With stay-at-home orders in place, I’m trying to think of fun things to do for date nights and with our kids missing all their friends and activities, I’m trying to make the little things we’re doing every day have special twists. For the kids, it doesn’t get much easier than taking our usual lunch out back for a home picnic. I’ve rounded up some inspirational images for both indoor and outdoor picnic spreads, which can easily go from kid-friendly to romantic with a change of menu and some lanterns.
Once the weather clears up and gets a little warmer we’re going to do a variation on one of our normal weekday lunches – pepperoni, cheese, crackers, fruit or veg – outside for a picnic. It’s basically Lunchables from the days of yore but we buy everything separately and add in some produce. Its our go-to meal on rushed days and for playdates because there’s no cooking involved. It’s easy to mix and match, and minimum mess to clean up. Perfect for little kids any day, but also a perfect setup for an easy home picnic!
Everyone’s situation is a little bit different right now. Isolating alone? Invite your neighbor for an appropriately socially distanced picnic across each others’ yards. Got roommates? Invite them. Looking for a creative date? It’s a little cool out yet for romantic evening picnic dates, but why not take a mid-day break for a picnic lunch date since you’re together?
I realize not everyone has a yard or park access right now, and even for those that do weather is hit or miss this time of year. How about a living room picnic? Or lay a rug on an apartment balcony? (I really tried to find pictures of an authentic balcony picnic, but all I came across were balconies as large as living rooms that look like Pier 1 catalogs. If you do this, I’d love to see pictures!)
On to the inspiration. Don’t you feel more relaxed just looking at this setup?Move an outdoor rug over to the grass (or balcony/living room) – and toss out some cushions and your impromptu out door living space is good to
go stay. A crate or little table for cups instead of a tray is a great idea so your drinks don’t get knocked over.
TIP: Lay a tarp or waterproof mat down under thin blanket, or use an indoor/outdoor rug for more inviting vibes.
We have a teepee like this – I’m thinking one day we can take it out for some shade, or to up the ante when regular picnics get a little stale. I was going to say sans-balloons, but maybe we will bring some out one of these days just to play with.
For food transport, there’s so many ways to mix it up to keep things interesting. An easy cutting board display isn’t too much of a step up from regular plates…
…or cute little individual baskets. Ours wouldn’t match like they did at this French themed kids party, though. How brilliant are those little croissants?
For a date set-up, I think we’ll step it up our home picnic game a notch with something more intentional – maybe a charcuterie display like this.
I like to envision it all like an escape to an English garden party – A parasol for the blinding sun, please, dear! And next, we’ll play croquet! In all likelihood though, ours will be far more practical, like this Tupperware scenario.
Here are some finds for blankets and “picnic rugs” (officially a thing, I love it) that are suitable for kids and adults alike. But the idea is just to get outside with everyone, and we might just throw different fabrics over a waterproof blanket to switch it up. Be well!
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