4 Picnic Ideas: From Day Drunk to After Dark

published May 30, 2015
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There’s no wrong way to picnic, so here are four very right ways to go about dining out-of-doors. From the Fancy Pants Tea Party-Style Picnic to the Adults-Only Midnight Picnic Jamboree, and from the Classy Drunk to the Everything-Free Feast, there’s a style for every picnicker…

Do Day Drinking Right
Of course Apartment Therapy does not condone outdoor alcohol consumption where prohibited… but if you’re going to spike your picnic, do it with style. Head up the Drink Committee, bring any or all of these, and you’ll be the hero of the picnic!

  1. Stanley Shot Glass Set, Urban Outfitters, $26
  2. Acrylic Wine Glass, Zara, $7.90
  3. Le Creuset Wine Cooler Sleeve, Williams & Sonoma, $11
  4. Stemless Shatterproof Wine Glasses, CB2, $12.95/set of 4
  5. Vapur Wine Carrier, CB2, $11.95

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Civilized (And Maybe Even A Little Fancy)
Paper plates, cups, and cutlery seem like the most boring possible things to offer to bring to a picnic, and you do not want to be the most boring person at the picnic— though you would like to avoid eating out of the serving bowl with your hands and passing around a communal bottle of wine. This is a picnic, not camping, and it should be treated with respect. Cut the crusts off your PB&Js, sip booze from a pretty, pretty cup instead of a bag-wrapped bottle, and hold your pinkies high!

  1. Ombre Plates and Cups, Oh Happy Day Shop!, $4.95-$5.95/set of 8
  2. Heart Part Cutlery, Oh Happy Day Shop!, $9.95
  3. Paper Cups, Napkins, and Plates, H&M, $2.95-$3.95/set of 10
  4. Sommar Paper Plates, IKEA, $1.40/set of 10
  5. Fancy Wooden Utensils, Sweet Lulu, $9/8 place settings

Picnic Lionel Ritchie Style: All Night Long
One of the saddest things about being a grownup is that you often have to work during the most glorious, made-for-picnics hours of the day. But it also means that you’re allowed to stay out after dark, so gather your friends for a dusk/twilight/sunset/late-night picnic and stay up as long as you like. Bonus: you’ll probably have the place to yourself.

  1. LED Lantern, Target, $9.99
  2. Solar Lantern, Urban Outfitters, $25
  3. Light-Up LED Wine Glass, Amazon, $9.99
  4. Glow-in-the-dark Playing Cards, Forever 21, $6.99
  5. Aerobie Skylighter Disc, Amazon, $12.70 (they still make Aerobies!)

The All-Inclusive Picnic: Dietary Restriction-Friendly Recipes
The best picnics I’ve been to always seemed like serendipitous hodge-podge of food and friends: perhaps three of us made sandwiches and dessert to enjoy in the park, but then we ran into another friend who happened to have just bought a bottle of wine, and then a former coworker from the bakery wanders by with a box of leftover cupcakes and joins the fun. My point is, picnics are uniquely suited to the Come One, Come All spirit, so packing vegan, gluten-free, and/or/nut-free dishes means that there’s something for everyone. These recipes from The Kitchn are the perfect place to start.

  1. Vegan/Gluten-Free: Lemony Eggless Egg Salad
  2. Vegetarian: Chickpea of the Sea Sandwich
  3. Vegan: Curried Tofu Salad
  4. Vegan: Veggie Nori Rolls
  5. Vegan: Vegan Cashew Cheese (for crudite or nachos!)
  6. Vegan/Gluten-Free/Nut-Free: White Bean Artichoke Dip (be sure to use gluten-free and nut-free ingredients and crackers)
  7. Gluten-Free: Cottage Cheese Muffins with Roasted Red Pepper and Feta
  8. Gluten-Free/Vegan: No-Bake Sunflower Oat Bars
  9. Gluten-Free/Vegan: Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  10. Gluten-Free/Nut-Free/Vegan: No-Bake Coconut Snowballs