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What to Bring to a Picnic Date in 2021: The Ultimate Guide (with checklist)

What To Bring On A Picnic Date

Not sure what to bring on a picnic dateWhether it’s your first date or your anniversary, going on a picnic date is a fabulous way to surprise your loved one. 

Nothing says fun, charm, relaxation, and a touch of old-world romance than taking out your date to a picnic!

Organizing a picnic can be difficult, but if you plan ahead and follow our picnic checklist, then you’ll see it’s actually pretty easy.

A picnic date is all about the romance and bonding time with your partner.

So you’ll have to sprinkle the picnic with some romantic vibes and bring  strawberries, chocolate, champagne, flowers, heart-shaped cookies, and relaxing music. 

We’ve put together a quick list with all the items you need to pack for a romantic picnic in two.

Table of Contents

In a Hurry? Here are our favorite picnic items.

Shopping List

Picnic Baskets or Backpacks

Best Overall Basket: Inno Stage Wicker Basket for 2

Picnic Backpack: Sunflora Picnic Backpack

Picnic Blankets

coolers and ice packs

Wine and Cheese Sets

Unbreakable Wine GlassesVivocci Elegant Wine Glasses at Amazon 

Picnic Kitchen

Food Cover Pop-up MeshFood Cover Tent Umbrella at Amazon

Sun Protection

Insect Protection

Games

Conversation Starter Game: Talk, Flirt or Dare at Amazon

Fun Board Game: Hive at Amazon

Cleaning Supplies

Zip-Lock Bags (for dirty dishes): Ziploc Big Large Bags at Amazon

Health Must Haves

Food

Picnic Date Ideas

Quick Tips:

  • For your romantic date, choose an insulated romantic picnic basket for two (link to our review article) or backpack to keep the food/drinks cold.
  • Don’t forget the corkscrew/bottle opener.
  • Choose a theme (eg. boho style, french picnic)
  • Make sure the blanket is large enough to fit two persons.
  • Bring napkins and hand sanitizer
  • Don’t forget trash bags and zip lock bags to put the dirty dishes.
  • Bring some romantic picnic games (conversation starters, flirt games)
  • Choose a secluded location in the park, by the lake or on the beach.

Setting the Scene

picnic date setup ideas

The set-up is the “first impression” of how your date night will go! You can make it a laid-back event with a picnic blanket, a great view, and to-go orders, or you can go all out to make it a fairy-tale scene.

Pretty Things

Some beautiful additions to any picnic are flowers and lights! You can string up battery operated lights or chinese lanterns and attach them to trees or the inside of a tent or canopy. Grouping flowers around the edge of your space can make your space beautiful and can also be a diversion tactic to keep bees and insects busy at the outskirts instead of your table.

Comfort

picnic blanket

For a relaxing date night, comfort is key! A waterproof picnic blanket for ground cover will keep dew from seeping in. You can use low-sling chairs that are portable and comfy or have floor pillows at a low table. Even summer nights can become chilly, so remembering to bring some throw blankets will be a great touch!

Practical Things

Sometimes the most practical things show how much you know and care about your date! Simple things like what scents he or she likes, their favorite colors, …even bug repellent, sunscreen, and hand wipes can show that you are thinking of the other’s tastes and comfort!

The Dress

how to dress at a picnic date

Wear something that you will feel comfortable in while sitting on or near the ground. Usually looser clothing will allow you to feel cooler and more relaxed! Maxi-dresses, sun dresses or shorts with a peasant top can be a great choice; shorts and a comfortable top. A hat is always a fun statement and can also be useful in providing shade.

Fun Tip: Choose Your Partner’s Dress

Before your picnic date, you can go shopping together at your favorite place to choose each other’s perfect picnic outfits! You can base it on the criteria of:

  • Loose-fitting
  • Natural Fibers
  • A color scheme
  • A theme or style (Hippie, Boho, 1980’s, French, Western etc.)
  • A monetary limit
  • Or any criteria you like!

Then each pick out the other’s outfit and start your picnic off with a bit of shared fun! This can make a great photo op and memory to look back on.

The food

romantic date menu for picnic

You can bring out your gourmet skills and make a few handmade dishes that will  impress your date. You want to choose foods that are substantial enough to not leave hungry, but are also easy to pack and eat outdoors.

Knowing what foods your date enjoys can be a good starting place for what to bring.  Finger foods, sandwiches, fruits, quiches, or wine and charcuterie boards are some of our favorite picnic choices.  Or you can choose to make a meal together at your picnic site.

Serving a chilled beverage such as a sangria, lemonade, or iced coffee can be a refreshing choice to pair with your meal.

An  insulated picnic basket adds a bit of romance from the start and can help you keep foods fresh, chilled, and out of the temperature danger zone!

RELATED25 Delicious Picnic Food Recipes

What to Do At a Picnic Date

So now that you have your set-up, have chosen your outfit and food… What should you do on a picnic date? 

While you may find that you just want to spend time getting to know each other better, it is always a great idea to have something planned to fall back on! 

An activity can break the ice and start new conversations. You may learn something about your partner you didn’t know before!

Wine-tasting

A wine-tasting station can be a unique activity for a romantic picnic for two. A local wine-shop can give you input on which wines would make the best “wine flight.”

There are also wine-tasting placemats you can use to write down your thoughts about each wine and compare notes with your date. If you don’t already know your date’s preferences in wine, you may find out after this picnic!

Games

For ways to start conversations and learn more about your partner you can choose a game such as:

Whether it’s your first date or a wedding anniversary you can always learn something new about your partner by asking questions and listening to each other. 

Games can be a fun format to draw closer together and add some spice to your relationship.

RELATEDBest Picnic Date Games in 2021

Poetry

You can make it a night of the arts by each choosing a favorite poem or short story to read out-loud together. This can be a nice way to unwind and spark natural conversations… and also see your date’s taste in literature!

Outdoor Theater

Set up an outdoor theater with a portable projector using a sheet or a tent wall for a relaxing finish to your picnic! You can choose a classic movie that has a picnic theme such as:

  • To Catch a Thief (1954)
  • The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Days and Nights in the Forest (1969)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  • Emma (1996)
  • Call me by Your Name (LGBTQ+ friendly)

Or, you can choose a new movie or a mutual favorite.

What to Bring to a Picnic Date

Picnic Date Checklist

The Essentials

Picnic Basket or Backpack 

  • Choose an insulated option to keep the food/drinks fresh and chilled.
  • For easy planning choose one that already comes with service for two: plates, glasses, forks, knives, spoons, chopping boards, napkins.

Reusable Ice Packs

  • Perfect for keeping your food and beverages cold.
  • Great to use if you don’t have a cooler or an insulated basket. 

Picnic Blanket

  • Choose one large enough to fit two persons.
  • Pick a blanket with waterproof backing, in case the ground is wet.

Food Storage Containers

  • They’ll help you organize your food better, keeping it separated.
  • Choose leak-proof containers.

Tiny First Aid Kit

  • Always good to be prepared. 

Bug Spray

  • Ants, bugs and mosquitoes can ruin your romantic date, make sure to grab a bug repellent to keep them away.

Sunscreen

  • Protect your skin from the harsh sun.

Tableware

picnic date flatware
Don't forget serving plates, glasses,corkscrew, cutlery and the salt & pepper shaker.

Plates

  • Bring sturdy plates, that won’t break easily. Hard plastic plates are a great choice for a worry-free picnic.
  • Go fancy with ceramic plates, make sure to secure them well in a picnic basket or backpack.

Glasses

  • Shatterproof glasses are the greatest option, again, high-quality plastic are great for picnicking outdoors.

Napkins

  • Don’t forget the napkins, you’ll need them more than you expect.

Straws

  • If you want something extra for your cocktails, take some straws to sip your favorite drinks.

Cutlery

  • Knives, forks and spoons must not be forgotten
  • Grab a sharp knife to cut the cheese and fruits well.

Cutting Board

  • You need a flat sturdy surface where you can cut the food.
  • It also can be used as a fancy serving board.

Corkscrew | Bottle Opener

  • Avoid disasters by making sure you bring a corkscrew with you to open the wine, beer or champagne.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

 

Think About the Menu

picnic date food

Go with Finger Foods

  • Finger foods are great for outings and parties.
  • They’re easy to grab and eat.
  • Antipasto skewers, cherry tomatoes, crackers, olives, mini pizza squares, mini-sandwiches, pre-cut fruit, and veggies.

Veggies 

  • Mini Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Celery Sticks, Carrots, Olives, Corn

Fruits

  • Strawberries are a must for extra romance.
  • Grapes, Blueberries, Pears, Apples, Bananas

Crunchy Snacks

  • Chips, Crackers, Pretzels, Peanuts

Main Course

  • Potato, Pasta, Chicken Salads
  • Salami, Chorizo, Hot Dogs
    Wraps, Sandwiches, Rolls
  • Quiche, Pizza, Burgers
  • Lasagna, Pies

Cheese

  • Make sure to choose a firm cheese: Cheddar, Aged Blue Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Feta
  • Don’t go with soft cheeses. They become sticky in a hot day, and might be hard to eat.
picnic food ideas

Goes well with cheese:

  • Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashew, Pecans, Pistachios
  • Dried Fruits: Apricots, Dates, Cherries
  • Seasonal Fruits: Figs, Grapes, Pear, Berries
  • Jam: Blueberry, Cranberry, Fig, Apples

Dips, Sauces, and Dressings

  • Mayo goes bad easily in a hot summer. Bring mayonnaise only if you can keep it cold, in an insulated compartment or near ice packs.
  • Pesto is a great substitute for
    mayonnaise.
  • Honey: goes well with cheese, or just eaten simply on a piece of bread
  • Hummus
  • Roasted Pepper Spread

Bread

  • Baguette, Fresh Bagels, Wholegrain Bread, Buns, Sourdough, Buckwheat Gluten Free Bread

Bread Tip: don’t keep it closed in a plastic bag, cause it will go soggy. Use parchment paper instead.

Drinks

romantic picnic
Get the romance going with some wine or champagne.

With Alcohol

  • Wine, Champagne.
  • Beer
  • Red Sangria,
  • Prosecco

Without Alcohol 

  • Flavored Water
  • Fresh Fruit Juice, Soda
  • Tea, Frappes
     

Picnic Activities

picnic couple games

Card Games for Couples

  • Tabletopics Couples
  • Pick Your Poison: “What would you rather do?”

Classic Lawn Games

  • Frisbee, ball, badminton
  • Bocce Ball
  • Ring Toss
  • Cornhole


Books & Music

  • Bring books to read to each other.
  • Bring a bluetooth speaker to put some romantic music on.
  • Play ukulele / guitar

Cleaning up

cleaning picnic spot
Take care of our beautiful nature.

Trash Bags

  • Get trash bags and make sure you don’t leave any waste behind, keep the environment safe.

Zip-Lock Bag for dirty utensils

  • A secure leak-proof plastic bag will help you store all the dirty plates and cutlery.

Hand Sanitizers

 

PS: Read our newly-updated article that includes a free downloadable picnic planning checklist that helps you plan every type of picnic: for families, for corporate events, for parties etc.

Final Thoughts

Picnics are a great way to get to know each other better without technology, deadlines, and the stress of the daily grind interfering. Just the simplicity of being out in nature with your date can allow you both to relax and enjoy time with each other.

Whether you choose to make a spontaneous picnic date, or you put a lot of thought into the set-up, the most important thing is to be yourself, relax, and have fun!

Many times the outdoor world can help us let go of the stresses of our everyday lives and allow us to enjoy the present moment with the ones we love most. We hope our ideas add a bit of sparkle to your next picnic date. Stay safe, and have fun!

Happy Picnicking!

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