Are your friends into the current hits? Or do you all usually dance to old-school favorites? You can get the playlist started by adding your favorites and contemporary technology in apps like Spotify allow you to share ownership of playlists so everyone can be the DJ.
7) Capture the Moments
Bring a couple of disposable cameras or a polaroid to the picnic. Natural lighting and an aesthetic picnic setting is any photographer's dream. This setting can easily let you capture sweet moments of the whole family that look professional. Research some shots you want to create beforehand so that your end-of-summer picnic can be relived in stunning photo memories.
8) Pick out Some Fun Games
There's something about being outside and having a picnic that brings out everyone's inner child. Depending on what kind of summer picnic you're hosting, you'll want to consider the entertainment. Jenga, Corn-hole, Croquet, and card games are popular for smaller adult gatherings. While more active games like "Family Olympics" can be fun for large groups and include games like dodgeball, freeze tag, and kick ball.
9) Enjoy the Sunset
One of the best aspects of a picnic is that it's surrounded by the beatify of nature. Seeing a sunset is something we don't get to experience every day in our busy lives, and taking the time to witness it with your loved ones makes a lovely memory and a great photo-op.
10) Grab the Campfire
Lastly, having a relaxing campfire or bonfire is the perfect way to end any summer picnic. With our Radiate Portable Campfires, you don't have to worry about buying enough firewood to keep the fire burning. There's no smoky smell and they don't create the same mess as an actual campfire. Radiate makes taking the bonfire with you more accessible than ever. It's small, safe, and is as easy as lighting a candle. Bring it with you to the park or use it in your own backyard! Just be sure to place it on the ground or on a heat resistant surface to burn.
Try our Radiate Campfire Eucalyptus Scent to enjoy your evening while keeping the pesky bugs away, as it's a natural bug deterrent. In comparison, our unscented Radiate Campfires can be used to make s'mores and roast marshmallows. To get started, all you need is a match.
Follow these ten steps, and you'll have a summer picnic that is easy to plan and, more importantly, a ton of fun to attend!