Ideas & Supplies / Party Hearty / Party Ideas / Summer

The Ultimate Guide to Easy, Elegant Picnic Packing

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by Jenna

Is it just us, or is all this indoor time making summer fly by? With so many hours spent at home, mostly sitting on our couches, or at our new WFH makeshift desks, we started thinking, how can we soak up those summer rays while hanging out with friends and family AND still staying safe? That's when we thought…let's pack a picnic! We picnic anywhere and everywhere and always picnic pretty! Picnic at your neighborhood park, your own backyard, or drive to the beach. Invite a few friends, a couple of family members, or stick to only those in your household bubble. Big or small, picnics are a great way to get outside and spend time with loved ones. To make picnic packing easy, we compiled the ultimate guide to all of the goodies you will need – blankets, baskets, plates, silverware, and of course, the FOOD. With these simply elegant essentials, you will always be ready to picnic perfect.

Elegant Picnic Packing for the Park

We often take our parks for granted but in times like these, when we are spending so much time at home, local parks afford convenient access to outdoor space which we so desperately crave. Choose a park half way between your homes, or meet up at your neighborhood park this time and your friends' favorite outdoor space next time. Also, if it is really hot outside, you might want to choose a location large enough to provide enough shady spots to safely distance from other park guests. And please, remember to bring your face coverings and wear them when within 6 feet of  anybody outside of your household. No matter where you choose to picnic, it helps to own the basics  – so plan ahead!

Picnic Blankets

We are absolutely obsessed with this outdoor checkered picnic blanket. It is comfy, water-wicking, and zips into a convenient shoulder tote. Practical and elegant!

Outdoor Zip-Up Picnic Blanket Tote

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Super soft wool blankets just scream picnic. The featured blankets come in a variety of colors, all with waterproof backing and a handmade red carrying leather strap. Each rug is large enough to seat several adults yet rolls up into an easy-to-carry bundle with a slim elegant strap that can hook onto your backpack or bike for a day out.

New Wool Waterproof Picnic Blanket

Oh So Soft Wool Picnic Blanket

Baskets and Coolers

If we have a single favorite basket, it might be this personalized wine and food carrier the converts into a picnic table. So inventive!

Most picnic baskets will do a lot of the work for you…equipped with plates, utensils, and more, they make picnicking easy. Since many are designed for 2, they are perfect for couples or bffs looking to spend special alone time together.

Boardwalk 12-Piece Picnic Basket Set

Boardwalk 12-Piece Picnic Basket Set 

Vineyard Wicker Picnic Basket for Two

Vineyard Wicker Picnic Basket for Two

And because we can never have enough baskets!

Country Picnic Basket

Country Picnic Basket

To keep things cold, we love these elegant coolers!

Insulated Cooler Tote Bag

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Corkcicle Cooler Chic Handbag

Corkcicle Chic Cooler Tote 

Picnic Essentials For Bigger Groups & Families

A Rolling Picnic Cooler is the mobile picnic basket you always wanted, with a full cutlery, wine and cheese set for four. Easily take your cooler with you wherever you want with its extendable handle and wheels. Store whatever you need in its multiple side and front pockets. This cooler makes picnic packing easy!

Rolling Picnic 28-Piece Flatware & Cooler Set

Rolling Picnic 28-Piece Flatware & Cooler Set

Baskets are not only great for picnic packing but also can act as elegant storage solutions once back home.

Handmade Piki Basket Large

Handmade Large Piki Basket

Handwoven from natural rattan with a charming and elegant vintage design, the Luggy will go with you everywhere from the park to the beach with ease!

Olli Ella Large Luggy Basket

Olli Ella Large Luggy Basket

Packing Picnic Tables and Chairs

Some people are okay with the ground but others might want to take their picnic to the next level with chairs and tables. To make it easy, we found items that are not only elegant and stylish but also easy to fold and light-weight enough to carry with you.

Portable Wine Picnic Table

Portable Wine Portable Picnic Table

Outdoor Portable Backpack Chair Picnic Time

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Picnic Paper Goods, Silverware, and More

If you are looking for a one-stop-shop, look no further. Coterie has set themes like the one below but you can also make your own. With plates, napkins, silverware, straws, cups, and even table decor, their curated collections have everything you need to throw a memorable picnic with minimal fuss.

Fruit Punch Paper Goods Picnic Set

Fruit Punch Picnic Paper Goods Set

Or if you do not want to commit to a single pattern or an entire set, below is a taste of the elegant pieces you can buy as separates.

Coterie Party Silverware and Paper Goods

Cute and Curated Silverware and Paper Goods

Take along these picnic food tent umbrellas to keep your meals or snacks out of reach by flying insects and bugs. It also folds compactly for easy storage!

Picnic Food Mesh Tent

Mesh Food Tent

Pack and tote time and again with these Reusable Paper Bags. Made from waterproof Tyvek, these bags act like fabric but have a smooth paper-like feel. Perfect for elegant picnic packing.

Reusable Tyvek Paper Bag

Reusable Tyvek Paper Bag

Once at your destination, to stylishly display your fruits, veggies, breads or even a potted “centerpiece” plant, simply fold down the top of the bag.

Reusable Paper Bags for Picnics

We are obsessed with these ceramic berry baskets recommended by Tia Mowry! Such an upgrade over the soggy cardboard baskets the berries come in. We bought 2 large baskets in red and blue and one smaller basket in ivory.

Ceramic Berry Baskets

Ceramic Berry Baskets

This kit is perfect for your cheese and charcuterie needs…the staple of any great picnic!

Opinel Nomad Camping And Picnic Utensil Kit

Nomad Camping And Picnic Utensil Kit

Picnic Packing For the Beach

If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, pack a picnic seaside and it will feel like paradise. While many of the items above can be used at the beach too, we recommend going with more durable (but still elegant!) materials. In many cases, you will need to walk down stairs or a lengthy distance, so go for things that  are easy to carry and can have the sand rinsed or shaken out of them at the end of the day.

Beach Blankets + Towels

The last thing you want all over your food is sand, but at the beach, sand is pretty unavoidable. That is why we picked some of the best towels to keep sand off your blanket and where it belongs.

Thicker than typical Turkish towels, with 400 GSMs  this towel provides comfort and high absorption power while still being lightweight and easy to pack. Measuring at 70” x 40”, it’s perfect for lounging on the beach, but still fits in a backpack, beach bag, or tote like a pro. It also comes in various colors, so choose the one that best fits your aesthetic.

Laguna Beach Company Turkish Picnic Towel

Laguna Beach Company Turkish Towel

This blanket is both lightweight and durable. Did we also mention how big it is?! Oh, it has pockets too!

Wildhorn Outfitters Sand Escape Outdoor Beach Blanket

Sand Escape Outdoor Beach Blanket

Beach Tents

On the beach, you might want some more structure than the park. Beach tents will provide shade and up your picnic game.

Sorry, we cannot link directly to these tents. Just click here and search by the product name under the image. 

Brolly Beach Umbrella Tent

Brolly Beach Umbrella Tent

Sun Shelter Pop-Up Tent

Sun Shelter Pop Up Tent

Vintage-Inspired French Riviera Beach Tents

Vintage-Inspired French Riviera Beach Tents

Beach Picnicking Baskets and Totes

For beach picnics, we prefer totes that are less structured than your typical picnic basket. Why? They are easier to carry and pack into a car, especially when you have to walk far and only have two hands.

Promenade 13-Piece Flatware & Picnic Basket Set

Promenade 13-Piece Flatware & Picnic Basket Set

Vintage-Inspired Striped Canvas Cooler Tote

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Corkcicle Chic Cooler Backpack

Corkcicle Chic Cooler Backpack

Or how amazing is this wine tote that comes with an insulated cooler, one removable padded divider, two stemless wine glasses, one folding table, one bottle stopper and one dual leverage corkscrew with handle. The tote does all the work for you and still looks elegant!

Picnic Time Adventure Wine Tote

Picnic Time Adventure Wine Tote

Beach Tables and Chairs

Again, the best tables are ones that are easily portable and help secure your precious breakables.

Outdoor Wine Picnic Table, Folding Portable Bamboo Wine Glasses & Bottle, Snack and Cheese Holder Tray for Concerts at Park, beach

Outdoor Wine Folding Picnic Table

If you are looking for something a little bigger, we love the umbrella table featured below. The table and umbrella fold nicely into their own lightweight carrying cases that take up little room when not in use.

Outdoor Fold-Up Table and Umbrella

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These chairs have it all: lightweight, colorful, portable. Oh, did we mention they fold easily into backpacks?

Sunnylife Block Party Beach Seat Picnic Chair

Sunnylife Beach Seat

Reclining Backpack Beach Chair

Reclining Backpack Beach Chair

Beach Picnic Paper Goods, Silverware, and More

Keep the sand and bugs out with these net food covers!

Outdoor Net Food Cover

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As we mentioned above, we just love Coterie! It makes party planning easy and ensures you will not forget essentials like napkins, straws, silverware, and more. And this print screams beach without starfish and surfboards!

Amalfi Blues Paper Goods Picnic Set

Amalfi Blues Paper Goods Picnic Set

Compact and ready to use, this cheese board and tool set has it all! Plus, the wooden top makes cutting and serving anything on the beach sooooo much easier!

Picnic Time Cheese Board and Tool Set

Picnic Time Cheese Board and Tool Set

BBQ Picnic Packing

Some of our favorite gadgets and accoutrements to pack for a BBQ themed picnic.

Portable Picnic Charcoal Grill

Portable Charcoal Grill

BBQ Multi Color Plastic Picnic Baskets

BBQ Multi Color Plastic Picnic Baskets

Boozy Picnic Packing

Cheers! Perfect your picnic packing with these essential bar staples.

With this elegant wine tote and its insulation, you'll never have to worry about your wine getting warm again. This is the wine bag of wine bags and the perfect compliment to any picnic you find yourself on.

Malbec Stripe Insulated Canvas & Willow Wine Bottle Basket

Malbec Stripe Insulated Canvas & Willow Wine Bottle Basket 

More of a cocktail person? Try one of Mouth's cocktail kits. It comes with everything you need (just add the alcohol of your choice!) making your picnic packing easy and oh so delicious.

Sunshine in a Glass Cocktail Kit

Sunshine in a Glass Cocktail Kit

Pro tip: bring plastic, paper, or metal (best for keeping your cocktail cold!) glasses to pour your drink of choice into. We know, lots of so-called picnic experts swear by mason jars with lids but we have to disagree. No one wants to deal with broken glass!

Metal Can Cups Picnic Barware

Metal Can Cups

Loving this personalize wine serving tray! No matter where you are picnicking it will help keep your wine and wine glasses stable and secure.

Personalized Wine Serving Tray for Picnics

Personalized Wine Serving Tray

What is a Picnic Without Food?!

This curated box of picnic treats has all you need for a perfect day at the beach (or the park, or the mountains, or the deck overlooking the city skyline.) From salt and peppery nuts, to small-batch jam, to hand-cured salami and artisan cheese, all topped off with gourmet cookies for dessert. This summer picnic kit has everything but the blanket.

Picnic in a Box

Picnic in a Box

Take your picnic to the next level with a restaurant-quality assortment of food from, well, some of the best restaurants in the country. We might not be able to eat inside or travel to our favorite foodie destination, but thanks to Goldbelly, we can have some of the best food in the country delivered right to our door.

Goldbelly Famous Foods

Goldbelly Famous Foods

Cutting it close and don't have time to go grocery shopping? We have the perfect solution.

Insta Cart Same Day Grocery Delivery

InstaCart – Get Groceries Delivered

Don't forget about the dessert! This famous birthday cake from Milk Bar is sure to make the picnic party happy. There are also cookies and truffles if you are looking for single packaged treats.

Milk Bar Sprinkles Cookie Dough Birthday Cake

Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Picnic Fun and Games

Every picnic needs a DJ! We love how small, portable, elegant, and more importantly, cost-effective this bluetooth speaker is. You do not need to break the bank to add some pep to the party. Plus, With its 10-hour charge and splash-proof design, this unique speaker is perfect even for the beach.

Kreafunk aGo Portable Bluetooth Speaker

aGo Bluetooth Speaker

Or go ultra cutesy with one of these always popular, color coordinating, adorably tiny “stocking stuffer” speakers.

My Audio Pet Mini Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

My Audio Pet – Mini Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

How pretty is this bocce ball set. Packed nicely in a take-out box, it is easy to take anywhere.

Bocce Ball Picnic Game

Bocce Ball Picnic Game

Paddle ball is one of our favorite picnic games. Whether you are a kid or an adult, you are sure to have some fun.

Beach Bats 

Yard Dice and Outdoor Dominos

Yard Dice & Outdoor Dominoes

Last But Not Least …  More Picnic Packing Essentials

Remember…you only have two hands! The most important part of planning a picnic is making sure you can enjoy it! Make it easy on yourself with this extra large wagon so you can transport all of your picnic essentials without worry.

Extra Large Adventure Wagon

Extra Large Adventure Wagon

Stairs? They’re no match for this made-in-Spain market cart. It’s got six wheels—three on each side—that let it glide up steps in a snap. It’s roomy, too, with plenty of space for your laundry, produce, beach essentials, you name it (shoutout to the two inside pockets and zippered back pocket). With multiple color options, it is the elegant finish for any picnic planner.

Stair Climbing Roller Cart

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Party Hearty!

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