Since time immemorial, no romantic venture has been as well tried and tested or as well received as the humble picnic. Why? Because it’s an incredibly cheap way to charm the pants off the object of your affections, pardon the pun, and, depending upon the immediate environment, it really can hold its own with even the most expensive of alternatives.
But therein lies the rub. A picnic can be wonderful, but get the venue wrong, and it can be an utter disaster. Which is exactly why we’ve produced this guide: to help you avoid making the kind of decision that forges a one-way street to separation.
10 of the best picnic ideas
If you’re looking for a fun picnic venue, you can’t ever go wrong with these 10 best picnic picks!
#1 The beach. An absolutely classic option. You really will struggle to go wrong with a picnic on the beach. The sound of the sea, the sand, and hopefully the sunshine—all lead to picnic bliss. How much more romantic can it get? Just beware of sand in the sandwiches and pay attention to weather forecasts. [Read: Top 50 date ideas to wow and impress your date]
#2 Suburban park. As long as it’s in a nice spot, you can usually find one somewhere nearby, and a suburban park is an inexpensive and practical, but perfectly acceptable option. People-watching can provide a certain level of relief from conversation, if the talk is starting to dry up.
#3 In the hills. Up in the countryside, hidden away from prying eyes, rugged countryside environments will always prove a top trump on the picnic card. Perhaps, choose an area not quite so rural as to be risking bears and wild cats for a truly winning option.
#4 The backyard. A fun alternative to the usual options that involve a certain amount of travel, why not throw your travel blanket out back, prepare the immediate environment with candles and such, and treat your other half to a gourmet meal outside? Perfect.
#5 The riverside. Water is a winning factor in any appreciative endeavor involving the great outdoors, and is definitely the case when it comes to the riverside. This venue is extremely romantic and, if there are any scraps left, what better way to finish proceedings off than by feeding the ducks and fish?
#6 An historical site. Who cares what or where it is? An established historical site is always bound to come up with the winning numbers, especially if your other half has an intellectual side to them. Get online and look for your nearest place of historical interest—especially one that is also well-situated for natural features. Timelessly romantic. [Read: How to be cultured in an age obsessed with social media]
#7 At a festival. You need to make sure that the person is matched to the event on this one. However, a picnic on the outskirts of a music or arts festival can have its own very special charms.
#8 The bedroom. Want to take the level of romanticism up to the next level, maybe to a slightly more physical plane? Then how about taking it to the bedroom first? It has to be at the right stage in the relationship, but it can be a really charming way to prod on the evening’s proceedings.
#9 The hobbyist approach. If your other half has a particular interest or hobby they’re obsessed with, then why not treat them to a picnic with a theme? It could be as diverse as train-spotting or motor racing, but you’re sure to be able to find a way of including it that shows your other half exactly how much you’re willing to do for them. What could be more romantic than that?
#10 A former haunt. If there is somewhere that has special significance for you both, and it is practical to do, then a visit to that place could be a very romantic twist on an occasion that is already romantic—a surefire bull’s eye. [Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas that are definitely worth trying]
10 of the worst picnic ideas
These picnic spots are just wrong, and as much as you try to have fun here, chances are, your date will be more annoyed or distracted than feeling the love!
#1 Highway to hell. Picnics are usually associated with the great outdoors, but are rarely successful if incorporating a major highway. Between the grim view and asthma, this is an idea doomed from the start.
#2 Smelling distance. Do make sure you do your research first. Beautiful countryside is all well and good, but if it’s within a stone’s throw of a sewage plant, then you may get a very unwelcome surprise—especially on a sunny day!
#3 Wired. Overhead power lines suck. It’s official. Avoid them like the plague, or prepare to have your souls sucked out of you both by the constant hum and drone.
#4 The backyard. Yes, we’ve already covered this as a good venue for a picnic. Only when it’s well prepared and pimped up for the occasion, however. Sitting with a cucumber sandwich and glass of champagne in a heap of burned-out tires and old pizza boxes is unlikely to have the same effect. [Read: 7 date ideas that men love but women actually hate]
#5 The industrial approach. Much like #1, romance doesn’t normally include images of factory chimneys and belching smoke. Stay away from industrial sites, no matter what other draws that location may have.
#6 More than amour. Every town and city has its dedicated rural fumble spot, a place where cars are parked and the most dubious of activities take place. These areas are suited to a one-off act of disgrace, but certainly not a romantic hotspot. [Read: 33 awesome date ideas every couple needs to try at least once]
#7 Animaltastic. Stay away from wild animals. Nothing is more likely to spoil the mood than a herd of cattle running through and trampling your fine offerings!
#8 Urban decay. Suburban parks are the key… not run-down urban parks. No one wants to be looking longingly into the eyes of another whilst simultaneously trying to avoid being stabbed in a running gang fight. A definite no-no.
#9 To the mother ship. Your own backyard—fine, if done properly. Your own bedroom—great. Your mother’s place, however… desperate, silly, and juvenile. Not the message you want to be giving.
#10 Ex-interests. Somewhere—anywhere—you’ve taken an ex on a picnic should be ruled out at the beginning. It could be the most beautiful, romantic place on earth, but if your current partner ever found out that they actually came in second place, it will spell trouble.
[Read: 13 naughty date ideas to add a sexy sizzle to love]
It’s easy to get it right when planning a picnic date. Just follow our guide to make sure you avoid basic, schoolboy errors though.
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