Once in a while we all find ourselves romantically challenged when it comes to planning a date for a special someone. Dining out can end up costing a fortune and the cinema isn’t exactly conducive to staring into your partner’s eyes while whispering sweet nothings in their ear. If you want to spoil your date, why not pack a few gourmet snacks and have a romantic picnic at their favorite park, the beach, a secluded spot in a forest or by a lake?
Picnics are the perfect way to spend a day with your loved one, but just because it’s outdoors doesn’t mean you can skip the details. Picnics aren’t an easy way out of planning a romantic date, you should pay attention to the little things in order to make it special. A box of crackers, cheese and a beach towel simply won’t do when you’re trying to impress your date.
Here are 10 ideas for a romantic picnic that is guaranteed to impress:
#1. Location, location, location
As with real estate, location is key when planning a romantic picnic date. Think about what your intentions are. For example, if you want to get to know the person better you’ll want to have a conversation so you’ll want to pick someplace quiet. If you already know each other and simply want to relax while spending the day outdoors, a public park or beach might be the best option. If you want to go all out on the romance for an anniversary or you’re planning on popping the question, opt for a private spot at a lookout point, a rooftop or a secluded beach. Make sure you plan your picnic around sunset for added romance.
#2. Theme it up
Think movies like the Great Gatsby and Alice in Wonderland, or glean some inspiration from exotic countries like Morocco. What could be more romantic than dressing up in a classic linen suit and sipping champagne on the beach while admiring the scenery, as well as your date? If you like whimsy and fantasy, go for a bright, colorful tea party picnic, complete with giant cups, like Alice in Wonderland. Alternatively, you can have a Moroccan inspired feast on a printed blanket throw and a couple of lanterns. This theme is more suited to sunset picnics.
Make sure you have everything you need for an unforgettable romantic picnic. Get a comfortable, waterproof or lined blanket that is large enough for two. Nothing will ruin the mood more than damp from the grass seeping through the blanket. If you’re on a tight budget, take a simple plastic sheet to act as a moisture barrier underneath the blanket. If you’re planning to be out in the sun, remember to pack an umbrella and sunscreen. Remember the wet wipes if you are going to eat with your hands.
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a few sodas if you’re just planning a quick picnic followed by a hike or swim afterwards. However, if you’re going the extra mile with the food and décor, why not make fruit infused iced tea, lemon and ginger water or lemonade? Pack wine or champagne for an extra special occasion. When you’re outdoors, grass, bugs and all sorts of foreign objects always seem to find a way into your glass, so make sure your cups can be sealed. You don’t want a mouthful of midge-flavored wine. Also don’t forget the ice bricks to keep your wine chilled.
Your options are unlimited when it comes to picnic food, especially with the rising popularity of mason jar meals. Almost anything can be tweaked to fit in a mason jar. Start off with some marinated olives, crackers and an assortment of artisanal cheeses, fruit, hummus dip and veggie sticks. You could keep it simple by packing a French loaf with butter and different cold meats or buy a couple of mini-wraps and experiment with different fillings for your main meal.
Mason jar desserts are becoming more and more popular. If you’re stuck on ideas, have a look on Pinterest for mouth-watering dessert recipes that you can easily make in a mason jar and transport without ruining it. There are all sorts of delectable treats to choose from, think apple custard pie, cheesecakes, chocolate pudding, key lime pie or even various kinds of cupcake-inspired jars. Decorate with a colorful ribbon and a cute handwritten note for your sweetheart.
Unless you’re having a themed picnic and you have to dress the part, less is more when it comes to eating finger foods on a blanket on the ground. Avoid excessive layers or tight clothing as these will make you feel restricted when trying to sit cross-legged or with your legs folded. Opt for comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows freedom of movement and that suits the environment. For example, if you’re planning on going to the beach, a bikini and tunic is your best bet.
Music can really set the tone for the perfect picnic date – all you need is a portable speaker and a mp3 player or smartphone. If this is a first-date picnic, create a playlist with contemporary, easy-listening tunes to play in the background or, if you know each other well enough, make a compilation of your favorite songs.
No picnic is complete without a game or two. Pick something that both of you can enjoy, for example: flying a kite together, croquet and other lawn games. If you’re planning a beach, mountain or forest picnic, make sure you pack some hiking and swimming gear to explore your surroundings.
If this is a first date and you want to make a good impression, give your date some flowers, chocolate or a custom made cupcake to take home after your picnic. If you’ve been going out for a while and know each other’s tastes, give a personalized gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be special.