What could be better than sitting out in nature with your partner, feeling the sun on your skin, with a variety of tasty snacks and drinks?
As well as usually being less expensive than a meal at a restaurant, a picnic can be more intimate and personal than other kinds of dates. Whether you have been dating your partner for a few weeks or you are in a long-term relationship, a picnic date is a great way to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
I have prepared a smorgasbord of picnic date ideas for food, drinks, activities, and settings for you to choose from!
Best places for a romantic picnic date
Where you choose to go for your picnic will most likely depend on what is accessible in your area. If you are lucky enough to live near the coast or a natural beauty spot, your options will be wider! Another important factor is the weather—while you can still have an improvised picnic on a rainy day (read on till the end for some creative picnic date ideas!), nice weather opens up more opportunities and allows you to enjoy different settings.
Picnics on the beach can be very romantic, especially with a view of the ocean. You might even end up going for a long walk or a splash in the sea. With beach picnics, timing is particularly important. Not only should you make sure that the tide is out, but you should also do your best to avoid wind, which can really end up putting the “sand” in sandwiches!
Nature spots such as lakesides or hills can also be incredibly scenic and awe-inspiring. A picnic on top of a mountain can provide you with gorgeous views, and a picnic by a lake may even give you the option to go fishing if that’s your bag.
What can be more fun than have a picnic spread on the rooftop overlooking the city? It could be an excellent spontaneous picnic idea if you live in the middle of the concrete jungle and want to escape everything for a romantic date. Don’t worry if the fridge is empty; simply order home delivery, grab a picnic blanket, and chill watching the skyline while hugging your partner and sipping on some wine.
Even if you do not live close to the coast or a nature spot, you probably have access to a public park. The park is an excellent picnic location, and usually does not require too much planning or travel, making it the ideal choice for a spontaneous summer picnic at short notice. Add some charm to your picnic by bringing along a little tipi tent and fairy lights. If your picnic is in the evening, get some candles or lanterns so you can share some cozy vibes.Add some charm to your picnic by bringing along a little tipi tent and fairy lights. Click To Tweet
If you are lucky enough to live near a famous landmark like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Lincoln Memorial, it can be awe-inspiring to take in their splendor as a backdrop to your picnic. Imagine you and your partner gazing out at the Statue of Liberty while tucking into your snacks!
You don’t have to head out into nature for your date! If you and your partner prefer the hustle and bustle of urban life, having a picnic date in a city square can be great for people-watching—and you’ll be close enough to stores to pick up extra supplies.
Picnic packing list
Deciding what to bring on a picnic is just as important as choosing a location. It is not only the food that you will need to consider—there are all kinds of items that you should bring for your picnic to go off without a hitch.
Picnic basket and food containers
While you can always carry the food in bags from the shop where you bought it, a traditional wicker picnic basket is cute and incredibly functional. Rather than putting the food into the basket loose, make sure that you have airtight containers to store it in, especially if you end up with leftovers.
Another vital thing to pack is a picnic blanket. Unless you are sitting on very short and immaculate grass, you will need a blanket for comfort and avoid bugs and dirt on your food or stains on your clothes. If you are on the beach, this is even more important!
Cutlery and utensils
Make sure that you don’t forget any cutlery or utensils. While you can always choose “finger food,” it can be more romantic to have food that requires a knife and fork. If you are cutting bread or cheese, you will need a sharp knife and a cutting board. While you can use disposable plastic cutlery and plates, using proper utensils on a picnic will make a date more special and better for the environment!While you can use disposable plastic cutlery and plates, using proper utensils on a picnic will make a date more special and better for the environment! Click To Tweet
A cooler or a thermos
Depending on what food and drinks you decide to take, you may need a cooler and ice packs. Nobody likes warm soda or beer and melted, or ruined food is even worse! On the flip side, if you want to drink hot drinks such as tea or coffee, a thermos flask is vital. If you take bottled drinks, don’t forget a corkscrew or bottle opener.
Sunscreen and bug spray
If your picnic date is in the summer, you may need to remember sunscreen—nothing will kill a romantic vibe faster than painful sunburn. Bug spray may also be required, depending on the weather and location, as flies and wasps love nothing more than a picnic. The right music goes perfectly with sun, food, and drinks, so consider bringing a cell phone and portable speaker to provide the right vibes.
Something that can be overlooked is picking the right outfit for a picnic. Assuming you will both be wearing clothes (if not, hey, we won’t judge!), you can’t go wrong with shorts and a cool shirt or a cute summer dress. Having a thin cardigan or a jumper with you is usually a good idea as sometimes the weather can be unpredictable. And don’t forget your sunglasses on a sunny day!
When brainstorming picnic date ideas, you don’t necessarily think of the aftermath, but that’s why we are here! It is essential to look after your environment, so garbage bags to clear up after you once have finished are a must—besides, who wants to go on a date with someone messy?
Romantic picnic food ideas
What can be better than enjoying tasty food in the surrounding of nature? The picnic food options are almost endless, and it certainly doesn’t have to be potato chips or prepacked supermarket sandwiches. A quick trip to the local deli or some prep at home can make a huge difference and seriously impress your date! Here is a list of picnic food ideas to spark your imagination.
Snacks and salads
If you do not have a cooler, consider choosing something that does not go off in warm weather. It can be sandwiches, crackers, or veggie sticks with dips. A cooler opens up more opportunities to take the foods that require to be kept at a low temperature. Homemade coleslaw, leafy greens, potato salads are picnic classics. If you want to have dressings on your salads, it is best to pack the dressing separately and add it when serving rather than mixing the salad before you pack. You don’t want some soggy salad to ruin your picnic feast.
Charcuterie and cheese
Cold cuts of meat are a popular picnic choice, either to go in sandwiches, on top of sliced bread, or on their own. Cheeses are also great—consider opting for something special from a local deli rather than the usual mild cheddar that you get every week for the refrigerator at home! A cheeseboard—paired with wine and fresh bread—can be a special treat.
Fruits such as grapes, strawberries, and other berries are excellent for munching on during a romantic picnic, especially if you take it in turns feeding them to each other. Making fruit kebabs on small wooden skewers can save the hassle of cutting the fruit on the picnic, and allow you to relax and enjoy each other’s company.Making fruit kebabs on small wooden skewers can save the hassle of cutting the fruit on the picnic. Click To Tweet
In general, the best picnic date food can be laid out as an assortment and eaten easily. Whether your picnic is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, don’t forget to pack some sweet treats such as chocolates, macarons, or mini cakes for dessert!
Best drinks for a picnic date
When planning what to bring on a picnic, don’t forget drinks! A thermos flask full of coffee can be great for a breakfast or lunch picnic, or you can even go the extra mile and bring a fancy coffeemaker and a small gas burner to brew delicious coffee. However, for most drinks, you will need a cooler to keep them nice and chilled before heading out to nature.
Easy to make and very refreshing homemade lemonade is a real winner for a picnic. Before you leave the house, throw some lemon and fresh mint in a blender, add some honey, water, and a few ice cubes, blend for a couple of minutes and you have a jug of tasty and healthy drink! You can improvise with ginger, strawberries, watermelon, or any fruit of your liking, and add chia seeds for some crunchy bits.
Even though wine is a matter of preference, if you are having a picnic during the warm season (which is usually the case), white or rose wine tends to be more refreshing than red. A glass (or three) of wine goes well when paired with fresh bread and some cheese. And of course, if you feel particularly fancy, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of sparkling.
When packing for a picnic date, you don’t want to be carrying dozens of fruits and little bottles of syrup, so it is usually best to choose something simple with not too many ingredients: such as Aperol Spritz, Mimoza or Gin & Tonic. Of course, if you are a serious mixologist, grab your cocktail shaker and some ice cubes on the way to the picnic spot so you can make your favorite concoction. What can be better than a refreshing Mojito on a sunny day!If you are a serious mixologist, grab your cocktail shaker and some ice cubes on the way to the picnic spot so you can make your favorite concoction. Click To Tweet
Are you both beer lovers? Then make sure you stock up your cooler with a few pints of your favorite brews. You can always go for a selection of craft beer and do a beer tasting accompanied by nuts, cheeses, and other nibbles.
If you don’t like alcohol, soft drinks such as cola or sparkling water are always a good choice. Non-alcoholic wine and beer are good options for those who still want to raise a toast without getting tipsy in the middle of the day. They are best served cold, so don’t forget to chill them before the picnic.
Picnic activities for couples
Laying around in the sun and snacking is a usual scenario for a picnic, but it is always a good idea to have a few fun activities planned for a picnic date.
Board games and card games
Bringing cards or board games like Scrabble can add an exciting dimension to your date! Simple games that you can play through talking, like “Would You Rather,” “I Spy,” or “20 Questions” are easy and fun picnic date ideas.
The right soundtrack can make your date super romantic. Why not make a playlist of your partner’s favorite songs beforehand that you can listen to on a portable speaker? If you play an instrument like the guitar, serenading your partner with the right song will surely make their heart melt.
If you choose a quiet spot that is likely to remain undisturbed, consider setting up a treasure hunt of items in advance for your partner to find. These items can be snacks, cute notes, or even gifts!
Being out in the sun can be a great time to take cute photos together. You can use your phone to get the perfect Instagram-worthy shots, or even take a Polaroid camera to capture memories to put in a scrapbook.
Creative picnic date ideas
Although a picnic date is usually associated with summer and sun, there is no need to worry if the weather takes a turn for the worse and the heavens open. You can also go for a picnic in the colder months if you know how to prepare. Here are a few creative picnic date ideas for any season and any weather!
A picnic doesn’t have to be outdoors! If bad weather ruins your plans, why not set up a spread on a blanket on the living room or bedroom floor? While you won’t be enjoying nature, there are some advantages of an indoor picnic.
Provided you have a well-stocked refrigerator, you won’t have to worry about what to bring on a picnic or how to keep the food fresh in the heat. Not to mention, you can decorate the room however you like, with romantic candles, lanterns, or even bunting! You can be much more comfortable than if you were outdoors, with as many cushions and pillows as you like, and if you feel like relaxing in front of a good movie or TV show you can do this easily.
Rainy day picnic
If it rains, but you still want to get out of the house and enjoy the scenery, why not have a picnic date in the car? You can park up at a nature spot like a lake, beach, or hilltop and enjoy the view with the extra comfort that comes from knowing that you are both safe and dry as you listen to the rain tap on the rooftop and windows!
Watching the sunrise with your partner can be a perfect romantic picnic date. Get up early, fill up a flask of coffee and pack breakfast foods like pancakes, muffins, and waffles. Drive out to a serene spot to see the sunrise while sipping on coffee and munching on the treats.
Alternatively, if you aren’t morning people, try the same thing at sunset and swap the coffee for a bottle of fine wine!Watching the sunrise with your partner can be a perfect romantic picnic date. Click To Tweet
The perfect picnic doesn’t have to take place in summer—there are plenty of cute picnic date ideas for the colder seasons too! They say there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothes, so don’t forget to wrap up warm, take a flask of hot coffee or mulled wine, and snuggle up! Date foods like pumpkin soup and gingerbread cookies will make things extra cozy.
Sometimes you don’t have time to plan a picnic. If you want to surprise your partner spontaneously after work and can’t make it to a park or nature spot, consider a picnic in your backyard! Laying out a blanket on the grass and adding some outdoor lights can create a very romantic vibe on a summer’s evening. You can keep your snacks and drinks cool in the refrigerator rather than worry about carrying a cooler around!
Pulling off the perfect picnic date requires planning, choosing the right foods, drinks, and activities to suit the weather and location, and being adaptable. Don’t get discouraged if something gets in the way or the weather turns out bad, simply have a back-up scenario! Taking some time to plan a picnic date is usually well worth it, and both you and your partner will love it.
The most important thing to remember is to be relaxed and have fun. Using this list of picnic date ideas to help you organize everything will ensure that you can relax and enjoy delicious food, and romantic vibes!