30 Picnic Date Ideas for Couples

What are some romantic picnic date ideas?
on April 12, 2024
Read time: 10 mins
picnic date ideas

Imagine a date where the backdrop is the open sky, the soundtrack is nature's melody, and the vibe is pure bliss. That’s what these picnic date ideas for couples are all about! 

Whether you're scaling a scenic hill for a breathtaking view or laying down your blanket in a serene park, picnics offer a perfect blend of relaxation and romance for couples to enjoy. All you need are some tasty snacks, drinks, and a few essential items, and head out with your partner!

If you’re looking for some perfect picnic date ideas for your next romantic trip, we’ve got you covered! Whether you're scaling a scenic hill for a breathtaking view or laying down your blanket in a serene park, picnics offer a perfect blend of relaxation and romance.

While we all often get lost in the romantic aspects of dating, we also included a list of essential items for you and your partner to pack — so you’ll never forget the bottle opener again! 

What can you do on a picnic date?

A picnic date is a chance to spend quality time with your partner doing things that you both love.

If you’re the sporty type, head out for a hike before stopping to eat. Prefer a lazier picnic? Then find a quiet spot to lay down your blanket and relax.

The important thing is the one-on-one time with your partner! Chill out together, ask questions, and talk about whatever comes to mind. This is a great chance to see some new sights, learn more about each other, and enjoy some uninterrupted quality time.

Is a picnic a cheap date?

Picnic dates are a very affordable option for a date, as it allows you to prep the food at home, and saves you any hefty service charges! 

While picnics provide an affordable option for couples, it doesn’t mean that it has to be any less fun! With so many fun options at your disposal, it’s a great opportunity to get creative, both with your menu and your location! 

What should I bring to a romantic picnic?

  1. Picnic blanket: An absolute must-have, bring a picnic blanket to give you a comfortable place to settle down.

  2. Sunscreen: Safety first. Nothing ruins a date like a sunburn. 

  3. Plates and cutlery: Save yourself from the mess by bringing any plates, bowls, knives, forks, and spoons that you might need.

  4. Napkins: Likewise, bring napkins (especially if you’ve got messy food!)

  5. Bottle opener and drinks containers: Drinking? Don’t forget the key ingredients.

  6. Trash bag: Not a sexy item, but you’ll want to leave the picnic area as you found it.

  7. Fun stuff: Looking for some entertainment? Try packing stuff like a frisbee, light board games, or a portable music speaker. Don’t have any of those? Another great option is the Paired app — scroll through one of our question packs for some great conversation starters or play a couples game together.

What are some date ideas for a picnic?

A picnic is a fantastic way to chat and get to know each other, especially as the days get warmer and longer! While it might seem simple, it’s also a wonderful idea for a first date — elevating your usual coffee and cake excursions! 

Even though it’s cute in theory, an outdoor date with a new partner might sound daunting at first. So many questions, what is the best way to dress for a picnic date? Or perhaps most importantly, how do you know what to pack? If you know what kind of food and activities they like, then packing their favorites will get you instant bonus points.

There are so many ways to get creative with your picnic date, with the ability to tailor the festivities to your loved one’s needs! More than anything, try to choose a location that allows you to feel comfortable and relaxed. 

Cute picnic date ideas

  1. Indoor picnic: Picnicking is an outdoor activity. But sometimes, the weather just doesn’t play ball. If you’re looking for picnic date ideas on a rainy day, try creating a romantic indoor picnic in your living room. It’s a chance to snuggle up and do something different, plus you won’t have to carry the food far.

  2. Get arty: If you’re the creative type, pack up your equipment and head to a local viewing spot. Take some canvases or drawing paper and spend time being creative together. You could even draw each other’s portraits.

  3. A local park: Your local park is always a classic picnic spot. As we’ve mentioned, it’s a great option for a first date — but it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together. Just pick a place to settle down and relax.

  4. Themed picnic: Choose a theme for your picnic date, such as a French-inspired afternoon with baguettes, cheese, and wine, or a Japanese cherry blossom theme with sushi and green tea. Dressing up according to the theme can add an extra layer of fun and immersion.

  5. Botanical garden picnic: Many botanical gardens allow picnics and offer a beautiful, flower-filled setting. This option provides a tranquil and colorful environment, perfect for a romantic date surrounded by nature’s beauty.

  6. Scavenger hunt picnic: Create a scavenger hunt that leads your date to the picnic location. Each clue can lead to small gifts or notes that share your feelings or memories together. The final destination reveals the picnic setup as the grand prize.

  7. Secret garden picnic: Discover a secluded garden or courtyard that's off the beaten path for an intimate picnic experience. The privacy and unique setting will make it feel like you're in your own world, perfect for deep conversations and quiet moments together.

  8. Adventure picnic: For couples who love a thrill, plan a picnic with a side of adventure. Hike to a remote location, kayak to an island, or bike to a scenic overlook. The effort to reach your destination will make the picnic feel like a rewarding accomplishment.

  9. Mystery picnic: Plan a surprise picnic for your partner by keeping the location a secret until you arrive. You can make the journey part of the adventure by providing clues or making stops along the way to collect items for the picnic!

  10. Cultural exploration picnic: Create a picnic that explores a different culture through its cuisine, music, and traditions. For example, an Italian-themed picnic could include pasta salads, tiramisu, Italian sodas, and playing Italian music in the background. 

Romantic picnic ideas

  1. Head out at night: If you’re looking for a date night idea, head out at night for a bit of stargazing. Bring some blankets and hot chocolate, and snuggle up together in the moonlight.

  2. Sunset or sunrise picnic: Timing your picnic to coincide with the sunrise or sunset adds a natural, breathtaking backdrop to your date. Bring blankets, and a portable speaker for some background music, and enjoy the serene beauty of the sky changing colors. Ideal for beaches, hilltops, or open fields.

  3. Stargazing picnic: Perfect for a clear, starry night, this idea combines romance and astronomy. Bring a telescope if you have one, or just download a stargazing app to help you identify constellations. Don’t forget cozy blankets and warm drinks to keep comfortable.

  4. Waterfront picnic: Whether it’s by a lake, river, or sea, a waterfront picnic offers soothing scenery and a chance for activities like swimming or paddleboarding. You can also bring a portable grill for a BBQ picnic, enhancing the experience with freshly grilled food.

  5. Gourmet picnic: Elevate your picnic with a selection of gourmet foods, such as artisan cheeses, charcuterie, olives, and fine chocolates. Pair these with a bottle of quality wine or champagne to toast your relationship.

  6. Picnic under a flower canopy: Find a spot in a garden or a park where flowers hang overhead, like a wisteria pergola or a tunnel of roses. The natural beauty and fragrance of the flowers create a romantic setting that feels like something out of a fairy tale.

  7. Beach bonfire picnic: If local regulations allow, a beach bonfire picnic can be incredibly romantic. As the sun sets, light a fire and enjoy roasting marshmallows or making s'mores. The sound of the waves and the warmth of the fire create a cozy atmosphere.

  8. Rooftop picnic: If you have access to a rooftop with a view, set up a picnic to enjoy the skyline or stars above. The urban setting offers a unique contrast to traditional nature picnics and can be particularly magical at night.

  9. Literary love picnic: Tailor your picnic around your favorite literary works or genres. Bring along novels, poetry books, or short stories to read aloud to each other. You can even theme your food and decor around the literary works you're celebrating, whether it's a fantasy feast or a spread worthy of a classic romance!

  10. Night market picnic: Visit a local night market or food festival, where you can collect various dishes from different vendors to create a diverse and exciting picnic spread. Find a spot nearby to enjoy your finds!

Special picnic ideas 

  1. Blind tasting menu: Why not add some uncertainty? Head to a picnic area and share the food responsibilities. Choose in advance who provides which course and don’t tell each other what you’ve picked. This can create some exciting, weird, and wonderful combinations. If you do want to prepare the whole meal together, we’ve got some tasty picnic food ideas later.

  2. A forest hike: If you enjoy more energetic dates, why not head out into nature? A local forest is a great way to leave civilization behind, find a new trail, and spend quality time together. You might need some extra items — think bug (or bear) spray, hiking gear, and lots of water.

  3. A beach picnic: if you live near the ocean, this is a classic picnic location. Pack up some cool drinks and easy-to-eat foods, and head to the beach. Don’t forget towels and sunscreen!

  4. Bike ride to a hidden spot: If both of you enjoy cycling, plan a bike ride to a secluded or less-known picnic spot. This adds an element of adventure and discovery to your date. Pack your picnic in a backpack or a bike basket for easy transportation.

  5. Vintage picnic: For a touch of nostalgia, plan a vintage-themed picnic with retro snacks, a classic music playlist, and vintage-style clothing. Use a traditional picnic basket and include games from the past like croquet or badminton for a charming and fun date.

  6. Cook-off picnic: Turn your picnic into a mini cook-off challenge where each of you prepares a surprise dish for the other. It’s a delightful way to show care and creativity, plus you get to enjoy a variety of homemade foods.

  7. Winery or brewery picnic: Check if local wineries or breweries offer picnic spots. Many have picturesque outdoor areas where you can enjoy a tasting session followed by a picnic with a selection of their products.

  8. Memory lane picnic: Plan a picnic that revisits significant moments in your relationship. Include foods, music, or activities that remind you of memorable dates, trips, or milestones you've shared. This personalized touch adds depth and meaning to your date.

  9. Picnic with live music: Find a local outdoor concert or event where you can set up a picnic. The combination of live music and dining al fresco adds an energetic yet intimate vibe to your date.

  10. Floating picnic: Rent a small boat, raft, or paddleboard for a picnic on the water. Being surrounded by water adds a sense of adventure and seclusion. Just ensure your setup is stable and safe to prevent any spills.

What food is good for a couples picnic?

So, what types of food should you pack in your picnic basket? While you might be tempted to impress your date with a roast chicken or your famous lobster bisque when it comes to picnic dates, it’s all about transportable foods! 

Think of things that are easy to eat, will stay fresh, and won’t leave a mess! Or if you’re headed out on a hot date, make sure you pack ice trays in your picnic basket to try and keep things as fresh as possible. 

With all that in mind, we’ve rounded up some great ideas for picnic date food that will help you curate the perfect picnic basket! 

Best picnic foods for a date

  1. Fresh fruit and veggies: Keep things healthy and tasty with some fresh foods. Chop them before leaving to make eating easier!

  2. Meats and cheeses: Everyone loves a charcuterie board! Bring a selection of snackable meats and cheeses. If you’re feeling creative, try making a DIY charcuterie board.

  3. Finger foods: Picky bits anyone? Small sandwiches and snack items make for some of the best picnic date foods.

  4. Dessert: Almost anything could work here, think cupcakes, chocolates, or candy.

  5. Drinks: Pack water and any other drinks you might need. If you’re drinking alcohol, why not pack a bottle of wine? You could even create your own wine-tasting menu. Just don’t forget the wine glasses!

  6. The no-prep option: If you’re heading on a last-minute date or don’t feel like cooking, get some take-out food. Remember to keep it mess-free and easy to eat by ordering in… to eat out. 

  7. Pasta salads: Pasta salads are versatile, easy to customize, and can be enjoyed cold. Choose ingredients that hold up well and don't get soggy, such as cherry tomatoes, olives, mozzarella balls, and salami. Dress with a light vinaigrette to keep it flavorful and fresh.

  8. Quiches or savory tarts: These can be made in advance and eaten cold or at room temperature. Choose fillings that are both flavorful and colorful, like spinach and feta or tomato and basil, to make the meal visually appealing as well.

  9. Wrap sandwiches: Wraps are less likely to fall apart than traditional sandwiches and can be packed with a variety of fillings. Think grilled vegetables and hummus, chicken Caesar, or turkey and cranberry for a delicious and mess-free option.

  10. Sushi rolls: Sushi is a sophisticated and refreshing choice for a picnic. Opt for vegetable rolls, California rolls, or cooked sushi options like shrimp tempura rolls to avoid any risks associated with raw fish outdoors.

  11. Stuffed mini peppers: Stuff mini bell peppers with a mixture of cream cheese, spices, and herbs, or a blend of rice and beans for a vegetarian option. They're colorful, nutritious, and easy to eat with your hands.

  12. Homemade lemonade or iced tea: A large mason jar or bottle of homemade lemonade or iced tea is refreshing and can be sweetened to your liking. Add slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber for an extra touch of flavor and sophistication.

  13. Gourmet popcorn: Popcorn tossed with a mix of spices, and grated cheese, or drizzled with dark chocolate can provide a light, flavorful snack that's easy to share and enjoy without too much mess.

  14. Mini fruit tarts or cheesecakes: Individual portions of fruit tarts, cheesecakes, or other mini desserts not only look impressive but are also easier to manage and eat outdoors than larger, messier desserts.

  15. Artisan bread with dips: A selection of artisan bread served with a variety of dips, such as olive tapenade, hummus, and baba ganoush, offers a simple yet elegant option that's easy to eat and share.

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