Last week Robin and I celebrated our third year of marriage – I can’t believe how quickly time has flown! Our anniversary fell during the week and so we decided to celebrate with a picnic on the weekend, canoeing, and a movie (we saw Valerian and it was really good!). Since you can clearly see what we had to eat, I’ll give you the tips I use whenever I plan a picnic to ensure a variety of delicious, seasonal foods, delightfully refreshing drinks, how to keep bugs away and be comfortable, and more!
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a (very) small commission. The revenue generated from this helps maintain my site and allows me to continue creating beautiful content for you. Know that I never link to items I don’t absolutely love and highly recommend to you – thank you!
Packing a beautiful and exciting picnic can be done in under 30 minutes, you just have to plan properly! I always make a list of what I want to pack and ensure that that list includes a few drinks, finger foods, fruits and vegetables, a main dish, breads, silverware, a blanket, picnic basket, bug repellant, and napkins! Always check the weather for the day you want to have your picnic and aim for a day that won’t see any rain & be sure to plan where you’re going to have your picnic ahead of time. We had a bit of difficulty finding somewhere this weekend because some of the parks we stopped at wouldn’t allow glass containers or alcohol, which meant we couldn’t drink the champagne we brought along with us, nor could we use our glass dishes we’d brought along, which would have made for a very boring picnic. Thankfully we found a beautiful, quiet park near a river that ended up being the perfect setting! I brought along a hearty amount of rosemary to keep ticks and mosquitos away from us and our food, and it worked really well! If you don’t have fresh rosemary on hand, consider setting up a bug light a meter or two from your picnic, or lighting citronella candles. We always do whatever we can to avoid using potentially toxic bug repellant sprays, especially near food, and I was very pleased with the results of using rosemary. I like to set out a dish of glucose syrup about 2 meters away from our picnics to draw bugs to that instead of us, which works especially well in areas with lots of wasps or ants. When using a nice picnic blanket, especially a nicer one, I put a thick blanket underneath (after ensuring that the ground isn’t damp) which not only helps keep the blanket clean, but also makes it more comfortable for us. We’ve even put tarps down under our blankets to stay dry!
I’m always sure to bring a few different drinks ( I brought a homemade fruit infused peach tea mix that we added champagne to for a refreshing celebratory drink), along with water and blood orange soda, so that everyone can have a drink they enjoy. Other great picnic options are margaritas, green or white iced teas, sparkling water or seltzer waters, fruit juices and milk teas. When we lived in Ann Arbor, we’d snag bubble teas before heading to a nearby park for our picnics, and it was always such a delicious drink which made for an even more enjoyable picnic. Finger foods are the easiest type of foods to eat, so anything such as cheese, fish spreads & crackers, fresh fruits (watermelon, grapes, apples, peaches, strawberries, pears, bananas and raspberries are my favorites!), crusty breads like the baguette above make for a simple yet elegant mini-sandwich base, and lady finger or cucumber sandwiches are also delicious and easy to eat during a picnic. In the mini rose gold lidded mason jars I packed gnocchi, garlic, rosemary, wheat sausage slices sautéed in vinegar reduction, sea salt, sautéed mushrooms & onions and asparagus tips for a hearty and filling “main”, which Robin loved. We brought along a small fruit tarts pictured above, and salads on a skewer. If you ask me, everything tastes better on a skewer!
I always make sure that we take away whatever we brought with us, and we opt for reusable glass containers and dishes, washable napkins, and silver utensils instead of the eco-damaging plastic and paper alternatives. When setting up a picnic, I love having different levels (I flipped over a seagrass basket and used a tiered serving dish and a silver platter to achieve this here), as it means there is more room to lounge about and it makes it more difficult for insects to crawl onto. You can shop some of my favorite picnic essentials below!
Until next time!
Baden-Baden, Germany | Bay Harbor | Beverly Hills | Carmel, IN | Chicago | Cincinnati | Colmar, France | Disneyland| Grand Rapids, MI | Greenland | Heidelberg, Germany | Indianapolis| Irvine | Laguna Beach | Los Angeles | Mackinac Island | Mexico City | Nara| New Orleans | New York City | Niagara Falls | Nikko, Japan | Petoskey | Querétaro | Rome | Toronto | Traverse City, MI | Tucson | Tulum| Vatican City | Venice | West Hollywood|
Luxury Hotels of the World
Amway Grand Plaza: Grand Rapids | Casa de la Marquesa: Querétaro | Conrad Indianapolis | Der Kleine Prinz: Baden-Baden| Grand Hotel: Mackinac Island | Hotel Monteleon: New Orleans | Hotel Walloon: Walloon Lake | Inn at Bay Harbor: Bay Harbor | Irvine Spectrum: Irvine| Radisson Blu Aqua: Chicago | SchlossHotel HugenPoet: Essen | Titanic Chaussee: Berlin | Townsend Hotel: Birmingham | Weber’s Boutique Hotel: Ann Arbor | Zamna: Tulum |
Luxury Restaurants of the World
Barrel Back: Walloon Lake | Boca: Cincinnati | Chandler’s: Petoskey | The Cliff: Laguna Beach | The Garden Table: Indianapolis| Gracias Madre: West Hollywood | Hinoki & the Bird: LA | Jockey Club: Mackinac Island| Kin Toh Treehouse in the Jungle: Tulum | Kitchen Table: Tulum | Ladurée Paris | Matcha Mama: Tulum | Moon Juice: West Hollywood | Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie | Ralph Lauren Café in Tokyo | The Real Coconut: Tulum| Rosa Negra: Tulum | Sushi Grand: Mackinac Island | Syoka: Nara, Japan | Tinker Street: Indianapolis| Vintage Chophouse & Winebar: Bay Harbor | What to eat Grand Hotel Mackinac Island| Woods: Mackinac Island | 10 Best Places to Grab a Drink on Mackinac Island| 10 Most Romantic Cities in the World| 15 Best Places to Eat in Grand Rapids | 20 Best Places to Eat in Tulum | 50 Best Places to Eat in Michigan |
Shelby Back says
Taking a picnic is one of my favorite things to do!
Sarah Lindner says
Such a perfect looking picnic! I def need to have a pretty picnic this summer!
Ruthie Ridley (@RuthieRidley) says
This spread looks awesome!!! Great tips!
Ashley DTKAustin says
I was literally just talking to my husband about having a picnic but not having time to get everything and prep. This post is so helpful!!
PRETTY IN PINK MEGAN (@pipmegan) says
Wow this picnic is gorgeous! Looks like something you’d find on Pinterest!
Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com
How 2 Wear It says
Love all the light bites and fruit!! Picnics are so fun and I need to do them more often!
How 2 Wear It  http://how2wearit.com
so fun! i want to go on a picnic
such a cool post! thanks for sharing! that’s quite a spread you got going! i’m totally going to do this!
You are too cute!! I love picnics!
Such a cute post! I am obsessed with picnics!
I keep saying I’m going to have a picnic before the summer ends! Need to do this — looks adorable!
Anna Yeakel Lewis says
Love these ideas!!!! I love going on panics and know have some new ideas to do next time!!!
savannah stone says
This looks amazing ! I never would have though you could put this together in such a short amount of time !
Annie Gardner says
That is quite the spread!
Jessica Malinowski says