Inspiration for the Perfect Spring Picnic

Picnic basket with fruit and bread

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

In This Article

Once spring temperatures arrive, it's time to pack some food and roll out the blanket for picnic season. The weather is so pleasant that it feels like a crime not to enjoy a lovely spread in the nearest bit of outdoor space available. What you do for your picnic comes down to your personal preferences, but the elements remain the same: a beautiful location, cohesive theme, comfy blanket, delicious food, and fun accessories. Here's some inspiration to help you plan the perfect picnic.

Location

The location of your picnic is the most important consideration. It will help to inform both the attire and the food. For instance, you can't wear wedges and a sundress or serve an elaborate spread if you have to hike to the location.

friends walking to a picnic
Getty Images

Picnic in the Park

No pretension here! A picnic in your local park is a classic choice. You can generally find bathrooms, charcoal grills, and picnic tables available for anyone to use. This can cut down on the items you have to bring with you.

public park
Vince Cavataio / Getty Images

Field of Flowers

Bask in the sun's rays while enjoying all the beauty that nature has to offer. Packing a lunch that highlights seasonal, locally grown ingredients is the perfect choice for a picnic in a field of flowers. Just make sure no one has seasonal allergies before you select this as your location.

field of flowers
David Keaton / Getty Images

Greenhouse Picnic

If the weather isn’t on your side, relocate your party to an indoor space, such as a greenhouse. You will have all the benefits of the outdoors but with protection from the elements. A greenhouse picnic can also be fun on a bright, sunny day as well just because it’s such a beautiful backdrop for entertaining.

Greenhouse Picnic from Design Love Fest



people having a picnic in a greenhouse
Design Love Fest

Beach Day

A picnic isn’t only reserved for parks. Consider taking your picnic to the beach this spring. Depending on your location, you might be early for swimming. But you will be just in time to soak in some rays without the hassle of a crowd.

beach picnic
Thefieldguide / Twenty20

Theme

A theme isn't a picnic requirement per se. But if you're throwing an Insta-worthy party, you need some sort of through-line to tie the event together. This can be a specific theme or even a color scheme. You'll find having these elements in mind helps when you're hit with decision paralysis. 

garden party with pink streamers and balloons
ChampagneProjects / Twenty20

Vintage-Inspired Picnic

Surrounding yourself with handpicked vintage picnic pieces will create a unique experience for your guests. Each serving item is one of a kind and feels like a thoughtful touch. Plus, this picnic theme can be very elegant and make an ideal setting for a romantic date.

Spring Picnic from Could I Have That

picnic with vintage decor
Could I Have That

Rainbow Picnic

We love the idea of a rainbow picnic to celebrate Earth Day (and every other day) in the spring. Simply incorporate lots of color for your theme. Produce in varying shades, as well as bright cut flowers, are ideal for the spread.

Rainbow Picnic from Camille Styles

produce and flowers at a farmers market
Camille Styles

Colorful Picnic

Similar to the rainbow picnic, this colorful picnic theme is the perfect way to cheer up those gray days in the early spring. Mix and match all of your favorite colors to create a fun atmosphere. Serve fresh fruit, candy-colored bottles of soda, and other vibrant fare.

Colorful Indoor Picnic from Oh Happy Day

Colorful picnic setting
Oh Happy Day

Classic Picnic

The opposite of an overly stylish picnic is one with just the bare necessities: a blanket, some food (whether it be homemade or takeout), and the people you love. If you forgot the flowers, don’t worry! You can just enjoy some blooming in nature.

classic picnic with checkered blanket
Corrine_t / Twenty20

Blanket

Any old blanket, towel, or sheet will suffice for a picnic. But having a pretty blanket to feast on can really tie together your theme and take your picnic to the next level. 

blue picnic blanket
Tom Merton / Getty Images

Pillows and Layered Blankets

Layer those blankets, and haul out some spare pillows for an extra cushy picnic experience. If comfort is your toppriority, invest in a few outdoor chair cushions to make lounging on the ground an enjoyable experience. 

Spring Picnic from Could I Have That

picnic setup with pillows as seats
Could I Have That?

American Flag Picnic Blanket

Use this DIY American flag picnic blanket for Memorial Day, and then reuse it for the Fourth of July. This flag blanket is perfect for picnics on patriotic holidays or any other day. Plus, it's simple to make with inexpensive canvas and some paint.

DIY American Flag Picnic Blanket from The House That Lars Built 

American flag picnic blanket
The House That Lars Built

Portable Picnic Table

For elaborate feasts, consider DIYing a low picnic table. A few pieces of plywood can yield a perfectly serviceable, rustic table. Or make something a little more finished as shown here. As a benefit, raising your food off the blanket and onto a solid surface reduces the risk of accidental spills.

Low-Rise Picnic Table DIY from Holtwood Hipster

low picnic table
Holtwood Hipster

Watermelon Picnic Blanket

There is a special feeling that comes with eating off of a picnic blanket you’ve made yourself. Perfect for warm-weather feasts, this watermelon blanket is sure to make you smile. And it's fun and easy to make with some fabric and fabric paint.

DIY Watermelon Picnic Blanket from The House That Lars Built

Watermelon blanket
The House That Lars Built

French Linens

If you can bear to use your vintage French linens as picnic blankets, they do make a beautiful accessory for the spring picnic season. French linens feel airy and light, and they make everything you place on them look so pulled together. Make sure the linens are washable, so you don't regret any spills or grass stains.

French Linens from Cannelle et Vanille

salad on white linens
Cannelle et Vanille

Food

It's the meal that turns "some people sitting on a blanket outdoors" into a bona fide picnic. From elaborate lunches to just cheese and wine, there are plenty of menu options to consider. Keep the weather in mind and how far you'll need to travel to the picnic site. No one wants to eat a wilted salad or soggy sandwiches.

Picnic spread
Samyruby / Twenty20

Mason Jar Meals

This idea is for those picnic fans who prefer to plan ahead. A mason jar meal helps to avoid the hefty cleanup post-picnic, and it keeps ingredients from getting soggy. Plus, most recipes pack well in mason jars, so you can tailor them to your tastes.

Mason Jar Meals from The Decorated Cookie

Mason jar meals
The Decorated Cookie

Tartines, Tartines, Tartines

A tartines-only picnic is such a fun idea. Get creative with your seasonal toppings to make tasty open-faced sandwiches to share. This fare is simple, light, and very spring picnic appropriate.

Tartines from Cannelle et Vanille

tartines
Cannelle et Vanille

Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Gather your cutting boards and serving plates to pile on the cheese and charcuterie. Very little prep is involved in this picnic favorite. It packs well, and it's easy to set up once you arrive at your picnic destination.

Cheese + Charcuterie Board from Camille Styles

Meat and cheese board
Camille Styles

Pan Bagnet

A pan bagnet is a French picnic sandwich that your guests will love to share. This sandwich is convenient and easy, as you only need one big loaf with your favorite toppings versus many small personal sandwiches. Just don't forget a good knife to cut the bagnet for everyone.

Pan Bagnet from The Golden Girl Blog

Pan bagnet
The Golden Girl

Edible Flower Popsicles

Edible flowers, herbs, and berries make for the prettiest desserts. Simple to make and easy on the eyes, these flower popsicles are a festive way to cool off at your picnic. Unless you have a very good cooler, they're best for picnics where you don't have to travel far to your destination.

Edible Flower Popsicles from Design Love Fest

Edible flower popsicles
Design Love Fest

Accessories

The right accessories can help to take your picnic to the next level (or just to make hauling your supplies a little bit easier). From over-the-top decorations to more practical options, here are a few of our favorite ideas.

Elaborate picnic in rocky terrain
ChampagneProjects / Twenty20

Cooler Makeover

Coolers have a certain tailgate kind of vibe that doesn’t make for the most visually pleasing picnic accessory. This easy DIY tutorial turns your run-of-the-mill cooler into something that looks much more high end. It uses wood grain contact paper to cover the cooler lid, making it almost look like a pretty tabletop.

DIY Cooler Makeover from Almost Makes Perfect

cooler on a picnic blanket
Almost Makes Perfect

Picnic Bag

This picnic bag is a twist on the traditional basket. The streamlined bag is much easier to haul around compared to a clunky large basket, making it a great option if you have to walk a ways to your destination or are traveling on public transit. Plus, it still has enough space to hold all of your picnic supplies, including plenty of pockets to keep you organized.

Picnic Bag from A Cup of Jo

Picnic bag with flowers
A Cup of Jo

Basket Liner

Those picnic-goers who love to stay organized will be really into this DIY basket liner. Your dishes, utensils, and snacks will all have their dedicated spots in your basket, thanks to pockets sewn into the liner. Plus, you can customize the fabric and style to your liking.

DIY Basket Liner from Design Sponge

Picnic basket with a liner
Design Sponge

Balloon Wall

A balloon wall is a sweet way to celebrate an occasion at the park. Simply surround your picnic blanket with several balloons anchored to the ground for a fun and whimsical atmosphere. Plus, the balloons make a festive backdrop for photos of you enjoying the nice spring weather at your picnic.

DIY Balloon Wall from

The House That Lars Built

Balloon wall at a picnic
The House That Lars Built