Can You Picnic? A Quick Guide for Dining Al Fresco

Find a picturesque setting for your next picnic.

We are officially in gorgeous weather mode and that means endless opportunities to picnic! Be it beach, park or pavement there is always a reason to gather your crew and celebrate the great outdoors. And there’s no need to hire professionals to make it happen, because here’s a quick guide to help you make the most of it with the least amount of fuss.

Great food and live music elevate a picnic at the parking deck of Morris Museum.

The Occasion

It could be a concert, beach day, someone’s birthday, romantic date, leaf peeping or just because – the list goes on.

Picnic and a movie are perfect together.

The Gear

Here are some items to keep in the trunk of your car for when the mood strikes:

  • Big old blanket — one you won’t mind getting full of sand or dirt.
  • Folding camp chair: the kind you can get at the Dollar Store that comes with a handy sack to sling over your shoulder.
  • Outdoor table in a bag by Crate & Barrel: Simply brilliant and easy to set-up, also stored in a handy shoulder sling sack.
  • Lightweight food containers: those plastic take-out containers make for perfectly packaged food storage.
  • Wine opener – just in case.
  • Govino Go Anywhere Wine Glass: Chic and made of light-weight BPA-free polymer, they can be stored and transported in their own tidy square box.
  • Cloth or paper napkins
  • Disposable compostable plates and utensils: level it up with biodegradable palm leaf plates.
  • Tall kitchen trash bag: leave no trace!
  • Tote bag: to transport it all. You probably have a stash already in the trunk of your car for groceries.
  • A picnic that features savory and sweet has something for everyone.

The Eats

Whenever possible, go for utensil-free finger foods with the least amount of drip. Here’s some inspiration:

  • Sandwich and a bag of chips: Throw a stick up in the air, Montclair has some of the best sandwich spots around.
  • Cheese & Crackers: hard cheeses such as gruyere work best, but a gooey brie on a sturdy cracker or roll will also hold up. Van Hook has everything you need, including baguettes from Le French Dad.
  • Fresh and dried fruit.
  • County pate from Butler and the Board
  • Something sweet: A big tub of cookies would work just fine, but make it extra decadent with some incredible chocolate chip cookies or brownies from Vesta Chocolate, gorgeous French pastries from Jayce Baudry or a box of yummy doughnuts from Rabble Rise.

Just add friends and enjoy!


Mary Connolly is also known as “Marie Fromage”. Follow her in Instagram @MarieFromage

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