Picnic basket in nature

Picnic Baskets & Things: Essentials for Al Fresco Dining

Summer is almost here, and that means it’s a great time to start thinking about spending all the time outdoors that you can. Why not plan a picnic for your next date or family day? We took a look at everything you need to get started, so all you’ll need is the menu.

Baskets and Bags

If you’re going on a picnic, you need something to put all your goodies in. The basket is the iconic symbol of outdoor dining, but there are more options than typical wicker these days. Here are a few different categories of carry-alls, with our favorites to buy in each.

Picnic Baskets

Picnic Time Country Picnic Basket 

picnic time picnic basket with gingham linerYou might feel like you’re channeling Dorothy with this one, but it’s a super cute and very functional basket nonetheless. It even has a gingham liner to complete the feel.

This basket is nicely sized (it measures 17-1/4 x 13-1/2  x 8-1/4″) and has a dual-entry lid for easy packing and access.

See the current price here.

Want another option? Check out Gracie’s Goods Extra Large Basket: it’s large capacity, dual-entry, and made of wicker.

Picnic Backpack

Kitchen Supreme Picnic Backpack

The modern version of the picnic basket is the picnic backpack, and this one from Kitchen Supreme is the top seller on Amazon and it has great reviews. It features a space for everything from cutlery to wine glasses, and it has side compartments that hold the included blanket and a (not included) bottle of wine.

This particular backpack includes place settings for four, which is fairly typical of the picnic backpack in general.

See the current price here

Other picnic backpacks to consider:

Insulated Bags

Insulated bags are becoming increasingly popular for picnics, and they are especially nice because they have many uses beyond picnicking — they often work well as shopping bags, too.

There are a few great options available online, including:

Yodo Collapsible Soft Cooler Bag
YAPA Extra Large Insulated Picnic Basket


Sure, any blanket will do, but regular picnickers might want to pick up a dedicated blanket for outdoor dining. There are plenty of options, of course, with different materials and looks available. Here are a few of our picks.

Wild in Bloom wool blanket
Von Shef fleece blanket
Scuddles waterproof blanket

Inside the Basket

This Picnic Time set has nearly everything you need

One of the easiest ways to obtain everything you need for a picnic is to buy a picnic set (like the backpack I talked about, or the photo above). However, if you are going for a basket or already have a bag you’re using, here’s a list of things you’ll probably want to have:

  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Glasses
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Wine Opener
  • Ice Packs

Disposable items are fine, but if you plan to picnic more often, it’s definitely worth it to invest in some items for your picnic basket. Consider melamine plates, which are inexpensive and fairly sturdy, silicone wine glasses, and reusable utensils. All of these items can also be used for camping and other summertime fun.

What You’ll Need for A Picnic

Now that you have some ideas for what you need to get started, here’s a handy checklist to help you prepare for your next picnic.

Food Ideas

Now comes the fun part: Planning the menu and preparing some delicious foods. Sandwiches, pasta salad, cold fried chicken, and fruit are all common basket items.

Check out this great list of picnic recipes on Buzzfeed and this one from Woman’s Day.

And don’t forget the wine and cheese!

Fun and Games

Unless you’re planning on a quiet, romantic picnic for two, you might want to plan out some activities. This can be anything from hide and seek to throwing a Frisbee. Here are a few other ideas.

Picnic setup



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