Events

Perfect Picnic Party Ideas for Food, Drinks, and Décor

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Sep 9, 2021

A picnic party is a great way to celebrate the warmer weather. With a bit of planning and forethought, you can create the setting for a languid afternoon of snacks, drinks, and good company.

Picnic party decoration ideas

The great thing about organizing a picnic party is that the outdoor setting is almost all the décor you need. However, there are a few elements that you can add to create a more festive feel. Here are a few picnic party decor ideas to add a festive note to your picnic setting:

1. Fresh flowers

picnic baskets with flowers in a chamomile field.

To embrace the outdoor setting, use fresh flowers in your décor. Forage from your garden or buy fresh-cut flowers. You can arrange the flowers in glass jars on low picnic tables or suspend single buds from glass bottles in the trees above.

2. Pot plants

A few well-placed pot plants will also create a lovely atmosphere.

3. Pillows

You will be throwing some picnic blankets down for your guests to sit on. For comfort and atmosphere, add some throw pillows too.

4. Blankets

For picnic parties that are likely to extend beyond sundown, see to your guests’ comfort with a few blankets or throws to keep them warm under the night sky.

5. Bunting

String some bunting or a “Happy Birthday” banner from the trees. Lengths of ribbon hanging from the trees also look festive!

6. Balloons

Balloons at a picnic.

Balloons matching your theme are a lovely way to add color and fun to a picnic party. Tie balloons to nearby shrubs and trees. Alternatively, order helium balloons and anchor them to picnic baskets or weights, and place them around the picnic area.

7. Lighting

Whether you need them for the light or not, paper lanterns strung around the picnic area are a lovely way to decorate the space. For a party that goes on beyond sunset, hang decorative lights in the trees or archways.

Picnic party food ideas

Picnic party food is all about ease of eating and serving. Serve up delicious snacks that can be nibbled on all afternoon long:

1. Cheese and fruit board

A well-balanced cheese board is a perfect accompaniment to just about any party—select cheeses across the three texture spectrums. For example, soft cheeses (such as brie, camembert, and goats’ cheese), crumbly cheeses (feta and gorgonzola), and hard cheeses (mature cheddar and Emmentaler). For color and balance, add seasonal fruits to your cheeseboard. Great examples of summer fruit that pair well with cheese include berries, cherries, and grapes. Don’t forget the crackers!

2. Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit is a healthy and refreshing snack that your guests can nibble on without needing plates. Slices of watermelon or cantaloupe are easy to prepare and look great on a platter.

3. Fruit skewers

Fresh summer fruits on sticks

Alternatively, if you have time for a bit of preparation, you can make fruit skewers for your guests. Cut fruit like pineapple, pears, and apples into cubes. Slide these onto bamboo skewers alternating with berries and grapes.

4. Sandwiches

What would a picnic be without sandwiches! Make platters of sandwiches before the time. Or, you can arrange baskets of fresh loaves such as ciabatta, baguettes, and sourdough on the picnic tables. Your picnic guests will enjoy making their own sandwiches with cold meats, cheese, patés, and spreads.

5. Antipasto

Save on time and effort by grabbing a ready-made antipasto platter. Or make your own with a selection of cold meats and preserves such as olives, artichokes, and pickles.

6. Chips and Dip

A bag or two of potato chips never goes amiss at a party. To glam it up, add a couple of pots of dip too.

Picnic party drink ideas

Even if you have asked your guests to BYO (bring your own) drinks, it is nice to have a welcome drink or fruit punch to get the festivities going. Serve drinks in mason jars with a quirky straw. If your guests are bringing drinks, make sure that a few large coolers with lots of ice to keep their drinks cold in:

1. Homemade lemonade

Homemade refreshments are a lovely way to add character to a picnic party. Stock up on some fresh lemons to make big jugs of homemade lemonade for your picnic party guests

2. Fruit-infused water

lemonade at a picnic.

For guests who want to stay hydrated without consuming unnecessary sugar, fruit-infused waters taste good and look pretty. Cut the fruit up and add to jugs of cold water. Here are some combinations to inspire you:

  • Apple and cucumber.
  • Mint and watermelon.
  • Strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry.

 3. Sangria

This peach, strawberry, and rosé sangria is a delicious drink for a summer picnic. In a large pitcher, dissolve one-third of a cup of brown sugar in one-third of a cup of brandy. Add two cups of sliced strawberries, one cup of sliced peaches, a handful of basil leaves, one bottle of rosé, and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.  Chill in the refrigerator for about six hours. Before serving, add two cups of club soda and ice.

4. Fruit punch

Try this recipe for a deliciously refreshing picnic fruit punch. Combine two liters of cranberry juice with three cups of orange juice, three cups of pineapple juice, and a quarter cup of lemon juice. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Add one liter of ginger ale and slices of fresh fruit before serving.

Planning a picnic themed party

To save on stress during the event, try to think beforehand of everything your guests need to make their picnic enjoyable and comfortable:

1. Serving ware

picnic-supplies at the park.

You will want to serve the picnic items in robust tableware like picnic baskets, wooden bowls, and wooden boards. If you are presenting a cheese board, make sure that your guests have good cheese knives to cut and spread the cheeses.

2. Crockery and cutlery

Make sure that there are enough plates and cutlery for all your guests. If you want to give washing up a skip, why not get some paper plates. You can also buy compostable bamboo cutlery to make life easier.

3. Napkins

For spills and sticky fingers, make sure to have plenty of napkins around. Wrap each guest’s cutlery in a beautiful fabric napkin. Alternatively, stock up on paper napkins to match your theme. Place bunches of these napkins around the picnic setting in little buckets or mason jars.

4. Ice

Soaking up the gorgeous sunshine, you want to be sure that there is plenty of ice for everyone’s drinks. If your freezer is away from the picnic site, keep bags of ice-cold in cool boxes nearby.

Picnic party essentials delivered to your door

Planning and preparing for a party is a lot of work. Make your life easier by ordering everything you need online. With Instacart, you can select all your party essentials from local and international retailers in your area. An Instacart shopper will put your order together and have it delivered to your door in no time!

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