Transform your ordinary picnic into a chic affair! Discover expert tips on menu planning, ambiance creation, and essential gear to make your next outdoor party unforgettable.

Are you planning to host a picnic that’s both elegant and enjoyable? Look no further! This ultimate guide to throwing a chic picnic party is packed with creative ideas to ensure your outdoor gathering is a hit.

From selecting the best location to choosing the right themes and menus, I’m sharing some essential tips that will help you organize a spectacular outdoor event.

Whether it’s a casual get-together or a sophisticated soiree, get ready to impress your guests with a beautifully curated picnic party.

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Early evening picnic date with friends

Selecting the Ideal Picnic Party Location: Top Outdoor Spots Revealed

The location sets the mood for your picnic party. Choose from local parks with plenty of greenery, serene beaches that offer sunset views, or the comfort of your own backyard.

Consider the accessibility, available amenities, and the backdrop for photos. Each location offers unique advantages, so select one that aligns with your party theme and guest preferences.

For our supper club picnic party theme this month, I dabbled with the idea of setting up on the lawn near my cutting garden but decided to keep it on my deck in case it rained. It seems like it’s been raining a lot this summer, so I’m not taking any chances with the spotty showers in the forecast.

Not to mention, it’s been so hot in New Jersey lately. So my supper club and I will enjoy a cooler evening picnicking under the gazebo.

Creating a Theme: Decor and Setup for a Stylish Outdoor Picnic

It’s a good idea to level up your picnic with a cohesive theme. Opt for bohemian vibes with colorful cushions and tapestries, a coastal theme with light blues and sandy textures, or a rustic look with wooden platters and wildflowers.

Use balloons, string lights, and themed tableware to create an inviting space. Remember, the right decor can transform a simple picnic into an enchanting escape. Here are some ideas for decorating your picnic party space!

Incorporating Nature: How to Enhance Your Picnic Party with Plants and Flowers

With any picnic date, whether its with friends, family or a significant other, you need flowers. Lots of them.

Whether you pot up some flowers in planters or grab some bouquets from the grocery store, blooms will level up your picnic party atmosphere.

My deck is pretty well decorated with several container gardens and houseplants already, so I’m not changing or adding much there.

Consider tucking them in mason jars at each place setting or creating a beautiful centerpiece that will be the focal point of your outdoor party.

picnic date with friends

Creating Stunning Centerpieces: Unique Decor Ideas for Your Picnic Party

A well-crafted centerpiece can transform your picnic setup into a visual delight. Start by selecting a theme that resonates with the occasion—whether it’s rustic charm, vibrant florals, or minimalist elegance.

Use natural elements such as fresh flowers, succulents, or even branches and leaves to tie in the outdoor setting.

Consider practical and wind-proof options like low, sturdy vases, or mason jars. Integrate items that match the color scheme of your picnic blankets and tableware to create a cohesive look.

Finally, add subtle lighting with candles or fairy lights for evening picnics, ensuring they’re safely contained to prevent any wind-related mishaps as part of your centerpiece. This approach not only beautifies your picnic but also enhances the overall guest experience.

picnic date with friends

For my picnic party centerpiece, I started with this vintage picnic basket that I found thrifting in Vermont. Isn’t it so pretty?

I was planning to use it indoors on my dining table, but it is perfect for an outdoor picnic setup.

Because my hydrangeas are blooming like crazy this year, I cut a few to use in my picnic basket centerpiece for the dining table. To keep my fresh-cut hydrangeas from drooping, I used the alum method (you can read more about it here). Works like a charm!

To add even more flowers to the table, I cut some zinnias from my cutting garden to include in a few small mason jars.

And then I added some faux kalanchoe plants to add a little more texture and greenery to the picnic party as well.

Centerpiece idea for a picnic date with friends

Decorating the Picnic Party Table: Tips for a Memorable Setup

Decorating your picnic table is about blending functionality with style. Start with a durable yet attractive tablecloth that complements your theme. Add layers by using fabric runners or bamboo mats for texture.

Place settings are key—consider eco-friendly plates and cutlery that add color without sacrificing convenience. Centerpieces should be low and stable; think potted plants or baskets filled with seasonal fruits.

Don’t forget practical touches like weighted napkin holders to manage breezes. By focusing on these elements, you’ll ensure your picnic table is not only beautiful but also perfectly suited for an outdoor gathering.

picnic date with firends

Here’s how I decorated my table for this beautiful outdoor party on my deck!

I started with a cute green buffalo check table cloth like this one. Because I wanted to leave some of my wood farmhouse table exposed, I opted for a square shape and draped it over the center on an angle.

I then added my hydrangea and fresh-cut flower centerpiece. And added a few more mason jars with tea light candles.

For each table setting, I started with my favorite cedar branch placemats. On top of each placemat, I added pretty decorative chargers like THESE.

And then topped each table setting with these beautiful cottage-style plates. Aren’t they so fun for a picnic party? I love all the pretty details on each plate.

In addition to the table setting, I added THIS gorgeous stemware.

picnic date table decor

Adding Ambiance: Elevating Your Picnic Party Atmosphere

Creating the right ambiance is crucial for setting the mood at your picnic party. Start with choosing a music playlist that complements the vibe—whether it’s relaxing acoustic tunes or upbeat summer hits.

Consider the lighting; string lights or lanterns can create a magical evening glow. Fragrance is often overlooked—introduce aromatic elements like scented candles or fresh herbs.

Since our picnic date is in the early evening, I added these beautiful string lights from AQ Lighting. I strung them from the gazebo and around the deck railings. I love the extra twinkle they add. If it’s not a windy day, add more candles to the table for more mood lighting.

Also, consider the comfort of your guests with pillows and blankets. Each detail contributes to an inviting and memorable atmosphere that enhances the overall experience.

picnic date with friends

Picnic Menu Planning: Delicious and Simple Recipes for Outdoor Dining

For a delicious picnic party menu, focus on finger foods that are easy to eat and carry. Sandwiches, wraps, fruit salads, and mini desserts are perfect. Include a variety of textures and flavors to cater to different tastes.

Here are some recipe ideas you can include!

close up of chicken salad with grapes sandwiches on mini croissants sandwiches
Chicken Salad with Grapes

For beverages, consider refreshing options like lemonades, iced teas, or a simple punch. Here are some refreshing ideas you can offer as part of your picnic party menu.

And finally, pack everything in airtight containers to maintain freshness and prevent spills.

Two mason jars filled with strawberry lemonade garnished with lemon slices, next to fresh strawberries and lemon slices on a wooden table.
Strawberry Lemonade

Engaging Entertainment: Fun Games for a Lively Picnic Party

Games are essential for a lively atmosphere. Include options like frisbee, bocce ball, or a scavenger hunt for a touch of adventure. For a more relaxed vibe, card games or board games can engage guests in a fun, competitive spirit. Tailor the activities to the space available and the age group of your attendees.

Ensuring Guest Comfort: Tips for a Seamless Outdoor Experience

Comfort is key for a successful outdoor event. Provide ample seating options like picnic blankets, portable chairs, or even bean bags. Set up umbrellas or canopies for shade, and have sunscreen and bug repellent on hand to protect your guests. Also, if you are entertaining outside your home, consider accessibility for everyone, including ample parking, restroom facilities, and clear signage.

Conclusion: Capturing the Essence of a Perfect Picnic Party

Throwing a memorable picnic party is all about blending beautiful aesthetics with practicality. By focusing on a great location, thematic decor, a well-planned menu, engaging activities, and guest comfort, you’re set to host a picnic party that everyone will love.

picnic date with friends

Get Gardening Tips With The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide

Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.

More Picnic Party Ideas

I love a good outdoor party, don’t you? This picnic party was shared as part of my monthly supper club. Check each out each party out by clicking on the blog name on the image!

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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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picnic basket centerpiece with hydrangeas
5 Easy Picnic Date Ideas
beautiful cut zinnia flowers in vase
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling
The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

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  1. Pingback: How To Style A Romantic Outdoor Table for Two - Midwest Life and Style Blog
  2. Pingback: 5 Inspired Picnic Table Setting Ideas with vintage and thrift store finds.
  3. Stacy,
    I love that you used your picnic basket for your floral centerpiece! So creative!
    Love doing these with you.

  4. Loved the post and am a new subscriber. I was just curious. When you were in your cutting garden, you had many stalks that had little clay pots on them. Was that for decoration or was there a purpose. I thought they looked pretty cool either way. 🙂 Cindy

  5. It looks beautiful Stacy! I love the floral plates and the vintage picnic basket you used for your floral centerpiece!

  6. Stacy, you did such a beautiful job styling your picnic. It looks like a great space to relax and enjoy a meal. And can we talk about that basket filled with hydranges? Gorgeous!

  7. This is beautiful! Your hydrangeas are pretty in the basket.

    This is such a pretty picnic. Hopefully August won’t be as hot, humid and wet Here.

  8. Pingback: 5 Simple Steps to Host a Small Backyard Picnic | Simply2moms
  9. Pingback: How To Host An Easy Backyard Summer Picnic - Vintage Home Designs