It’s that time again: time for coworkers to mingle outdoors together with a shared meal—rain or shine.
It’s the yearly company picnic.
Whether you’re there for the games, the food, or the camaraderie; whether you’re planning the picnic or attending: here are some of our favourite ideas for one of the smoothest, most memorable (in a good way) and fun company picnics you’ve ever been to.
Choosing a Venue for your company picnic
Keeping your budget in mind, choose a location. This may be a park, someone’s huge backyard, a beach, or a resort.
Are there picnic tables?
Grills and/or fire pits? Outlets for musicians, space heaters, or slow-cookers?
Is there shelter if it rains? Is there an entire field of duck droppings employees are going to have to dodge…?
Once you’ve chosen and booked your setting, it’s time for details!
Picnic Company Checklist for Set-up
What essentials you need:
- Soft, waterproof blankets | Picnictale Guide
- Green Nest Life insulated food delivery bags – XXL | Amazon
- Personalized can koozies for each employee from EZCustomProducts | Etsy
- Outdoor propane space heater | Amazon
- Picnic Baskets | Picnictale Guide
- A power strip (musicians, employees with dead phones, oh my) | Amazon
No grills on-site? No problem. Bring your own!
- Royal Gourmet charcoal grill | Amazon
And don’t forget the propane, charcoal, and other fire-starting materials!
Picnic Company Theme Ideas
Now it’s time for the kinda fun part of planning: the tszuj.
In a large park or beach, it’s helpful if the employees can easily spot your set-up, and if passersby know it’s a private event.
Balloons, streamers, and signage are just the floor, not the ceiling. And flowers or plants from a local florist or nursery can really tie the picnic together.
Choose a theme—we’ve chosen a rustic, homey aesthetic throughout this article—and build your decor around it.
You can also start with a few guiding, complementary colors, or a single item (whether it’s fairy lights or a disco ball, it’s definitely a vibe), and go from there.
Other examples of themes include:
- bohemian picnic theme
- 90s vibes
- hobbit hole
Decor Must Haves
- Outdoor string lights | Amazon
- Coloured Balloons | Amazon
In other words, it can be anything fun and cozy that goes well together. Have fun getting creative!
Company Picnic Games and Activities
You have the location and you know how you’re going to decorate.
But you want to knock it out of the park! A yearly picnic that employees and their families will look forward to year after year.
No trust falls, no awkward team-building; getting together to eat and play out of the office is team-building.
Remember how fun field day was in elementary school, then replicate it for all ages.
Here are some of our favorite activity ideas:
Best Games and Activities
- Cornhole | Amazon
- Water guns (summer) or NERF guns (inclement weather) | Amazon
- Scavenger hunt | Amazon
- A bouncy house | Amazon
- Music (make a long playlist or hire a band or DJ)
- A pen of adoptable animals from a local rescue (probably best for large companies, but you do you!)
One bit of advice for everything to go off without a hitch: if one thing needs another thing to function, do it immediately.
For example, if you need a pump for the bouncy house, buy it when you buy the bouncy house to avoid a memorable planning faux-pas.
Buy the batteries when you buy the twinkle lights, etc.
Company Picnic Flyer (Send Out Invitations)
It would be a shame to go through all of this effort for no one to show.
Putting care and attention into your invites and flyers may give employees a hint at the care you put into everyone having a great time!
Lucky you the world is full of talented artists, with invites to match your chosen theme.
- Picnic Party Invitation from SunshineParties | Etsy
- Digital Boho Picnic Evite from DIYPaperless | Etsy
We recommend digital and paper invites. Paper gets lost, and sometimes an employee isn’t in the group chat. Covering both bases avoids accidentally excluding anyone.
Attending the company picnic
So you’re lucky enough to just have to show up (maybe with food). But what should you bring other than your wonderful family or plus-one and chef skills? What to wear?!
What should I bring to a company picnic?
If you or your loved ones have dietary restrictions or allergies, we recommend bringing something you can eat and enjoy.
Everyone else is doing so guiltlessly, and chances are you aren’t the only person with a nut allergy, or who’s vegan.
It also offers a chance for your coworkers to get to know you and taste what you like to cook.
Do not bring items that make you anti-social. If you talk better while knitting, by all means, brings that yarn and those needles. But maybe avoid bringing that book you’d rather be reading and keep your phone in your pocket.
Company Picnic Food Ideas
Vegetables in general tend to get forgotten in picnic and potluck scenarios. A bit of lemon in a salad will prevent browning in transit.
And your coworkers who are less keen on grease might thank you.
If you don’t have a favorite dish, generally hate cooking, or just don’t have time, we have a secret: There’s nothing wrong with bringing snacks or beverages.
What do you wear to a company picnic?
You should wear something comfortable, dressing professionally in nature with potentially messy foods is silly.
It’s already a mildly socially awkward event; you should be as physically comfortable as you can. A company picnic is supposed to be fun. Letting loose with the coworkers, getting to know you… So wear what you feel good in.
And bring layers as though it could rain.
We hope with these tips, everyone leaves the corporate picnic feeling warm, fed, appreciated, closer to their peers, and looking forward to next year!