How to Plan the Ultimate Backyard Picnic: Food, Drinks, Music, and Games for Fun in the Sun
Sunny afternoons in the spring and summer are the perfect occasion to organize a family picnic in your own backyard. You don’t need to travel to the countryside to have a picnic – you can recreate a beautiful unique setting with delicious food, drinks, and games.
Dining al-fresco under the stars on the freshly cut grass will give picnics a whole new meaning. Spending time with the people you love, eating homemade food, and having fun is all you need to have an unforgettable day.
Here are some ideas to help you get inspired and organize a backyard picnic you’ll want to make a family tradition.
Prep the Food
One of the things that can make your picnic a unique experience is the right picnic food. When you’re outside on fresh air and enjoying the sun in nature with your loved ones, even food tastes differently.
The simplest sandwich can be the most delectable thing you’ve ever tasted, and a glass of chilled wine can make you feel like you’re in the rich wine regions of France and Italy.
Plan and prepare the food ahead of time - at least a day before the picnic - and keep the meals simple. To find some inspiration, here are a few easy-to-make picnic food ideas:
- Charcuterie boards (different cheeses, cured meats, crackers, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, olives)
- Chocolate-covered strawberries (great for romantic picnics)
- Sandwiches (great for picnics with kids)
- Chicken salads
- Pasta salads
- Fruit salads
- French baguettes and pastries
- Ice cream, sundaes, popsicles (use a mini-fridge to store them)
- Desserts (avoid items like chocolate that melt easily)
- Grilled cheese with dips
- Butter and jam spread
- Watermelon slices
- Sweet corn on the cob
- Burritos and wraps
- Hummus and veggies
- Muffins (sweet and savory)
- Pie (sweet and savory)
- Banana bread
Most of these picnic foods are easy to make and can be kept in the fridge, so you can just put them in a basket and take them outside. For an authentic picnic, you’ll need a blanket for sitting on the grass, so avoid bringing messy foods, sauces, and oily items that may spill or spoil in the sun.
Plan the Drinks
Drinks and refreshments are an essential part of a successful picnic, especially if the weather is warm. Make sure to plan the drinks ahead of time if you know how many people there will be at the picnic.
If it’s just you and your family, you can put all the drinks in a portable mini-fridge and keep them on the grass or leave them at the house and grab them as needed.
For the adults, have enough wine, champagne, beer, and other spirits available. You can also serve cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, punches, sodas, juices, and fresh lemonade.
For the kids, prepare juice boxes, milk, smoothies, water (regular and fruit-infused), and iced tea. You can also set up a little juice bar station where they can make their own drinks and mix different flavors.
Make a List of Games and Fun Activities
Picnics are all about rest, relaxation, and spending time outside, but to make it even more fun and exciting, make a list of games and activities to play with your partner or family.
For a romantic picnic, prepare games and quizzes for couples that you and your partner can do over a glass of wine and some quiet sensual music. You can also watch old photos, make a scrapbook, or watch a romantic movie outside at sunset.
If you have kids, you can play cards, board games, water games, or competitive games like musical chairs, races, or yard twister. You can also set up an ice cream station where everyone can make their own sundae and have an ice cream eating contest with prizes for the winners.
Find the Perfect Picnic Spot
Based on the number of people, you should find the perfect picnic spot in your backyard. It should be wide enough to fit the blankets and food baskets, but it should also be in the shade to protect you from the sun.
If you need to go inside back and forth for food and drinks, position the picnic setting close to the house so you don’t have to walk across the lawn every time. If the picnic continues into the evening, decorate the trees and backyard with string lights and lanterns.
Decorations and Props
If you want to make the picnic truly special, you’ll need some decorations and props. First, get a blanket that’s big enough to fit everyone, and a few pillows. Set aside a few extra blankets or towels in case you need to replace the first one.
Then, put a few chairs to the side along with a small picnic table in case the grass is wet or unsuitable for sitting on a blanket. You can also opt for a picnic on a bench where everyone will sit at the table together and be more comfortable while eating.
To give your picnic party a special touch, bring a bouquet of fresh flowers outside. You can put the arrangement in a picnic basket or place them in the middle of the blanket to give the setting a pop of color. Flowers will look especially beautiful on a picnic table where you can mix and match the bouquets and centerpieces.
Finally, don’t forget music and entertainment. You can either bring a music player or someone can play instruments and do a mini live concert.
Get Inspired to Plan an Unforgettable Picnic in Your Own Backyard
The warm, balmy weather in the spring and summer is an invitation to plan a family picnic outside, cook delicious food, and spend some quality time in the sun with your loved ones.
Even if you live in an apartment without an outdoor area, you can still have a picnic on your balcony or in your living room. All that matters is having a good time and enjoying the company.
Frosina A. Ivanovic is a content marketing specialist and writer. She’s passionate about quality coffee, travel, wellness, and digital marketing. You can connect with Frosina on LinkedIn or her website, Zhillmatic.