13 Picnic Essentials to Elevate Your Outdoor Dining Experience
In addition to good company, there are a few things you need in order to plan the perfect picnic. With good weather and plenty of sunshine on your side, as well as a meal that was designed to be both crowd-pleasing and easy to transport, all thats left for you to do is grab a few essentials to further ensure your picnic goes off without a hitch. What do you need? Here, we're sharing the products that make for trouble-free outdoor eating—whether in a park or your own backyard—which means you can focus more on having a good time with your loved ones and less on any problems that might arise.
When it comes to planning your outdoor excursion, there are so many items that will not only elevate your experience, but will also make things easier logistically. One of the most important aspects of any picnic, besides the food, is the basket. A classic option, like the one pictured here ($54, peterborobasket.com), should be filled with warm-weather treats and environmentally-friendly utensils for easy dining and cleanup. If you want a basket that comes fully stocked, we also have a pick that comes complete with a dining set for two. As for the food itself, stash your picnic fare in some of our favorite containers, which help you keep your food fresh and safe in transit.
Whatever you do, don't confuse the idea of eating an outdoor meal with roughing it. There's no reason why you can't be comfortable throughout your picnic, and we have product picks that will help make your open-air meal that much more enjoyable. From picnic essentials like stylish blankets to spread out on or elevated glasses that are durable enough for repeated use, it's important to grab a few items that make your outdoor experience even better. But a picnic isn't all about the food or lounging in the sun. No afternoon outdoors is complete without a little entertainment—you'll love playing laid-back games with your friends and family.
Food Storage-on-Ice Container
Ensure your dippable foods stay separated and chilled at the same time. Your picnic fare will stay fresh and organized with this essential.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection "Americana" Round Food Storage-on-Ice Container, $32.82, macys.com.
Woven Picnic Basket
Stash your must-haves in an easy-to-carry picnic basket like this woven one, which comes with two porcelain plates, wine glasses, linen napkins, and a stainless-steel waiter-style corkscrew for you and your picnicking partner.
Shop Now: Pottery Barn Classic Woven Picnic Basket Set for Two, $89.50, potterybarn.com.
Stainless Steel Thermos
Keeping your picnic blanket free of spills is a must, and it doesn't have to be a challenge. Simply twist the lid on this portable thermos to keep items warm and secure until you're ready to serve.
Shop Now: Thermos Stainless Steel "King Vacuum" Insulated Food Jar, 47 ounces, $39.99, target.com.
Canvas Chess and Checkers Set
Let the games begin. This set's canvas material makes it perfect for the outdoors. And, everyone—even the kids—will stay entertained all excursion long.
Shop Now: Pendleton Chess and Checkers Set, $35, pendleton-usa.com.
Picnic Knife with Corkscrew
From slicing cheese to popping corks, this handy tool is an essential you need packed in your basket. When not in use, the blade and corkscrew return safely into its wooden handle.
Shop Now: Canoe "Opinel" Picnic Knife with Corkscrew, $35, canoe.design.
Acrylic Stemless Wine Glass
Every picnic basket needs a few stemless wine glasses—if you choose options that won't easily break, that's even better. These are sturdy yet chic.
Shop Now: Crate and Barrel Acrylic Stemless Wine Glass, $3.16, crateandbarrel.com.
Striped Outdoor Blanket
A picnic wouldn't be complete without a comfortable blanket to relax on. This one in particular features a nautical-inspired stripe and a tassel edge for style and function. Plus, it comes with an easy-to-carry strap.
Shop Now: The White Company "Morella" Outdoor Blanket, $75, thewhitecompany.com.
Bamboo Dining Sets
Pass on plastic and opt for eco-friendly utensils for your picnic. This bamboo dining set will do the trick. Post-picnic, you can even throw the plates and cutlery in with your compost.
Shop Now: Bambu "Veneerware" Bamboo Knife, Fork, Spoon Sets, $10, bambuhome.com.
Stainless Steel Cooking Set
If you choose to cook at your picnic locale, you'll need a few packable essentials. This 11-piece cookware set offers a saucepan, cooking utensils, a pot, and more to craft an awe-worthy feast on the go.
Shop Now: Stanley Adventure Even-Heat Camp Pro Cook Set, $140, stanley-pmi.com.
Airtight Food Storage Jars
Pack everything from pickles to potato salads in these airtight glass jars for sturdy storage. With bail-and-seal closures, food stays in mint condition until it's time to eat.
Shop Now: Container Store "Le Parfait" French Hermetic Glass Terrines, from $5.99, containerstore.com.
Napkins are a picnic must-have, but paper isn't your only option. We like this linen iteration, which is more eco-friendly, durable, and stylish than their disposable counterparts.
Shop Now: Shop Fog Linen "Jenn" Cloth Napkin, $14, shop-foglinen.com.
Nesting Food Storage Containers
Skip the disposable bags and pack your meal in reusable containers. These melamine nesting food storage containers come in three different patterns and sizes with sealable lids to keep your food fresh.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection "Garden Party" Melamine Nesting Food Storage Containers with Lids, set of three, $46, macys.com.