Learn about the art of planning a colorful, relaxing picnic date that’s as idyllic as a scene from a Jane Austen novel!
Is there anything more enchanted than a colorful feast spread out over a grassy carpet of emerald? The picnic holds a special place in culture. It is believed that what we know as a picnic today evolved from the moveable outdoor feasts that began in medieval England. Painters like
Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir brought scenes of picnics to life with splashes of color. Books and cinema are also known for their love affairs with the picnic. It’s easy to picture yourself in the setting of a Jane Austen novel as you feel the brush of warm grass blades petting at your ankles while nibbling a perfectly prepared feast.
You may be dreaming of leading your love interest through the grass to an adorable picnic setup of delicious food and precious views. Yes, the “country outing” is the perfect date idea! Let’s look at some tips for how to plan a magical and practical picnic date if you’d like to dine al fresco with your sweetie!
Choosing the Perfect Spot for a Picnic Date
Location is everything when setting the tone for a perfect picnic date! Nature often provides the best “tables” in places like parks, lakeside areas, and meadows. Ideally, you’d like an open, flat area that provides a nice mix of views and privacy. Some people enjoy picnicking under the shade of a tree. However, it’s important to note that shaded areas could be damp if it has rained recently. Do look for an area where you can set down all of your gear without fear of anything rolling away.
The Little Details Make a Big Difference
Planning a romantic picnic does not mean simply shoving some sandwiches into a sack! There is an art to packing a picnic basket! In fact, the first thing you might want to do is order a large picnic basket with some ergonomic features that make it easy to carry. Let’s cover what to include!
Also read: Picnic items for a perfect picnic
The Right Basket
Most of us picture a wicker picnic basket when we think of unpacking our feasts. However, that’s a bit outdated. Consider updating to an insulated cooler bag or cooler. You won’t have to worry about food spoiling if you have a properly insulated cooler. Do make sure you have ample freezer packs or bags of ice if you’ll be using a picnic basket that does not have built-in cooling features.
A Picnic Blanket and Linens
A large blanket with ample room for two is important! Try to find a blanket that offers a little bit of padding. It’s even better if you can find a waterproof blanket. A blanket with a lovely checkered or paisley pattern adds a lot of character to the picnic experience. Don’t just pull a sheet off your bed! Cloth napkins and other linens also elevate the picnic experience. You can impress your date by packing a soft cushion or pillow for added leisure and comfort!
You can never have enough paper towels at a picnic. Yes, messes are inevitable when eating outdoors. Towels help you to sop up messes quickly before you attract flies or critters. Packing some wet wipes is also a great idea if you’ll be picnicking in an area without access to water.
A Place for Garbage
The nearest garbage can could be many feet away! Allowing garbage to pile up or float away in the breeze wouldn’t be very romantic! Bring along your own garbage receptacle to avoid a big inconvenience!
Serving Spoons and Utensils
Make sure you have the proper serving spoons, forks, and tongs based on your picnic menu! The same goes for forks, spoons, and knives for eating. Don’t forget to bring along a special container where you can place used utensils when you’re done!
It’s easy to idealize the experience of picnicking in a field or garden-like setting as an ethereal activity. However, garden fairies and cherubs won’t be coming along to hold your plate for you! The reality of eating outdoors is that it can be difficult to keep your food and drinks from toppling over. One of the best ways to keep balance is a drink tray.
Nothing pairs with a picnic quite like a glass of wine! Don’t get stuck with a sealed cork when you’re far from home. Even if wine isn’t on the drink list, a simple bottle opener is important for opening bottles.
A Cutting Board
This is one of the most forgotten items in a picnic basket. A cutting board comes in handy if you’ll cutting up a watermelon or divvying up portions! A cutting board can also double as a nice cheese plate if you’ll be bringing along some foods for charcuterie.
Add Some Romantic Elements
The “feast” portion of a picnic isn’t the only place where there’s room for romance. You can also sprinkle in some fun activities before or after your meal. Here’s a list of romantic picnic activities:
- Arrange to have someone serenade you with a violin.
- Set up an easel to paint your date lounging in the grass.
- Plan a scavenger hunt.
- Play a playlist of classical music on portable speakers.
- Bring along a stack of board games.
- Go on a “wildflower” hunt near your picnic spot.
- Have a water-balloon fight.
Don’t forget that the “surprise” aspect of a picnic can be particularly romantic. You can pull this off by setting up your picnic space before you pick up your date. You can also use a blindfold to add to the surprise!
Stay Comfortable With a Portable Fan
Comfort is a big thing to keep in mind when coming up with picnic ideas for a date. Unfortunately, heat and bugs can quickly turn an idyllic picnic into a carnival of nuisances. Luckily, you can control the situation a bit. A portable fan can keep bugs away from your food while providing relief from heat.
Consider a Portable Canopy
“Weather” is always the third guest on a picnic date. There are ways to cope if you fear that harsh sun or rain droplets in the forecast could sabotage your picture-perfect picnic. A portable canopy can be set up and taken down easily. It allows you to enjoy the views while protecting your picnic environment from things like punishing sunlight or rain droplets.
Are you stuck on what to serve on a picnic date? Finger foods and simple dishes often work best for picnics. A picnic is not the same thing as a cookout. That means that all of the food will ideally be prepared, packed, and ready to eat when you arrive. Here’s a look at some perennial picnic favorites that are very easy to make and pack:
- Ham-and-cheese sandwiches.
- Egg-salad sandwiches.
- Cold salads (potato salad, macaroni salad, or coleslaw).
- Crackers with hummus.
- A cheese platter.
- Fruit salad (grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and melon.)
- Caprese chopped salad.
- Homemade “spiked” ice pops.
- Dessert bars.
What about drinks? If possible, opt for cans and bottles to make life a little easier. Long-stemmed glasses for wine may look pretty. However, they tend to topple over in the grass. Look for plastic cups with flat, secure bottoms.
Plan Your Romantic Date in the Grass!
Planning a romantic picnic is simple once you know how to avoid the pitfalls! Just remember that the two ingredients to a good picnic are a comfortable setting and food that’s easy to eat outdoors. Pack some romance into your next date with a picnic!