Even without using themes or planning some picnic games, a picnic is always going to be a wonderful time. You’ve got the sun shining, you’re with the people you love, and you’re eating great food. What could be better?
But especially if you’re planning a picnic with children or want to impress a group of friends, using the picnic games and themes below is the perfect way to do it.
Fun and Creative Picnic Themes
Even if you don’t want to go all-out with the planning, you can plan a fun, themed picnic easily. Just assign a color for everyone to wear, whether it be all white, all red, black and white, etc. (including picnic blankets of the assigned color completes the look). The full gazebo in the photo above looks great, but this simple theme is also fun for a more casual picnic.
Live close to a great beach? Then plan an afternoon of great food and playing in the water. Bring a volleyball and nets and set up teams for beach volley. Or bring boogie boards and splash in the waves. Or plan a sand-castle building contest, and break your guests up into teams. The beach is an entire playground! So the sky’s the limit when it comes to the picnic games you can play.
This is a really fun picnic theme for kids! Have everybody dress is safari themed clothing, and go on a nature tour around your picnic site. Watch birds and animals, capture bugs and butterflies, and catalog plants and flowers. Just make sure everyone has good shoes on, and bring along a pair of binoculars. This picnic game is both fun and educational. You can even set up a “nature scavenger hunt” if you want to!
If you’ve ever read an old Victorian novel, you know that picnics arrived at the height of their popularity during Queen Victoria’s reign. Want to go all out? Plan a Victorian picnic. Ask everyone to dress in Victorian costume, and choose foods like lobster tails, cold poached chicken, etc., for the main meal. Finish up with a few bottles of cold champagne served with a fresh fruit and custard trifle and a game of croquet. Definitely a picnic theme for bigger budgets!
Just because you’re not parked in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris doesn’t mean you can’t have a Parisian picnic. This picnic theme makes the perfect romantic picnic. Just bring a candle and fill your basket up with French cheeses, a baguette, fresh fruit, and plenty of French wine. Enjoy!
This picnic idea is all about picnic games. Tell your guests to bring along any game they might want to play, and spend the whole day laughing and being silly. Some good suggestions are: frisbees, bubbles, kites, remote control airplanes, footballs, beach balls, volleyball sets, etc. Kids will love this one!
Want to pretend you’re at a luau? The only thing we don’t suggest is roasting a pig on a stick. Otherwise, go nuts! Decorate the area with tikki torches, give every guest a lei, and feast on roasted Kalua pork, taro cakes, and chantilly cake for dessert. Then play some fun picnic games, like the limbo.
Squirt guns, sprinklers, splash pools, and bucketloads of water balloons. Be sure to bring your swimsuit! Or just watch the kids and try to avoid getting wet.
Have a creative group of friends? Celebrate it with a “concert picnic.” Have the guests bring their instruments and ask everybody to play a round. Everybody at the picnic will feel like they’re being serenaded.
When you think of the 1950’s you think of good-natured, wholesome fun. Like picnics! You can easily do a 1950’s themed picnic on a small budget. Have everybody dress in costume, and serve simple American fare like fruit salad, sandwiches, cole slaw, stuffed celery, deviled eggs, stuffed tomatoes, and apple pie.
Now, it doesn’t matter what you wear to this, or what picnic games you play. It’s all about the food! Check out our Italian picnic page for the perfect Italian picnic menu (coming soon!).
Another picnic theme idea that’s all about the food. Serve up big pitchers of sangria with plates of jamón and cheese, pa amb tomaquet (crusty bread rubbed with tomatoes and olive oil), olives, green salads, and cold tapas. Serve it all with plenty of gazpacho and fresh fruit.
A scavenger hunt is a natural choice for a picnic game. Seperate your guests into teams, have them hunt for things they’ll find at your picnic spot, and set aside a prize –say, a pie to take home– to the winning team.
I’ve been to a couple of these parties, and they’re just about the most fun I’ve ever had. Have everybody who’s invited come in the oldest, crappiest clothes they have lying around the house. Make the costumes into a picnic game, and give a prize for the person with the best “white trash” look. The prizes should be things nobody would want: used combs, old pairs of socks, bad old vinyl records, etc.
In the invitation, specify that you’ll be doing a gift exchange, where everybody brings a wrapped gift of things from their home nobody would ever want to use, like mostly-empty bottles of wine, half-crushed lamp shades, etc. While it may not be the best gift exchange your guests have ever done, it will be the funnest. Serve it all up with your best white trash food and cold cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon or Old Milwaukee.