how to host a picnic
invite friends to a perfectly planned summer picnic. we'll help!
Published Jun 25, 2015 5:00 AM
choose a location that makes sense
You don’t necessarily have to host a picnic in a public park. You can host one on a rooftop, a beach, a patio, or even indoors
make a list
Write down what you need to bring. If you’re hosting outside of your home, you don’t want to forget anything.
layer blankets for seating
Mix patterned or striped towels, blankets, or even rugs to create patchwork seating. Layer the blankets to keep guests dirt-free. If the ground is wet, use a tarp as the first layer. Skip using any white linens (grass stains!).
keep the food simple
Try handheld foods and appetizers, like vegetable or fruit kabobs, bread and cheese, or hummus and chips.
bring food that will last
While a crisp salad and sandwiches might seem like a good idea, leafy greens can wilt and sandwiches can get soggy. Instead, try a grains-based salad. Swap the pre-made sandwiches for baguettes with assorted toppings that you can spread on-site–like jam, cheese, or prosciutto. Go for dips that aren’t dairy based, like bean dip or hummus, that won’t spoil.
pair with a refreshing drink
Make infused water at home by adding lemon, melon, or cucumber and mint to a jug filled half with water and half with ice. You can even freeze berries to use as ice! If you serve wine, choose something fresh and light, like moscato or rosé. Pre-mix any cocktails, and make sure to have non-alcoholic options on hand. Make sure to know the open container laws if you are hosting in a public park.
escape the heat
Set up umbrellas for shade and to cover the food.
Keep guests and kids entertained with board games, cards, volleyball, bocce, frisbee, or badminton.
stay safe in the sun
Take along some extra sunglasses and bottles of sunscreen in case guests forget their own.
Bring a cute portable radio or speakers. Try Pandora or Spotify for summer playlists, or create your own!
don’t forget lighting
String twinkle lights for a daytime picnic or try lanterns or battery operated candles in the evening.