Planning the Perfect Picnic

Planning the Perfect Picnic for an Outdoor Concert or Play

A picnic dinner for a summer symphony performance or theater in the park calls for something a little more special than a sandwich and some potato chips.  With a little creativity, you can put together a tasty and elegant meal to wow your friends and incite the envy of other audience members.  Follow these simple steps to create the ultimate upscale picnic.

Beautiful Picnic Setting

Let Life Imitate Art

Tailor your menu to the performance.  Under the Tuscan Sun outdoor movie night might inspire an Italian themed picnic, an evening of cool jazz could be accompanied by classic American fare with an upscale twist. A few well-chosen accessories and a good color scheme will add style to your party.

Keep Your Cool

Bring a big thermos of a blended frozen drink.  Lemonade blended with ice and frozen strawberries poured out and topped with a splash of prosecco (or premixed with vodka) will cool everyone off and set the tone for the evening.  Serve the guests as they arrive, while you get your spot set up.  Use plastic champagne flutes or cups with festive swizzle sticks for a little extra style.  If you plan to serve white wine or beer with dinner, chill it thoroughly in your fridge at home for at least 24 hours before the event and keep it on ice until you pour.

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

Focus on bite-sized foods before the show starts.  Hors d’oeuvres on toothpicks may be passé for a party at home, but will be much appreciated when your guests are juggling a drink in one hand and socializing before curtain time. Consider a caprese salad of buffalo mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves pre-made on toothpicks and drizzled with a little balsamic and olive oil as you set out the platter.  Olives or spiced nuts are another good option for pre-show nibbles.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Offer an entrée that your guests can customize to their taste.  Basics like grilled meats or veggies cut into bite sized pieces can be served with a cold pasta dish, such as cold noodles with an Asian-style peanut sauce.  Alternatively, bring a mason jar half full of undressed salad greens for each guest and provide an assortment of toppings.  Choose flavors that would all go together if your guests take a little of everything.  An earthy array of grilled steak cut in bite size pieces, roasted beets, toasted pecans, and chilled farro tossed in balsamic dressing and accompanied by crumbled bleu cheese offers menu options for many dietary needs.

Outdoor picnic scene

All’s Well that Ends Well 

For an indulgent dessert, pre-make individual brownie sundaes in disposable cups, layering brownie and premium ice cream and re-freezing. Carefully pack in the bottom of your cooler (well wrapped against moisture and buried in ice).  At the end of intermission, top with fudge sauce and a dollop of whipped cream for a sweet second-act treat.  For a lighter version, portion out fruit sorbet instead and serve with bite sized shortbread.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Don’t forget lots of napkins, extra cutlery, plenty of chilled bottled water and (rather unsophisticated, but necessary) bug spray.  Your guests will likely be more comfortable on beach chairs than sitting on the ground for a long performance, so bring chairs (or ask everyone to bring their own).  A flashlight might be helpful when you are gathering up your belongings after the show.

With a little preparation and imagination, you can easily create a memorable meal that your guests will enjoy as much as the performance.

 

About Jane

Hi I’m Jane!
A television host by day and a creative maker my entire life. I spend most moments of the day thinking about what I am going to make next, whether it be in the craft room or kitchen, I always have the urge to create.

My favorite things include fitness, fashion and food and my goal is to spread love everywhere I go. Yellow is my signature color because it always makes you smile, and I love to turn the camera on you to showcase your creative genius!

At JaneClauss.com you will find projects that anyone can make from beginners to experts. I share step by step tutorials and videos to get your creative juices flowing! I am also peeling back the curtain on other creative makers to showcase what makes them tick!

I always say Happiness is Handmade. So spend an hour a day with me and then go do whatever else you want, I promise you’ll feel better for doing so. I am so HAPPY you are here!

Sign Up!

4th of July footwear!! 🇺🇸
God Bless the USA. 
❤️🤍💙❤️🤍💙❤️🤍💙
40 8
I’m ecstatic in this picture, really! 💙💙💙💙 just a quick selfie between live shots for @sewingmachinesplusdotcom “Hoop Fest” event this week! 
Broadcasting 7 hours straight every day… and a contest to see how many times I change my shirt! 👚👕🎽👗
So far it’s upwards of … oh wait, I can’t tell you yet, it’s a contest!! 🔢 but I’ll give you a hint, I have a lot of clothes! One winner gets a sewing machine!
67 4
Super honored and excited to be a guest host for Chicago’s annual Greek Parade on Halsted Street! The parade kicks off at 2:30pm.  Everyone is welcome so join us to celebrate and submerge yourself in Greek culture 🇬🇷💙🇬🇷
66 7
HAPPY 100th Anniversary to the legendary @wgnradio  The radio station was always playing at my house growing up… mom would listen every night on her transistor radio when she was sewing or doing laundry… and Dad always had it tuned-in in the car. There was never a day that we weren’t listening to the personalities that made it so great. 
And then to actually be on the air at WGN 720 was always so surreal to me. 
I am honored and blessed to have been a very very small part of 100 years. 💙💙💙 To those who made it happen, thank you.  Long live radio!!
72 3
Well hello there you! ☀️☀️☀️
95 5
There is still time to whip up a festive Derby Day fascinator for the race this afternoon! And all you need is a plastic lid from a container, hot glue and fabric scraps.  Click on my bio for a quick tutorial! 🏇🏇🏇🏇
53 3

COPYRIGHT 2022 JANECLAUSS.COM

IF YOU WANT TO USE ANYTHING GET IN TOUCH WOULD LOVE TO SHARE WITH YOU!

Happiness is handmade at JaneClauss.com so consider this your home for creative inspiration featuring must have DIY projects, bing worthy tv, and ideas to improve your life thru creativity. Jane shares how to spark joy with the latest in food, fashion, home decor, gifts, crafts and more.

Home

Make This

Shop

Listen

Watch

Shop

Jane’s Favs

Work with Jane

Brand Reels

Sign Up!