7 Picnic Date Ideas for Couples

How to plan the best picnic date, plus some ideas to get you started
by Paired
picnic date ideas

A picnic is a great way to spend a romantic day outdoors. Simply grab 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. From beaches and parks to picnics with a twist, you’ll find inspiration and advice for a romantic day out.

To help you plan your next picnic date, we’ve also come up with some great food and fun activities. There’s also a list of essential items, so you’ll never forget the bottle opener again. Let’s get started.

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.

What to bring on a picnic date

Every great picnic date starts with a few essential items:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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. 

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What should I bring on a picnic first date?

A picnic is a fantastic way to chat and get to know each other. That’s especially true if you’re heading on a picnic for your first date.

But an outdoor date with a new partner might sound daunting at first. You might not know a lot about them, so what should you bring? If you know what kind of food and activities they like, then packing their favorites will get you instant bonus points.

But if you don’t know much, the tried and tested picnic classics might be the best way to go. Avoid any potentially divisive locations, foods, and drinks. An afternoon in a local park is a good start. Then, you can get to know each other more. Just make sure it’s somewhere you both feel comfortable and relaxed.

7 couples’ picnic date ideas

Ready to go? Here are some of our best romantic picnic ideas for couples — some classics, and some more unique.

  1. 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!

  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 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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

Food ideas for a picnic date

So, what types of food should you pack in your picnic basket? Think of things that are easy to eat will stay fresh, and won’t leave a mess. Some great ideas for picnic date food include:

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

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

  • Finger foods: Small sandwiches and snack items make for some of the best picnic date foods.

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

  • 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!

  • 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. Pizza could work.

How do you spice up a picnic date?

Looking to add some spice to your next picnic date? Try some of these ideas:

  • Throw in a theme: Use a theme to change up where you go and what you do. Tropical picnic, anyone?

  • Try a new activity: Why not try something new? If you don’t usually cycle, then rent bikes and head out together, for example.

  • Make it a surprise: You could also be sneaky. Prepare your picnic date ideas in advance and surprise your partner on the day.

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