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Going for a picnic has been an amusing pastime for many generations, as people love the idea of being able to soak up some sunshine and eat a meal at the same time! It likely started from a practical standpoint, with hunting parties or travelers who needed to take portable food with them on their journeys.

But now, National Picnic Day is here to show appreciation for this practice!

History of National Picnic Day

It seems that the word for picnic may have been derived from the French word “pique-nique”, which may have described something more elaborate involving a lot more drink and a lot less food. But the concept has evolved over time to simply describe an experience where food is enjoyed outside – and a nice bottle of wine can certainly be part of this!

Picnic baskets, picnic blankets, coolers and camping chairs might all be part of a picnic now. Add a football, a guitar or a hammock to relax in and the picnic can become an amazing event.

Whether simple or elaborate, including a seven course meal or just some sandwiches from a convenience store on a park bench during a lunch break from work, National Picnic Day is here to pay homage to the concept of this fun and unique departure from normal and boring eating.

National Picnic Day Timeline

14th Century

Medieval hunting feasts

One predecessor to the modern version of picnics is the medieval hunting parties that would stop and eat along the way.[1]


The Pic Nic Society is formed

A popular group of at least 200 fashionable Londoners, fans of everything French, form a society where extravagant picnics are held—with lots of wine. [2]


Famous picnic painting makes its debut

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, depicting picnic scenes near the water, is finished by Georges Seurat in the pointillist technique. [3]


First Congressional Picnic is held in the US

President Lyndon B. Johnson and wife Lady Bird host a picnic on the South Lawn of the White House for members of Congress, staff members and their families, which becomes an annual event.[4]

How to Celebrate National Picnic Day

Have the time of your life celebrating and enjoying National Picnic Day with some of these delightful ideas:

Go On a Picnic

The most obvious and sensible way to pay honor and respect to National Picnic Day is to pack up a basket or cooler, grab a blanket to sit on, and head out with some friends or family members for a picnic. It’s possible to go to the park, a local nature preserve, or even just the backyard, whatever is accessible and convenient. A little patch of green grass is all that is needed.

Struggling with rainy weather or a cold snap? Don’t let it get you down! Just adjust those expectations and lay that blanket out in the middle of the living room. Then have a picnic right inside the house. It’s possible to have fun and participate in National Picnic Day even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Get Some New Picnic Gear

Although it isn’t totally necessary as it is possible to sit on park benches or even at a picnic table, having a blanket or basket that is dedicated specifically to picnicking is a clever way to make it motivating to go on more picnics. Check out some of these supplies and gear that can help make a picnic even better:

  • Picnic Basket – Maybe it’s a brand new basket designed just for picnicking, with all of the pockets and containers that hold the flatware and plates. Or maybe it’s a large vintage wicker basket that is just waiting to be filled up, a lovely basket can be super inspiring when it comes to heading outdoors to enjoy a meal.
  • Picnic Blanket – When getting a blanket for sitting on the ground, it’s smart to choose a design that has a keen ability to hide spills and stains. Colorful plaid blankets are a traditional pattern that can hide all sorts of issues. Also, choose a blanket that is easily washable so it can quickly be thrown into the laundry and made ready for the next time a picnic is on the calendar.
  • Portable Hammocks – Some people who have a bit of extra time might like to pack a hammock or two for their picnic, allowing them to take a little swinging rest or even a nap following their delicious and tasty outside meal.

Organize a Community Picnic

National Picnic Day can act as an excellent excuse to get a group of people together to appreciate one another’s company and share some food outside. Perhaps this means arranging for a group of coworkers to take their lunch break outside on this day. Or maybe school teachers or parents will use the day as a time to enjoy a picnic on the playground with the students or kids.

Perhaps local community leaders would like to celebrate the event on a larger scale, arranging a band to perform live music at a local park and inviting families to bring their own picnics and participate. Picnics can offer a convenient and fun way to bring people together without a great deal of fuss!

Make That Picnic Eco-Friendly

Spending time outdoors and appreciating nature can be a great reminder that humans can do their part to take care of the earth. Making a picnic sustainable and eco-friendly is a perfect goal for appreciating National Picnic Day!

Instead of littering the planet with tons of plastic water bottles, have some reusable, refillable stainless-steel water bottles for each participant. (It may be best to avoid glass in nature parks as it can break and create a hazard).

Avoid plastic utensils or throwaway plates. Instead, go for some washable portable plates and utensils in bamboo, then take them home and wash them. Also, replace plastic bags or cling wrap with recyclable aluminum foil or reusable bees-wax wrap. Cloth napkins are a more eco-friendly option as well.

Pack foods that cut down on packaging, such as fruits – which conveniently come in their own natural wrappers. Choose local produce that supports eco-friendly practices. And when throwing leftover food away, don’t forget to compost those scraps!

Create a National Picnic Day Playlist

Picnics can be even more fun when accompanied by delightful music. Whether it’s songs that have the word picnic in the title, or just songs that go well with the theme, prepare for the day by creating a collection of songs with the picnic vibe. Get started by trying out some of these songs to add to a National Picnic Day Playlist:

  • Going on a Picnic by Raffi (1979)
  • Stoned Soul Picnic by The 5th Dimension (1968)
  • Picnic by The McGuire Sisters (1959)
  • Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues by Bob Dylan (1962)

National Picnic Day FAQs

What to bring on a picnic?

The packing list for a picnic includes a blanket, plates, glasses, utensils, napkins and lots of easy to eat food.

Where does the word picnic come from?

Many researchers think the word comes from the French “pique-nique” which was a light, informal meal where people would nibble food. [1]

Is picnic a verb or a noun?

The word ‘picnic’ can be used as either a verb or a noun! Someone can either picnic, or they can go on a picnic. [2]

Do picnics reset spawns?

In the world of Pokemon, the Picnic Reset Method can cause a new set to spawn. [3]

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