picnic checklistAre you planning a picnic?

If your answer was yes, you’ve come to the right place as we will help you make sure you’ve got it all covered.

This checklist will cover every aspect of planning a picnic, all the pre-activities, food, packing, and a few others.

We’ve created the ultimate picnic checklist, so get ready to do picnic the right way.

Let’s get started!

SET THE DATE & LOCATION

This is where it all starts. Having a date and location will be the starting point of your picnic.

Choose a date that suits everyone

white datepickerThe first step to planning a picnic is deciding the which day works best for you and the people you want to invite. This can be a little trickier with more people, but if you plan it far enough in advance, everyone should have time to fit it into their schedules.

sun and cloudsAlso, check the weather before you choose a date. No one wants to sit in the cold, wind or rain. Unless that’s what you’re going for then go crazy. But a nice open sunny day is preferred by many.

Check the weather beforehand

Choose a Location

map pin

Are you planning on having your picnic at the park, or the beach, or a pavilion? This step will help with what type of clothes everyone wears, as well as what supplies you’ll need.

INVITE YOUR GUESTS

There’s nothing as joyous as a lovely day outside with the people you love.

WHAT ARE WE EATING?

There is no picnic without food.

make a listYou will need to know how much food and other goodies to supply, so make a guest list as soon as you’ve settled on a date, time, and place for your picnic.

The absolute easiest way to do this is to create a Whatsapp group and quickly add all the parties involved. This helps with RSVP but also other arrangements including helping some friends out with directions 5 mins before the event starts 🙂

There are no limits really but the logistics can get out of hand quickly when inviting hoards of people.

So either keep it simple with yourself and your lover or invite another 2-4 people.

Make a guest list and have them RSVP

What's the plan for food

Once you have everything set and your guest list updated, you need to decide if you’re supplying everything or if your guests are going to chip in. In North America, they have something called a potluck.

“a meal or party to which each of the guests contribute a dish.”

For a group of 4+, I can definitely recommend this approach where everyone brings something. Keep in mind this must still be coordinated by yourself via the WhatsApp group we discussed earlier.

You want your guests to enjoy themselves, so ask ahead if anyone has food allergies or preferences that will need to be considered.

Check for Food Allergies

Choose a date that suits everyone

white datepickerThe first step to planning a picnic is deciding the which day works best for you and the people you want to invite. This can be a little trickier with more people, but if you plan it far enough in advance, everyone should have time to fit it into their schedules.

sun and cloudsAlso, check the weather before you choose a date. No one wants to sit in the cold, wind or rain. Unless that’s what you’re going for then go crazy. But a nice open sunny day is preferred by many.

Check the weather beforehand

Set the date & picnic spot

1. Choose a date that suits everyone

The first step to planning a picnic is deciding the which day works best for you and the people you want to invite. This can be a little trickier with more people, but if you plan it far enough in advance, everyone should have time to fit it into their schedules.

2. Check the weather beforehand

Also, check the weather before you choose a date. No one wants to sit in the cold, wind or rain. Unless that’s what you’re going for then go crazy. But a nice open sunny day is preferred by many.

3. Choose a Location

Are you planning on having your picnic at the park, or the beach, or a pavilion? This step will help with what type of clothes everyone wears, as well as what supplies you’ll need.

Inviting the guests

4. Make a guest list and have them RSVP

You will need to know how much food and other goodies to supply, so make a guest list as soon as you’ve settled on a date, time, and place for your picnic.

The absolute easiest way to do this is to create a Whatsapp group and quickly add all the parties involved. This helps with RSVP but also other arrangements including helping some friends out with directions 5 mins before the event starts 🙂

There are no limits really but the logistics can get out of hand quickly when inviting hoards of people.

So either keep it simple with yourself and your lover or invite another 2-4 people.

5. What’s the plan for food

Once you have everything set and your guest list updated, you need to decide if you’re supplying everything or if your guests are going to chip in. In North America, they have something called a potluck.

a meal or party to which each of the guests contribute a dish.

For a group of 4+, I can definitely recommend this approach where everyone brings something. Keep in mind this must still be coordinated by yourself via the WhatsApp group we discussed earlier.

6. Check for Food Allergies

You want your guests to enjoy themselves, so ask ahead if anyone has food allergies or preferences that will need to be considered.

7. Begin Making Your Food and Condiment Checklist

You want to ensure you have everything, so start making a list of supplies you’ll need. Start with the food, and work your way to other things. The primary food and condiment checklist is provided below.

  • Brats
  • Chicken
  • Hamburger
  • Hotdogs
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Potato Salad
  • Cole Slaw
  • Baked Beans
  • Veggies
  • Fruit Salad
  • Fruit
  • Potato Chips
  • Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cookies or Cupcakes
  • Graham Crackers
  • Chocolate Bars
  • Marshmallows
  • Bottled Water
  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Ice

You also don’t want to forget any condiments when you plan your picnic, and those are listed below.

  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Relish
  • Salad Dressing
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Tomatoes

8. Plan Your Equipment List

You should find out if the area you chose for your picnic has grills available for people to use along with seating areas because if they don’t, you will want to include these things as well. This next list will be broken down into four parts to make it easier to check a section at a time.

Equipment for Seating and Carrying Everything

  • Picnic Basket or Bag
  • Cooler
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Chairs
  • Serving and Seating Table
  • First Aid Kit

Serving Equipment

  • Plates
  • Eating Utensils
  • Serving Utensils
  • Napkins
  • Cups
  • Bottle Opener
  • Tablecloth
  • Foil or Plastic Wrap

Cooking Equipment

  • Grill
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Matches
  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Tongs and a Spatula
  • Potholders

Cleanup Equipment

  • Dish Soap
  • Plastic Bags
  • Garbage Bags
  • Paper Towels or Wet Wipes
  • Extra Plastic Containers for Leftovers

9. Decide if You’re Carpooling or Driving Individually

Once you have everything on a checklist and squared away, decide if you’re going to carpool to the location of if everyone is going to drive. This will be helpful to decide if you’re bringing everything yourself, or if you’ll have people help you.

10. Plan for Inclement Weather

You don’t want to be caught outside if the weather decides it’s not going to cooperate with you on your picnic. You should have either a backup plan or plan on bringing some type of tent that will at least protect your food and equipment if it rains.

11. Decide on Activities

If there is going to be kids at this picnic, decide if you’re going to provide outdoor activities to keep them entertained. If you plan to do so, you can ask the other adults attending if they have any games they could bring along as well.

12. Buy Ahead of Time

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy everything. You can purchase your paper products, picnic blanket, tablecloth, and nonperishable items ahead of time. This will also give you more time to pack in an organized manner and update your list as you go.

13. Do all of Your Main Shopping in One Trip

As the day of your picnic draws closer, try to do all of your main food shopping in one trip. This will aid in ensuring you don’t forget anything and have to go back a second time. Also, if you have everything on hand, you can pack it neatly and stay organized.

14. Precook Some of the Food the Night Before

You can boil the chicken, hotdogs, and brats the night before so once you get your picnic set up all you have to do is toss them on a grill and heat them up. This will save you a ton of cooking time, and ensure you can enjoy your picnic with your family and friends. You can also make your potato salad, cole slaw, and baked beans one or two days before the picnic and store them in your refrigerator.

15. Do a Final Check the Day Before

Once you think you have all of your supplies, and everyone knows the date, time, and place, go back and double check your picnic checklist so that you’re 100 percent sure you’re ready to go in the morning. This will help guarantee that there won’t be any last-minute surprises.

16. Get an Early Start

You should plan on being at the picnic spot at least a half of an hour to an hour before the scheduled start time. You want to give yourself plenty of time to set up, decorate, and get your area organized. This step will also give you one last chance to see if you’re missing anything and if you are you have time to fix it or call someone to pick something up.

Pulling off a fun outdoor activity is easy to do if you have the proper checklists and organizational skills. The goal is to go to the picnic and enjoy yourself as you watch people bond and catch up. A picnic is a fantastic opportunity to get out in the summer sun and reconnect with your family and your friends. If you follow this picnic checklist, you will have a recipe for a successful day.