For anyone who knows me, you know I love to be outside as much as possible. And for anyone who lives in a city like Chicago that comes alive in the summer, you know that the whole town likes to be outside as much as possible. The city is alive!
That’s why my dear friend Janet Mandell from Fashion-a-holic and I decided to put together this stunning summer picnic! The idea actually started as a play date for our kids, and it ended up turning into a chic picnic. We thought that getting the kids together in the park, eating yummy food, and drinking rose sounded perfect for the kids AND moms! Doesn’t it sound wonderful?
Since we had such a great time and I think it came out fabulous, I wanted to share 5 tips on planning a summer picnic. Hopefully you can create something just as fun, fashionable and easy!
If you aren’t into DIY, Langham Hotel in Chicago now offers adorable handmade picnic baskets for their guests! Head over for a summer staycation with them and enjoy the chic picnic with all their help!
Of course you need good food! While some people might want to BBQ, we wanted things to be pretty and easy. Plus, we didn’t want to have to reserve a spot by a BBQ since those areas are crowded and not as safe for kids. We split the food up into fruit, cheese/meat plates, salads, sandwiches and desserts. We pulled from Pinterest and prepared fruit skewers and pretty cheese trays that added so much yumminess and beauty to our picnic.
Another obvious item for a picnic. If you’re involving alcohol, I think it’s always better to have too much than too little. We planned on 3/4 a bottle per person and split up the rose that way. We definitely had left over rose, but we could all bring it home. We also brought real decanters so it was more classy, and be sure to bring enough nice plastic glasses.
Since it was hot out, we made sure to have the cutest ice cooler from Home Goods full of water bottles, and different juices and sparkling waters for the kids. It would be fun to make homemade fruit popsicles, too!
I, of course, had to match the picnic theme. When dressing for a summer picnic or planning a summer picnic, I think it’s important as a host to look the part. I chose these plaid gingham separates from Zara and have to say it was perfect with a summer hat and some sandals! A maxi dress of any kind would be good, too. Remember you are sitting down a lot, so you want to be comfortable. I wouldn’t wear white either. Katya wanted to look stylish as well, and she had the cutest dress from our Caribbean cruises’ gift shop. She wore a fab hat from Lola and the Boys. How fun?
Shop a similar picnic outfit to mine!
Whether you have kids or just adults, bring activities. Set up hide and seek for the kids or a balloon toss. Bring simple things like chalk, balloons (the giant ones are fun), balls and games like corn hole or a Frisbee for adults. Games like cards or Go Fish can be played with all ages, so that’s fun too! We had our picnic by the park so the kids could play there too.
5. Styling & Set up
If you can, get there early to secure a spot with some shade. This will come in handy when it becomes 2 p.m. and everyone is hot and sun burnt. Bring plenty of sun screen, extra hats. For a pretty backdrop, bring lots of colorful blankets. We really love this patchwork one that so many of you asked me about. It’s also nice to have some outdoor pillows. It’s a chic, nice touch, I think, and takes your summer picnic to another level. We bought our picnic blankets, pillows and things like the baskets from Home Goods and World Market. Everything was so affordable and can be used again when planning a summer picnic for the future.
Janet and I had so much fun planning and styling this one. Can’t wait to do this again!
Photo credit Brian Ho @bho_biscuit
Video shot and edited by Madeline Doherty @madxphoto