Picnics are not just for dates – it’s an underrated party theme that’s perfect if you’re not inviting lots of people. Throwing a picnic-themed party is a great way to have fun with your friends and family, especially during the summer. This party theme is super perfect for any casual or special occasion, allowing you to spend some quality time exploring the outdoors. Here are some fun ideas for your picnic party:
Red and white checkered blankets are traditionally used for picnics, but now you have plenty of options when it comes to setting up a picnic party that takes a slightly different approach. Use a large tapestry, or a blanket that looks like an ornate carpet to transform a traditional picnic into something that looks boho chic. From there, fill the space with pillows that will look great with the blanket you chose.
Get creative with keeping your guests cool for the picnic by setting up teepees. You can lay down your picnic blanket in front of the teepee and lay down a low table where your guests can eat. Decorate it with pillows to provide comfort for your guests. Then, they can set camp inside the teepee to talk and mingle freely.
3. Fresh flowers
Fresh flowers are a beautiful way to embrace your outdoor setting. Put together a bundle of flowers for your party to put a spin on a classic midday picnic. Either pick flowers from your yard or head over to a local flower shop to get some flower arrangements. Use glass vases to create a beautiful centerpiece. Weighted centerpieces like a flower vase are a better choice for outdoor occasions, as things made of paper would just probably be blown by the wind.
Make your guests comfortable sitting on the ground by providing outdoor pillows. It’s also a cute way to elevate the look of your outdoor lunch. Once you decide on the color scheme for your picnic party, add pillows that will fit your overall theme.
5. Baskets and balloons
Set up multiple red picnic blankets in the ground, and use picnic baskets with a group of balloons tied up at the handle as centerpieces. On the basket, you can insert party favors for your guests, wine bottles, or something that they can eat or use for the party. It’s a fun and festive way to celebrate with a picnic!
6. Paper lanterns
Hang some paper lanterns on the trees around your party area to decorate the surroundings and solidify the picnic theme.
7. Plaid banners
Add extra vibrancy for your picnic party by decorating with plaid banners. Hang it on trees, around plants, on the fence, or in front of a buffet table.
1. Single salads
Serving and eating fresh salads can be extra challenging when done outdoors on the ground at a picnic. It helps if you can pre-pack your salads in individual salad jars to keep the mess to a minimum.
2. Filling salads
To fill up everyone’s tummies, make some go-to classic salad dishes that will surely please the crowd. You can serve elbow macaroni salad, potato salad, and pasta salads. You can make chicken or ham salads and pair them with bread or crackers.
Sandwiches are an easy yet delicious way to feed your guests. You may want to offer Italian sandwiches made of ciabatta bread and fill it up with Italian cured meats with lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. For a vegetarian option, make a classic Italian Caprese sandwich.
Add some easy-to-pack sides like fresh-cut veggies, savory chips, nuts, and watermelon slices.
4. Fruit and cheese kabobs
For a healthy snack with a protein punch, try serving fruit and cheese kabobs. Mix things up with any kind of berry, melon slices, and pineapples, plus a variety of cheeses cut into fun shapes.
5. Deviled eggs
What is a picnic without deviled eggs? With this simple recipe, it’s easy to ensure that your alfresco meal includes this delicious and nutritious picnic staple.
6. Charcuterie board
When it comes to picnic parties, a charcuterie board is a classic appetizer. Offer each guest an appetizer plate with a wine glass holder so they can freely enjoy the food you served. Here are some food ideas to serve on a charcuterie board:
- In-season fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, plums, cherries)
- Cheeses (brie, goat cheese, cheddar, gruyere, feta, gorgonzola)
- Cold cuts (prosciutto, ham, salami)
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds, pistachio, cashews)
- Dark chocolate
7. Mini pies
Mini pies are easy to bake and easy to pack, and also easy to serve and eat! Bake some of your homemade pies in cupcake tins so you can easily hand them out instead of baking a large pie that needs a knife, spoons, and dessert plates. Serve sweet pies as desserts or savory pies as appetizers or as part of the lunch. Here are some pie flavors for ideas:
- Apple pie
- Cranberry pie
- Pecan pie
- Blueberry pie
- Strawberry pie
- Chocolate pie
- Chicken pot pie
- Mac and cheese pie
- Bacon and cheese pie
- Cheeseburger pie
- Shepherd’s pie
- Sausage pie
- Meat pie
- Steak pie
8. Refreshing beverages
Homemade refreshments made of real fruit juice are always a tasty way to keep cool on a warm summer day. Homemade lemonade sweetened with honey is the best healthy drink you can serve. Serve them on a glass drink dispenser and have mason jars with straws ready.
But if you’re looking for drinks that are a bit less sweet yet still refreshing and healthy, consider fruit-infused water. It’s water – only elevated. Here are some great fruit combinations to try for your fruit-infused water:
- Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry
- Orange, pineapple, strawberry
- Cucumber, lemon, mint
- Kiwi, watermelon
For grownups who love to picnic, wine is a go-to drink. A picnic basket on a date is never complete without wine, so serve it for your picnic party as well. Instead of using plastic or paper cups, consider using real glassware to elevate the look and feel of your party. If you want to be on the safe side, provide plastic stemmed glassware – they are cheaper and less likely to break than real glass, but posher than your usual disposable cups.
1. Classic lawn games
2. Egg race relay
Egg and spoon race is a fun game that kids and adults would enjoy. This is a game in which participants are grouped into two or more teams, and each team will race to balance an egg on a spoon while trying to pass the finish line. The spoon must be carried by the mouth for a challenge. Every time an egg drops, players must go back to the starting line and start again. The first team to have all their players reach the finish line or the first team to complete a certain number of eggs at the finish line wins. To eliminate waste, boil the eggs first so that they will still be intact if they drop, or use water balloons instead of eggs. If you like, you can buy an egg race game set made of wood.
3. Lawn Twister
Spending a day on the grass? Have fun with your guests by setting up a Twister game that is larger than usual. Or, you can get spray paint and make your own Twister circles on the grass! Let the celebrant or guest of honor shout out the instructions.
4. Giant Jenga
A giant Jenga is a fun and challenging game that’s great for families and are easy to transport with a carrying case.
5. Folding Ping Pong table
Ping pong is a great picnic game in the summer! Buy a folding ping pong table that is easy to transport and assemble. Make it a competition and raise the stakes if you want to make it more exciting!
6. Sack race
Stir up some competition and put the guests’ built-up energy to use by hosting a sack race! Provide some burlap sack bags, set up a finish line and starting line, and go ahead – race! This is especially fun for high-energy kids who like to run and jump around.
7. Lawn dominoes
This is another great lawn game with a larger-than-life twist! A large domino game is perfect for your children, so they can have fun while keeping their mental math skills sharp over the summer break.