The Ultimate Picnic Date Checklist

by | Apr 14, 2022

Fancy a picnic for your next date night? A little al fresco is a great, affordable date option, but do you know exactly what to bring to make it truly memorable? Follow this picnic date checklist to put a little razzmatazz into your pic-a-nic!

Related: How To Plan A Surprise Date Night


(TL;DR) Here’s our picnic date checklist. Everything you should bring to nail that next picnic date.

  • Something to eat
  • Plates and cutlery
  • Something bubbly to drink
  • Drink garnishes
  • Glassware
  • Water
  • A picnic basket
  • A cooler
  • A blanket
  • Napkins or wet wipes
  • Bottle openers and other tools
  • Bug spray
  • Lighting
  • Bluetooth speaker

Food – Here’s some classic ideas for picnic food

  •  Something to eat

There’s no “wrong” food to bring on a picnic, but there are a few options that work especially well for al fresco dining. Finger foods are the order of the day – if you can eat it with one hand, it’s probably a good pick! Here are a few ideas:

Light Bites

  • Fresh summer fruit (strawberries, grapes, cherries & raspberries)
  • Sliced vegetables and a range of dips, like hummus
  • Cheese and crackers

Sandwiches

  • Baguettes and your choice of filling (deli meats and cheeses are delicious)
  • Cucumber sandwiches (crusts optional!)
  • Crostinis with cream cheese and salmon

Sweet Treats

  • Pastries from a local cafe
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Chocolate

For bonus points, you could even try making the dishes yourself. A simple salad or a home-baked brownie is all you need to make the picnic feel more intimate.

  • Plates and cutlery

You have a few choices for your plates and cutlery, depending on your preferences and what you’re planning to serve. You could bring a nice wooden board for an outdoor charcuterie experience. Or you could stick with plates and bowls! A great idea that we’ve seen is using paper plates for the food on the blanket, but providing ceramic mini-plates to actually eat from. This ensures you aren’t lugging the entire kitchen cabinet around but still keep that sense of quality and luxury.

For your knives, forks and spoons, use metal ones rather than plastic ones. These are better for the environment and make for a higher quality picnic date.

One last post food item on the picnic date checklist! Remember to bring some rubbish bags with you to put your dirty dishes and cutlery in.

Drinks

  • Something bubbly

Champagne is a great choice for a picnic, but it isn’t the only one. Consider bringing along some orange juice as well so you can make fresh mimosas for you and your date. And if one of you isn’t up for an alcoholic drink? There are plenty of non-alcoholic sparkling wines available these days and they work just as well (trust us, we’ve tested them 🙂).

  • Drink garnishes

If you want to make your experience truly special, bring along some suitable fruits to add as garnishes to whatever you’re drinking. Think strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries. These can add some pizazz to anything and make the date night truly memorable. If they’re frozen, they’ll even help to keep your drinks cold!

  • Glassware

While you can break out your finest crystal flutes for date night, it’s not always the safest option. Instead, we recommend finding the fanciest plastic wine glasses you can and using those instead. They’re safer, more durable, and you won’t be worrying the whole time about breaking them when you should be enjoying your date.

  • Water

If you’re heading out on a hot day, make sure that you have plenty of water available. There’s nothing more romantic than proper hydration, right?

Picnic Checklist – Essential Items

  • A picnic basket

A classic picnic basket will not just help keep your food and drink protected, it’s also an essential part of setting the mood for your date. While you can just stuff everything on the picnic date checklist into a backpack, there’s something truly magical about having a real, old-school wicker picnic basket to set the scene.

  • A cooler

A cooler will help keep your perishables and cold food items at the ideal temperature – nobody wants to drink lukewarm champagne. If you don’t have a cooler, consider bringing a hydroflask or insulated bottle filled with ice to fill glasses with instead.

  • A blanket

The key to a good picnic blanket is to make sure that it’s large enough for you, your partner, and your food. There’s nothing worse than having to perch precariously on the corner of a picnic blanket because it’s a little too small. Go big or go home!

Try to ensure that your blanket is waterproof, even if it’s a sunny day. Moisture can seep through the blanket from the ground and into you and your partner’s clothing.

  • Napkins or wet wipes

It’s not just the plates you’ll need to tidy up! Keep your fingers, faces and clothes free from crumbs and sticky fruit juices with some napkins or wet wipes. It’s the small things like these that make the difference between a good picnic and a great one. Hot tip if this is your beach date checklist: taking napkins can be a great way to protect your food from wind and sand. There’s nothing worse than a gritty sandwich or meal!

  • Bottle opener and other tools

There’s nothing worse than travelling all the way to your picnic spot and finding that you’ve forgotten a key piece of kit like a bottle opener. While a lot of wines these days are screw caps, if you’ve purchased an international wine, they often use a cork – so pack a bottle opener just in case.

You might also find that some of the snack packs that you’ve brought along are hard to open. Some scissors can make life a lot easier, so bring some along just in case.

Finishing Touches – Little Extras On Our Picnic Date Checklist

  • Bug spray

The best time for a picnic date is unfortunately also prime time for ants, flies and mosquitos. It’s not the most romantic of items, but insect repellant is a must-bring on our picnic checklist. Nothing kills the mood more than slapping away uninvited guests while trying to enjoying time with your partner.

  • Lighting

Late night picnic date at the beach with some stargazing included? Yes please! But much better if you can actually see each other. Our recommendation? Those little electric tea lights. They don’t blow out, they don’t cause a fire hazard, and what could be more romantic than a candlelit picnic?

  • Bluetooth speaker

A little ambient music to fill in the gaps is a great addition to a picnic date. Spotify has plenty of awesome playlists to peruse – or make a night of building a playlist with your partner! Just make sure that, when you’re actually on the date, that you keep other visitors in mind. Volume control is a must!

Looking for more outdoor date ideas?


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