Above view of a family plating food at an outdoor picnic

4 Unique Family Picnic Ideas

It’s the height of picnic season and there is no wrong way to enjoy it. If you want to change things up, try these four unique picnic ideas.

Something about eating outdoors makes food more appealing, whether somewhere public or in your backyard. Likewise, picnics offer the perfect way to get out and enjoy warmer weather and seasonal flowers, either as a cozy date or family outing. Sure, you still have to check the weather beforehand, but spring and summer are ideal for family picnics and offer many ways to enjoy the day.

Heading to your local park with a blanket or tablecloth and a pre-packed lunch is easy and requires minimal effort. But, if you want to change things up, put your picnic planning skills to the test. We have some unique family picnic ideas you might like to try, regardless of budget.

Spice Up the Food

The key to any good picnic is the food being served. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the standard sandwich, especially if you’re aiming for mess-free. However, some fun, easy-to-pack alternatives to consider include the following picnic food ideas:

  • Salad – they say to eat your colors, and a hearty fruit, green, or pasta salad can complement any meal and be incredibly nutritious. Plus, it doesn’t get much easier than tossing ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Hors d’oeuvres – so many finger foods and side dishes are picnic perfect. If you prefer sampling appetizers over full-course meals, deviled eggs, cheese balls, homemade dips, flatbreads, and more are excellent for getting your snack on without making a mess.
  • Dessert – having something sweet to share is a must; many picnic dessert recipes are easy to travel with. Options for simple but tasty treats are near limitless between cookies, pies, brownies, chocolate bark, and homemade candy bars.
  • Drinks – easy as it is to grab some bottled water or cans of soda, a picnic isn’t the same without a homemade drink. Fresh fruit punch, lemonade, or sweet iced tea is pretty straightforward to make and can be altered to suit your tastes. Just pour it into a thermos, and you’re good to go.

Country Living offers some great recipe ideas if you need inspiration. However, if you want to stick to the simple sandwich, try jazzing it up a little. Fresh bread makes a huge difference, as do the toppings you use. Pack in flavor using seasoned ingredients such as roasted red peppers, smoked cheese, and fresh slaw, which can work with just about any sandwich combo.

Summer tea party themed picnic

Give it a Theme

Treat a picnic like a mini party and give it a theme just because, whether cultural, from a film or favorite book, or a certain color scheme. This can be memorable and fun for everyone, not just children, and you can get as creative as you like. Incorporate the theme into anything from the food you pack to the activities you play and your outfit of the day.

For example, if you or your kids are excited about the new Little Mermaid film, plan an under-the-sea-themed picnic. Go all out and wear anything from costumes to graphic tees or a specific color palette. Then, prepare fish dishes like tuna salad (or food shaped like fish and other sea creatures if you’re working with picky palates). Next, make a “mermaid” dessert with bright blues, greens, and purples like these colorful Rice Krispie treats from Mom Dot or these blondie bars from Cutefetti. Lastly, bring out some bubbles for a fun activity to enjoy after you’ve finished eating.

Go at an Odd Hour

Most people generally associate outdoor picnics with lunch. However, a fun and easy way to mix things up is to have a breakfast or dinner-style picnic instead. You get to be creative and prepare different foods and activities than you usually would, and you’re more likely to avoid crowds while enjoying the sunrise or the sunset.

A thermos of coffee, yogurt with fresh fruit, pancakes, and egg sandwiches are all easy on-the-go foods if you take the breakfast route. It’s also the perfect time for quieter activities like drawing, reading, or bird watching. Dinner planning is similar enough to lunch, but now you need to factor in when it gets dark. Bring along some fairy lights or lanterns to place around your setup. You might also want to pack a few throw pillows if star gazing is on the agenda.

Group of adults playing a game of Guess Word at a picnic

Throw in Some Games

Having an activity of sorts makes picnicking all the more fun. Whether out as a couple or a family, it’s easy to pack along a frisbee, soccer ball, or even a board game. In addition, you can play plenty of picnic games with little ones that don’t require packing anything extra, like tag or red light, green light. Love to Know also has some unique activity ideas that require few supplies.

Of course, you’ll need to scope out the area to know what activities you can and cannot bring along. But if the location allows it, consider something even more unique, like putting on a show. This can be as creative as you want, with costumes or sock puppets. Put on a small play for your kids, or let them perform for you. Another idea is to bring along supplies for a painting party or any other medium if paint is too messy. Making art of each other or the landscape around you is sure to be relaxing and fun.

Family picnics are an entertaining activity that allows you to get creative on a budget. While the options on where to have a picnic are practically endless, finding a place to store your picnic supplies after can sometimes be a struggle.

So, when your attic or hallway closet just can’t cut it anymore, don’t give up your warm weather fun. Store your seasonal and outdoor belongings with Prime instead. We offer a vast array of unit sizes and features nationwide to help with your off-season home storage needs, from baskets to dishware, a grill, and even a vehicle at select locations. Find a Prime Storage facility near you to see pricing and availability today!

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