Grab that red and white checkered tablecloth and wicker basket full of favorites. It’s picnic season!

Hot Fun in the Summertime
Just moving a meal outside transforms it into an occasion. Make your al fresco afternoon special with these themed menu ideas:

The Family Picnic

Let’s start with some classics.

Deviled Eggs II

Photo by Dianne

Club Med

Add a little Mediterranean flavor to an all-vegetarian menu.

Easy Baklava


Quick Fix

Planning a picnic under a time crunch? Keep it simple with baguettes, a wheel of Brie, wine, seedless grapes, and a quick and classy Caprese Salad.

Insalata Caprese II

Photo by Spunky Buddy

Market Basket

Are your friends foodies? Go gourmet!

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Photo by Lordlemondrop

Some Assembly Required

For a unique, hands-on experience, bring the fixings for wraps and let your guests assemble their own. Or feed a family with a single loaf: ham and cheese picnic bread with pimento and olives.

Cherry Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Photo by Alicia

The Concert Picnic

The perfect pairings for an outdoor concert in the park.

Smooth Sweet Tea

Photo by Lucky Noodles

Waterfront Picnic

No outdoor concerts scheduled? Let the sounds of flowing water be your musical backdrop.

Mango Pineapple Salad with Mint

Photo by ItalianSpice

A Picnic in the Park

A picnic spot can be as close as the local park.

Potato Chips

Photo by Pam Ziegler Lutz

Hiking Adventure Picnic

Bring plenty of water, fresh fruit, and these high-energy snacks.

Roasted Chickpeas

Photo by Aja

Romantic Moonlight Picnic
Let the moon be your candlelight.

Lemon Dream Bars

Photo by Stirring Up Trouble

Related Recipe Collection

Pack it in, Pack it out
1. Like any outdoor sport, picnicking requires a few accessories. Pack a corkscrew, cloth napkins and a pocketknife, and remember to bring your own garbage bags for easy clean-up.

2. Depending on your menu, pack plates, forks, and wet-naps for sticky fingers. Don’t forget serving utensils for salads and desserts.

3. If you’re using your park’s grills, bring charcoal briquettes, tongs, grill brush, and matches.

4. Sunscreen, a Frisbee or kite, ball and glove, and an outdoor blanket are all you need for a perfect summer afternoon.

Possible Picnic Destinations

  • Park at a scenic overlook or on the side of a country road and spread out your picnic on the hood of the car and enjoy the view.
  • Hike up a mountain trail with a backpack full of picnic goodies.
  • Head to an outdoor concert early and picnic on the lawn outside the venue. You’ll beat the parking rush and enjoy better food than is served inside.
  • Bring your picnic basket to the local botanical garden and enjoy what’s in bloom while you dine on favorite foods.
  • Go to a local airport (even a small one) and picnic inside or out as you watch the planes take off and land.
  • Drive to a nearby landmark, memorial, or a sculpture garden you’ve always wanted to check out and spread out a picnic meal nearby.
  • Walk to a neighborhood park with your weeknight dinner for an impromptu picnic on a park bench.
  • Transform a patio or sun porch to a rainy day picnic spot by spreading out a blanket and surrounding the setting with your indoor plants.
  • Set a tablecloth on the carpet in your living room and eat picnic-style while watching a movie.