These Adorable Picnic Date Ideas Are Perfect for Friends, Dates, and More

Rayna Skiver - Author

Jul. 28 2023, Published 11:24 a.m. ET

Four friends having a picnic in an open field during a sunset
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International Friendship Day falls on July 30 every year, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by hosting a fun picnic with all of your closest friends. Spending time in nature is always enjoyable, but it’s even more special when it’s with your loved ones.

The best thing about picnics is that you can tailor them to fit your exact wants and needs — don’t be afraid to think outside the box. To kickstart your planning, check out these 10 exciting picnic date ideas.

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Embrace your creative side with a coloring picnic date.

Canvas, easel, and painting supplies on the grass
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If you have a bunch of artists in your friend group, then this coloring picnic date is a must. Coloring is an awesome way to kick back and relax, even if you’re not an expert. You can print outlines, or you can completely freestyle — everything’s up to you.

Don’t forget painting, sketching, and collaging are always options too. To make things more interesting, you could try a paint-by-number kit, host a drawing competition, or exchange pictures. It’s time to work those creative muscles.

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Try a crochet picnic date.

Chances are, if you’re crafty, you probably have a few craft-loving friends as well. Crocheting is typically a quiet, solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. A picnic could be the perfect opportunity for fellow crocheters to hang out, finish a few projects, start something new, share ideas, and get inspired.

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Sharing supplies or creating a joint project can be a nice way to switch things up too. If someone in the group doesn’t know how to crochet, this could be a great time to teach them. Don’t forget to take snack breaks!

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Host a classic picnic in the park.

Location is key. In fact, a good picnic location can even make up for mediocre activities or food. Instead of splurging on a gourmet spread or an abundance of outdoor entertainment, use your resources to host the picnic at an awesome park.

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Remember, you don’t have to go to your local park — you can venture out to any state or even national parks nearby. Exploring somewhere is a lot of fun, not to mention a great way to transform your classic date idea into something fresh and exciting. You’ll also get some bonding time in on the commute there.

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You can’t beat a summer beach picnic.

There are two kinds of people at the beach: Those who just want to relax and those who want to engage in every water-related activity possible. Luckily, a picnic allows both. While some friends are off swimming or catching the waves, others can unwind onshore while enjoying an ice-cold drink.

Before heading to the beach, stop by your local farmers market to pick up some fresh produce and other special treats. You never know what you’ll find at the market— you could score a delicious iced latte or baked goods.

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Friendly competition is welcome at this game night-themed picnic.

A little competition is healthy every now and then, especially between friends. For the more athletically gifted, it might be best to host your picnic at a park with plenty of different nets, hoops, and courts — this will definitely keep everyone entertained.

You can also go the more classic route and bring games like Uno, Monopoly, Sorry, Mancala, Scrabble, or Jenga. If you don’t own any board games, you can borrow them from your local library or check the thrift stores near you.

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Give your guests a challenge by hosting a themed picnic with a dress code.

Obsessing over the same show or movie is one of the best ways to bond with your friends. And if you’re looking to add an entertaining element to the picnic, a themed picnic with a fun dress code is an amazing way to do so.

Everyone can come dressed as their favorite character, and the group could even vote for the most impressive outfit. Your picnic could also double as a watch party for newly released episodes.

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Plan a garden picnic and live out your fairytale dreams.

Are you lucky enough to have a community garden near you? If so, it’s time to take advantage of your good fortune. For those with whimsical ideas and fantasies, hosting a picnic in a lush garden is totally fitting.

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Not only can you have your picnic in a fairytale-like location, but you also incorporate the magic into your menu. This could mean putting together a few witty selections — such as using peeled oranges and celery to create “Cinderella’s pumpkins” — or simply whipping up bright-colored dishes.

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Turn your regular book club meeting into a picnic.

There’s nothing wrong with hosting your monthly book club in your living room, but a change of scenery can work wonders. In addition to the reading material, everyone can bring a dish inspired by the book. Not only does this generate a nice variety of food, but it’s also an awesome way to learn more about each person’s view of the book.

You don’t need to have a book club in order to go on a bookish picnic date though. If your friend group is full of bookworms, you can always just meet up, eat some snacks, and read together.

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Who doesn’t love snacks and stargazing? Try a nighttime picnic.

If you’re tired of the same old daytime picnics, try hosting one under the stars instead. This can make for a really memorable and unique experience for both you and your friends. You could even whip up a couple of celestial-themed snacks and drinks.

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Be sure to check the weather before your nighttime picnic — clear skies are ideal for viewing bright stars and faraway galaxies. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a full moon or a special celestial event. Actually, on July 30, 2023, aka International Friendship Day, nighttime picnic attendees might be able to see the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower, according to Travel + Leisure.

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If all else fails, an indoor picnic is still fun.

Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, and that’s okay, as long as you don’t let it ruin your big day! Sure, having an indoor picnic doesn’t quite have the same appeal as an outdoor one, but it does give you the chance to make the date a bit fancier.

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Since it’s indoors, you can put more energy into decorating the table and creating a dazzling experience for your guests. Every little touch matters — you can make place cards, write out a short menu, add some locally-grown flowers to the table, and use your best glassware. By the end of the night, your friends will forget all about the gloomy weather.

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