Ah, the joy of a picnic date! It combines the magic of al fresco dining with the romance of spending quality time with someone special. If you’re wondering what to do on a picnic date or what to take on a picnic date, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive right into ensuring your outdoor rendezvous is nothing short of perfect.

Setting the Scene: Choosing the Perfect Spot

To ensure your picnic date is a memorable and delightful experience, it’s essential to choose the perfect spot. This decision can greatly influence the ambiance and overall success of your outing. Let’s explore key factors to consider when selecting the ideal location for your picnic date, including nature and privacy, accessibility, and scenery.

Nature and Privacy

  • Quiet Park: A tranquil park is a classic choice for a picnic date. Look for parks with lush greenery, shady trees, and peaceful atmospheres. These parks often have designated picnic areas with benches or tables;
  • Riverside: Picnicking by a river can offer a serene and picturesque setting. The sound of flowing water and the gentle breeze can create a soothing and romantic ambiance. Ensure there are accessible spots along the riverbank where you can spread out your picnic blanket;
  • Beach: If you’re near a coastline, a beach picnic can be a fantastic option. The sound of waves crashing against the shore and the sandy landscape can add a unique touch to your date. Choose a less crowded section of the beach for privacy;
  • Forest or Wooded Area: If you and your date appreciate the beauty of nature, consider a picnic in a forest or wooded area. These locations can provide shade, a connection with nature, and a sense of seclusion;
  • Botanical Garden: Botanical gardens offer a blend of nature and curated beauty. They often have well-maintained picnic areas amidst a variety of plants and flowers, creating a romantic and colorful backdrop.


  • Proximity to Facilities: While seclusion is desirable, ensure that your chosen spot is not too remote. Having access to restroom facilities, parking, and emergency services nearby can add convenience and peace of mind to your picnic date;
  • Parking: Check if there is ample parking available close to your picnic spot. Avoid having to walk long distances with your picnic supplies, especially if you’re carrying a lot of items;
  • Ease of Arrival: Consider how easy it is to reach your chosen location. If it requires a long and challenging hike, make sure both you and your date are prepared for the journey.


  • Scenic Views: Opt for spots that offer breathtaking views. Whether it’s a panoramic vista of a city skyline, a majestic mountain range, or a serene lake, a beautiful backdrop can enhance the overall experience;
  • Sunset or Sunrise: Timing your picnic to coincide with a sunset or sunrise can be incredibly romantic. The changing colors of the sky provide a captivating natural display;
  • Wildlife and Nature: Look for locations where you can appreciate local wildlife and flora. Birdwatching or observing wildlife can be an enjoyable part of your picnic experience;
  • Photo Opportunities: Consider the visual appeal of the spot for capturing memorable photos. Beautiful scenery can help create lasting memories and provide picturesque backdrops for your snapshots.

Essentials: What to Take on a Picnic Date

Picnic set up

Ensuring you’ve packed all essentials is vital. You don’t want to arrive and realize you’ve forgotten something crucial. Here’s a handy list:

Picnic Basics

  • Picnic Basket or Bags: The foundation of a successful picnic is a reliable and spacious picnic basket or a set of bags. Choose one that suits your style and can accommodate your picnic supplies efficiently. A well-organized container makes it easier to transport and access your items;
  • Blankets: A comfortable, thick blanket is essential for a picnic. It serves as your picnic seating and lounging area, so opt for one that can comfortably accommodate you and your partner or group. Look for a blanket with a waterproof underside to keep you dry if the ground is damp;
  • Utensils and Napkins: Eating utensils and napkins are crucial for a smooth picnic experience. Don’t forget to pack the following items:
Utensils and NapkinsPurpose
ForksFor picking up food, especially salads and fruits
KnivesFor cutting and spreading condiments
SpoonsFor eating soups, desserts, and other dishes
Cups or glassesFor serving and enjoying beverages
Cloth napkins (reusable ones are eco-friendly)For wiping hands and minimizing waste
  • Cooler: If your picnic involves perishable items or beverages that need to be kept cold, invest in a quality cooler. Fill it with ice packs or gel packs to ensure your drinks and certain foods stay chilled throughout the picnic;
  • Trash Bags: Responsible picnickers leave no trace behind. Bring along trash bags to collect and properly dispose of your waste in designated bins. This eco-friendly practice ensures you leave the picnic spot as beautiful as you found it.

Must-Have Food Items

  • Sandwiches & Wraps: Classic picnic fare, sandwiches and wraps are versatile and easy to prepare. Consider making a variety of them with different fillings to cater to different tastes. Wrap them in foil or plastic wrap for easy handling and to keep them fresh;
  • Fresh Fruits: Fruits are a refreshing and healthy addition to your picnic spread. Pack a selection of grapes, strawberries, apple slices, and citrus wedges in airtight containers or resealable bags to maintain their freshness;
  • Cheese & Crackers: Elevate your picnic with a delightful cheese and crackers platter. Choose a selection of cheeses, including soft, hard, and flavored varieties, and pair them with an assortment of crackers. Adding sliced salami or prosciutto can enhance the gourmet experience;
  • Chocolate or Desserts: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a selection of chocolates, brownies, or pastries. Opt for individually portioned desserts for convenience and easy sharing;
  • Condiments and Spreads: Don’t forget to pack condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup for your sandwiches. If you have a taste for sophistication, bring along gourmet spreads like hummus, pesto, or fruit preserves to complement your cheese and crackers;
  • Salads: Refreshing salads like potato salad, pasta salad, or a crisp green salad can add depth to your picnic menu. Transport them in airtight containers and dress them just before serving to keep them fresh and crisp.

Ideal Drinks

  • Chilled Lemonade: Nothing beats the thirst-quenching taste of freshly squeezed lemonade on a warm day. Chill it in advance and bring it in a thermos or a spill-proof container to keep it cold and refreshing;
  • Sparkling Water: Sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime is a great non-alcoholic option. It’s refreshing and pairs well with various picnic foods;
  • Wine or Champagne: If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your picnic, consider bringing along a bottle of wine or champagne. Don’t forget to pack a corkscrew and wine glasses to enhance the experience;
  • Freshly Brewed Iced Tea: For a more laid-back beverage option, brew a batch of iced tea and transport it in a pitcher. You can sweeten it to taste and add lemon slices for extra flavor;
  • Water: Staying hydrated is essential, especially on a warm day. Bring along a supply of bottled water to ensure everyone can quench their thirst.

Additional Enhancements

To make your picnic even more enjoyable and comfortable, consider including these additional items:

  • Picnic Chairs or Cushions: If you prefer sitting on chairs or want extra comfort, portable picnic chairs or cushions can be a great addition;
  • Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Depending on your picnic location and the weather, sunscreen and bug spray can be essential for sun protection and keeping pesky insects at bay;
  • Outdoor Games: Bring along frisbees, a football, a badminton set, or a deck of cards to enjoy some fun outdoor activities during your picnic;
  • Music and Entertainment: A portable speaker and your favorite playlist or a good book can add a relaxing and entertaining element to your picnic;
  • First Aid Kit: Safety first! A basic first aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers can come in handy for minor injuries or discomfort;
  • Picnic Decor: Consider bringing a tablecloth, candles, or fairy lights to add a touch of ambiance to your picnic setup, especially if it’s an evening picnic.

Activities: Beyond Just Eating

Person playing a guitar

Figuring out what to do on a picnic date, besides eating, can add fun to your outing. Here are some activities to consider:

Card and Board Games

Card and board games are classic picnic activities that can infuse fun and friendly competition into your outing. They are versatile, suitable for all ages, and require minimal setup. Here’s an in-depth look at some popular choices:

  • Uno: Uno is a fast-paced card game that involves matching colors and numbers. The objective is to be the first to empty your hand of cards. It’s easy to learn and can lead to exciting twists and turns as players strategically use action cards to challenge their opponents;
  • Scrabble: Scrabble is a word game that encourages creativity and vocabulary building. Players create words on a game board using letter tiles, each with its own point value. The goal is to score the highest points by forming high-scoring words and strategically placing tiles on bonus squares;
  • Chess: Chess is a timeless strategy board game played on an 8×8 grid. Each player commands an army of unique pieces, including kings, queens, rooks, knights, bishops, and pawns. The objective is to checkmate your opponent’s king while protecting your own. Chess requires strategic thinking and can provide hours of intellectual stimulation.

Nature Walks

One of the most enchanting aspects of picnicking in the great outdoors is the opportunity to connect with nature. A leisurely nature walk allows you to immerse yourself in your surroundings, appreciate the beauty of the natural world, and perhaps discover hidden treasures. To make the most of your nature walk, consider the following:

  • Appropriate Footwear: Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes suitable for walking on various terrains;
  • Binoculars: Bring a pair of binoculars to enhance your bird-watching experience or to observe distant wildlife;
  • Field Guide: Carry a field guidebook to help you identify local plants, trees, and animals you encounter;
  • Leave No Trace: Be respectful of the environment by adhering to Leave No Trace principles. This includes packing out all your trash, avoiding damaging plants, and refraining from disturbing wildlife.


For those who appreciate a quieter and more contemplative picnic experience, bringing along a book of poems or short stories can be a delightful choice. Reading together or taking turns sharing passages can foster intimacy and intellectual engagement. Here are some tips for a perfect reading picnic:

  • Comfortable Seating: Lay out blankets, cushions, or portable chairs for comfortable seating;
  • Book Display: Consider a portable bookshelf or stand to keep your reading materials organized and easily accessible;
  • Lighting: If your picnic extends into the evening, a small reading light can be handy to ensure you can enjoy your book without straining your eyes.


Music has the power to set the mood and enhance the ambiance of your picnic. A carefully curated playlist and a portable speaker can transform your outdoor setting into a personalized haven of sound. Here’s how to create the perfect musical picnic experience:

  • Curate Your Playlist: Craft a playlist that combines your favorite songs with soothing tunes that complement the outdoor setting;
  • Battery Life: Ensure your portable speaker has sufficient battery life to last throughout your picnic;
  • Volume Control: Adjust the volume to a level that suits your surroundings and respects the peace and tranquility of the natural environment.


For those planning an evening picnic, stargazing can be an incredibly romantic and awe-inspiring activity. To fully appreciate the celestial wonders, some preparation and basic knowledge of the night sky are essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide to enjoy stargazing during your picnic date:

  • Starry Night App: Download a stargazing app or use a website that provides real-time information about celestial objects and constellations visible on the date of your picnic;
  • Telescope or Binoculars: Consider bringing a telescope or a good pair of binoculars to observe the moon, stars, and planets in greater detail;
  • Blankets and Warm Clothing: Lay out a comfortable blanket or reclining chairs for stargazing. Be prepared with warm clothing or blankets if your picnic extends into the cooler evening hours.

Keep it Comfortable and Safe

Insect repellent being applied to a hand

No matter what you plan to do on a picnic date, comfort and safety should always be a priority.

Weather Preparations

  • Check the Forecast: Before embarking on your picnic date, it’s imperative to thoroughly check the weather forecast for the day. This initial step will help you make informed decisions about what to bring and how to dress appropriately for the conditions you’re likely to encounter. Several reliable weather forecasting apps and websites are available to provide up-to-date information;
  • Sunscreen: If the forecast predicts sunny weather, it’s essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Pack a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to ensure adequate sun protection. Apply the sunscreen generously to all exposed skin areas, including your face, neck, arms, and legs. Don’t forget to reapply it throughout the day, especially after swimming or sweating;
  • Umbrella: In the event of unexpected rain or intense sun, it’s wise to bring along an umbrella. Opt for a compact, portable umbrella that can easily fit into your picnic basket or tote bag. This versatile accessory can provide shade or shelter, ensuring your comfort and protection from the elements.

Seating Options

  • Blanket: A picnic staple, a comfortable blanket provides a cozy sitting area and a place to lay out your picnic spread. When choosing a picnic blanket, consider its size, material, and waterproof features. A larger blanket allows ample space for relaxation, while a waterproof one prevents moisture from seeping through, keeping you dry and comfortable;
  • Foldable Chairs: While a blanket can be sufficient for some, consider elevating your picnic experience by bringing foldable chairs. These lightweight, portable chairs provide superior back support, making your picnic more enjoyable, especially for extended periods. Look for chairs with durable frames and padded seats for ultimate comfort;
  • Cushions or Pillows: Enhance your seating comfort by bringing along cushions or pillows to place on your blanket or chairs. These additions provide extra padding and support, making it easier to relax and enjoy your picnic meal. Some picnic-specific cushions even come with straps for easy transport.

Insect Repellents

  • Mosquito Repellent Spray: Insects can be a persistent nuisance during outdoor picnics, especially in warm weather. To ward off these pesky bugs, carry a reliable mosquito repellent spray. Look for products containing DEET or consider using a natural alternative like citronella. Apply the repellent to exposed skin and clothing to create a protective barrier against biting insects;
  • Citronella Candles: In addition to mosquito repellent spray, consider adding citronella candles to your picnic setup. These candles not only provide a pleasant ambiance but also help repel insects with their distinctive scent. Place them strategically around your picnic area to maximize their effectiveness in keeping bugs away.

First Aid Kit

  • Accidents Happen: Despite your best efforts to stay safe, accidents can still occur during a picnic. Being prepared for minor injuries or discomfort is essential to ensure a worry-free experience;
  • Essential First Aid Supplies: Pack a basic first aid kit that includes adhesive bandages of various sizes, antiseptic wipes or solution, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, disposable gloves, pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen), and any necessary prescription medications. Additionally, include items like a digital thermometer, insect bite relief creams, and allergy medication if you or your partner have known allergies. Having these items on hand can provide quick relief in case of minor mishaps;
  • Emergency Contact Information: Don’t forget to include a list of emergency contact numbers in your first aid kit, including your healthcare provider, local hospitals or urgent care centers, and a trusted friend or family member. In case of a more serious incident, having this information readily available can be invaluable.


Whether you’re wondering what to do on a picnic date or pondering over what to take on a picnic date, it’s all about preparation and ensuring you make the most of your time outdoors. So go ahead, plan that perfect picnic date and create memories that last a lifetime!


What if the weather turns bad unexpectedly during our picnic date?

Always have a backup plan. It could be shifting to a nearby café or having an indoor picnic in your car.

Are pets a good idea for what to do on a picnic date?

If both individuals are comfortable and the location allows, pets can add fun. But ensure they’re well-behaved.

How can we make our picnic date more romantic?

Think of what to take on a picnic date: candles, fairy lights, soft music, and perhaps a surprise gift.