Grab your BFF or your boo.

Claire Harmeyer
Jun 03, 2021 @ 10:55 am
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picnic ideas
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One of our favorite summer activities is hands down attending picnics. You get to soak up the sun, chat with friends, eat yummy food, and perhaps indulge in a boozy beverage. And lately, our Instagram feeds have been flooded with photos of girl gangs and couples relaxing on blankets, sipping rosé, and fake laughing at each other for the camera. We simply must join in on the fun during summer 2021.

Throwing a picnic seems easy enough in theory: All you need is a blanket and some snacks, right? Wrong. What happens when you reach the scenic lakeshore or grassy field of your choosing and realize you forgot cups, a surface for appetizers, or a bottle opener? You stop dead in your tracks and cry into the puff sleeves of your Bridgerton-inspired dress, that's what.

To help you avoid picnic party fouls, we're breaking down exactly how to throw a picnic, from the location choice to the essential supplies to cute picnic ideas like scattering fresh flowers. Stick with us, and you and your BFFs will be cross-legged on a gingham blanket nibbling brie without a care in the world in no time.

Picnic supplies:

1. Blanket

First thing's first: You need a blanket for both arranging your picnic spread and sitting on, obvi. The best types of picnic blankets can handle some spillage and dirt—and are easy to clean. (Read: waterproof.) Your blanket gets bonus points if it easily rolls up and has a built-in handle or strap to sling over your shoulder.

Camco Classic Red & White Checkered Picnic Blanket with Waterproof Backing
$14.09
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Does anything scream "charming picnic" more than a checkered red and white blanket? This one is waterproof and has a handy strap.

Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket
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Choose between nine large sizes and seven patterns in this picnic blanket perfect for the beach or grass.

2. Basket

The second key component of any good picnic is a picnic basket. Your trusty tattered tote bags will get the job done, but you'd be surprised how convenient a decked out picnic basket can make your life. Silverware holder? Check. Wine glass slots? Check. Everything has its place in a nice picnic basket, making your get together as stress-free as possible.

Wicker Picnic Basket Set for 4 Persons
$74.95
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Easily attach your blanket to the side of this picnic basket, and keep drinks and food cold in the insulated compartment below your dishes.

Wicker Picknic Basket Set with Insulated Cooler
$57.50
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This picnic basket has all the great perks of the one above, but it's fit for two people. Aka, date night, here you come.

Large Picnic Basket with 2 Layers of Internal Pockets Leak-Proof
$20.99
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If you'd like a no-fuss picnic basket without dishes (finger food is the best, right?), this affordable pick will do the trick. It's waterproof and will keep all of your goodies cold.

3. Travel silverware

Next up: silverware. Although picnics are fully functional with finger food (cheese and crackers for the win), some of us admittedly like to be boujee. So, for you fancy picnic-goers out there, you'll need some silverware for your outdoor meal.

Heavyweight"Looks Like Silver" Disposable Flatware 160 Piece
$17.99
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While this option isn't quite sustainable, it's great for sharing with your friends, especially during pandemic times. And did we mention it's affordable AF? This set of 160 plastic cutlery will keep you stocked all summer long.

Portable Cutlery Spoon Knife Fork Tableware Set with Case
$10.39
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Plastic cutlery isn't always eco-friendly, but these nifty picks are. Made from natural wheat straw, these silverware sets are lightweight and reusable. Plus, they come in super cute pastel colors.

4. Wine glasses

What's a picnic without proper libations? Boring, in our humble opinion. Summer is rosé season, so crack open a crisp bottle and sip your sweaty stress away. Or, opt for popping a bottle of bubbly if you're feeling fancy. If you don't drink alcohol, a nice sparkling water or juice will do the trick.

12 20oz Plastic Wine Glasses
$14.99
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If you're hosting a large picnic with your closest girlfriends, this set of 12 plastic wine glasses will have you all sipping your worries away. The good news is you can wash them and keep them on hand for a more eco-friendly option.

Simple Modern Spirit Wine Bundle
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Nothing ruins a boozy mood like warm white wine. Keep your drink of choice chilled in this handy 25-ounce wine bottle and two tumblers. Choose between 32 pretty colors to keep things cohesive.

BrüMate Uncork'd XL 14oz Wine Glass Tumbler With Splash-proof Lid
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If you want to invest in a tried and true wine tumbler, Brümate is your go-to choice. The high-quality cups and coolers keep your drinks ice cold (or hot!) and the splash-proof lid is ideal for lumpy picnic grounds.

5. Charcuterie board

Behold: The trendy appetizer flooding your Instagram feeds. Yes, we're talking about charcuterie boards, aka a fancy name for meat and cheese plates. If you want to go full on Instagram influencer, cover your charcuterie board with more than just the typical foods: add fresh cut veggies, fruits, nuts, jams, olives—and maybe even sprinkle the top with edible flowers.

Cheese Board and Knife Set Bamboo Charcuterie Platter
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This travel charcuterie board is genius. Forgot a knife for your brie wheel or goat cheese slab? No problem. Simply slide open the handy dandy cheese knife drawer, and take your pick of the litter.

Acacia Wood Cheese Board Set with Cheese Tools
$22.95
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This smaller, more affordable version is just as functional—and easier to pack.

6. Food and drink

Captain Obvious over here, but we'd be remiss not to mention the all-important food and drink you must pack for a picnic. If you don't bring any, you're just...sitting on a blanket. Aside from the obvious charcuterie board items, other great picnic foods are sandwiches, fresh fruit, and pasta salad, to name a few staples.

7. Speaker

Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
$39.99
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If you prefer light background music over listening to the sounds of nature, you'll need a nice portable speaker, like this affordable, high-quality one. We've brought this baby on many picnics and weekend trips ourselves.

How to plan an Instagram-worthy picnic:

If you really want to go all out for the purpose of posting drool-worthy, cottagecore-esque photos, you'll have to be dedicated. Below, we broke down the three key steps to creating the most aesthetically pleasing picnic possible.

1. Find a pretty location.

When it comes to going on a picnic, location is key. Who wants to sit in a dirty park? Find a grassy field, local lake, or park overlooking your city skyline for the ultimate backdrop. Feast your eyes on the view and allow your Instagram followers to do the same.

2. Choose a color scheme.

We're all for a cohesive moment, and your picnic photos will only benefit from consistent colors. Start with the blanket and plan the rest of your picnic around its colors—we're talking coordinating wine, outfits, and maybe a floppy hat for good measure.

3. Add small touches.

If you're really going for the gold here, add details like a bouquet of fresh cut flowers or scatter them around your blanket. Plus, small votive candles or even plush pillows to sit on really elevate your picnic from average to exceptional.

Above all, remember that picnics are about enjoying the outdoors and spending quality time with friends—and no picture can beat that.