The crisp fall weather is the perfect time to enjoy some time outdoors. Melissa Green, the creative brain behind Picture Perfect Picnics, shares some of her expert pointers on how to plan the perfect outdoor picnic for your friends and family.

Here are some of her tips:


Ideal location is in a grassy area under large trees which will provide shade. You want to be comfortable and protect yourself from the sun as much as possible. If you plan to spend an afternoon at the park try to determine if your spot will remain shady for the entirety of the afternoon. Consider the activities you want to bring with as well: If you want to fly a kite be sure to pick a spot near a large, open field.


You want to be sure to be comfortable so that you can spend the entire afternoon outside! I gravitate toward large, soft blankets that offer a good amount of cushion. If you can swing it, be sure to bring a few throw pillows in as well. These are ideal for lying back and watching the clouds float by! Don’t forget the bug spray and sun screen. Keep everything dry and protected by putting a tarp or plastic shower curtain down between the ground and your blanket. For ants and other insects put baby powder on the ground – they absolutely despise baby powder!


Picnics are a great way to disconnect, which means non-electronic games and activities are essential. Be cognizant of the age groups in your party. For young children you could bring bubbles, children’s bingo, or a kickball. For the adult crowd bring books, magazines, playing cards, and if you are really ambitious croquet or other lawn games!


Pick simple, yet high quality food. Although food is an important piece to a picnic, it is a part of the overall experience. You don’t want to be fussing with melty chocolate instead of enjoying the company. Opt for finger foods that you can pick at. You can easily throw together a charcuterie board with a hard cheese such as Cheddar, a soft cheese like Brie, Prosciutto, dried fruit or fresh-seasonal fruit, and a fabulous bottle of wine or lemonade! Stop by your Farmers Market and local bakery for the freshest and best tasting food items. During the hotter months be sure to include plenty of water to keep everyone safely hydrated. If you are bringing your dog be sure to have water available for them as well. Don’t forget some bags for garbage and recycling.