What should I bring on a picnic date?

Picnics are an easy way to spend time outside with someone special. You can select a remote picnic destination on the weekends or spread out in your own backyard for a weeknight meal. Craft your own unique experience by planning ahead with some cute and fun picnic ideas.

Shop this article: Michley Unbreakable Red Wine GlassesApollo Walker Picnic Bag for 2 People and Smirly Cheese Wood Charcuterie Board and Knife Set.

Picnic essentials

Your options for romantic picnic plans are limitless, but be sure to start by grabbing the basics.

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Depending on what time of year it is, bug spray may be necessary. This is vital if you’re picnicking somewhere in the woods. Even if it’s cool outside, bring sunscreen for UV protection. Be sure to also pack travel hand sanitizer to clean your hands before eating.

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Cutlery is another essential. Grab a set of travel utensils and for a fancier experience, avoid plastic cutlery. A set of wheat straw dinner plates feels more luxurious than plastic and won’t break like ceramic can. And don’t forget to bring the napkins. Linen works well for picnics.

best MICHLEY Unbreakable Red Wine Glasses

For beverages, check the restrictions of where you’ll have your picnic. Some places do not allow glass or open containers of alcohol. Opt for a set of Michley Unbreakable Red Wine Glasses, which look like glass but don’t break.

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Carry your supplies in a large woven tote or a classic picnic basket.

Where to go for a picnic

Find a spot that feels secluded and comfortable. This turns your picnic date from an ordinary meal into a personal and memorable experience.

If you plan to have your picnic in a public park, try to find someplace to sit away from others. Alternatively, sit near a fountain or other water element. This cancels out the noise of other conversations and makes your date feel more private.

If you don’t have access to a park nearby, think of local outdoor areas you can walk or drive to such as lakes, beaches, drive-in theaters or hiking trails. Part of the fun of a picnic can be exploring a new place.

If all else fails, bring the whimsy of a picnic to your own backyard. The benefits? Zero travel time and plenty of privacy.

How to make a picnic romantic

To take your picnic to the next level, plan some romantic details.

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Pick up a bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates or some flameless candles.

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A bottle of wine is a nice touch if you’re picnicking somewhere alcohol is permitted. If not, opt for sparkling cider instead, and sip it in champagne flutes for added flair.

Picnic date blankets

Sitting on a picnic blanket is non-negotiable for comfort.

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If you’re going for a whimsical, fun vibe, select a blanket with bright tones and patterns. Otherwise, you can go for a classic checkered blanket or a beige blanket. For added comfort, bring a few floor cushions.

Picnic date food

If you think picnics are only for bagged sandwiches, apples and lemonade, think again. There’s no reason your picnic can’t be a fine dining experience. Treat your date to a special occasion by creating gourmet dishes with high-end ingredients. Be sure to choose foods that are easy to eat to keep the picnic mess-free.

There are plenty of recipes that are both portable, snackable and luxe, including:

  • Mini quiches.
  • Bruschetta.
  • Salami, olives and provolone.
  • Grapes, figs and dark chocolate.
  • Caprese salad.
  • Prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe.

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Transport your gourmet picnic meal in an insulated cooler to keep it chilled, fresh and safe.

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Pair your picnic meal with your favorite beverage such as sparkling water, sangria or chilled tea. Hibiscus passion tea tastes great and has a stunning magenta color.

Create a charcuterie spread

Charcuterie boards look great, taste fantastic, are easy to make and offer endless possible variations.

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Plan the perfect picnic charcuterie board by flipping through a charcuterie inspiration book. A typical board consists of curated foods such as cheese, crackers, fruit, cured meats and nuts.

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Want to get more creative with your board? Try making Caprese skewers by alternating cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, basil and a drizzle of pesto on a skewer stick.

Bring your own entertainment

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Bring a portable speaker to set the mood with your own tunes. Be sure not to bother any other picnickers who may not wish to hear music.

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Create your own outdoor movie night by bringing your laptop and portable charger along with you. Be sure to download a movie beforehand if you won’t have access to Wi-Fi.

Top picks for the perfect picnic date

best Apollo Walker Picnic Bag for 2 People

Apollo Walker Picnic Bag for Two

What you need to know: This all-in-one picnic backpack features a detachable wine holder, cooler compartment, fleece blanket and full dining set.

What you’ll love: This set includes everything you’ll need for a picnic date in an easy-to-carry package. Padded straps provide additional comfort and multiple storage compartments make it easy to stay organized.

What you should consider: This set costs more than others.

Sold by Amazon

best Smirly Cheese Wood Charcuterie Board and Knife Set

Smirly Cheese Wood Charcuterie Board and Knife Set

What you need to know: Smirly makes a great serving board for cheese, meats, fruit, and nuts that has more than five serving sections.

What you’ll love: This wood charcuterie set includes a matching bamboo serving board, perfect for inspired cheese board spreads. It also features extra drawers for garnishes and cheese cutlery.

What you should consider: This set is a bit bulky, so you’ll need to plan ahead for how you’ll transport the set and assemble your board on-site at the picnic.

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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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