A Mess Free Life may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
Summer picnics get all the attention, but as a cold weather, fall loving gal; I’ll take a fall picnic any day!
The cooler days, fewer bugs, not to mention the incredible scenery, lends itself to eating outdoors with friends and family.
My favorite fall picnic involves tailgating and a football game anywhere where it’s cool outside. I’ve enjoyed many a tailgating party watching my beloved New England Patriots.
One year, we set up a huge TV in my neighbor’s yard and had a fall picnic/tailgating party right in his back yard while we cheered on our favorite team.
Table of Contents
GET READY TO HOST AN AMAZING FALL PICNIC
Picnics don’t have to be complicated. It takes just a short to-do list to create a memorable and fun fall picnic experience.
Remember these 10 points when thinking about your fall picnic:
- Apples and apple cider (more on that below).
- Hearty easy to package sandwiches.
- Freshly baked bread with your favorite sharp cheddar cheese, grapes, local apples (see how important they are), pears, and applesauce
- A thermos with warm things to drink – think cider, cinnamon sticks, and whiskey for the adults!
- Cozy blankets
- Floor pillows
- A beautiful and sturdy American-made picnic basket.
- An “unplugged” activity – bring an instrument, checkers, sketchbook, favorite book, football, etc.
- Your favorite people.
- The perfect spot.
Just take the time to be creative in each of these areas, and you can create the perfect fall picnic.
Need some recipe inspiration? Check out these recipes!
But let’s get a bit more detailed so you can up your game and impress your friends and family.
1. RUMMAGE AROUND FOR YOUR GEAR
You probably have all sorts of containers on hand to help organize your fall family picnic. Here’re a few ideas:
- Baskets: We all have more than we want to admit, but they’re cheap, lightweight and super easy to carry. Great for lugging your picnic supplies.
- Wire Baskets or Totes: These are great for putting like items together in one spot. For example, a wire basket might be a great container to hold plates. Get creative on how you’ll use them.
- Cutting Boards: You might not have anything to cut, but they make useful serving trays.
- Jars: You can either use them for drinking like with a small mason jar, or use a larger mason jar for utensils.
2. START WITH APPLES
Nothing says fall better than apples. The day before your scheduled picnic, pick your apples so you’ll have what you need on hand to infuse your picnic. You’ll be able to use those apples in everything from sides to desserts, not to mention freshly squeezed apple cider to drink.
The thinner blankets can be thrown over picnic tables while your heavy blankets will be great for spreading on the ground or cuddling up together on the beach. Bring as many as you’ll need. Worried about getting them wet or dirty? Use garbage bags to line the ground before placing your blanket. When you’re picnic is over, use the garbage bags for waste.
4. PORTION AND PACKAGE
Before you head out the door, portion and package the food into the brown paper food baskets that food trucks use. This will work well if you’re serving a sandwich, chips, and dessert. The food baskets will hold all of it without the food falling over the edge.
If you’re not serving sandwiches, you can still use this portion and package idea by making portions sized bags of snacks. Use lunch bags and fill with individual snacks of chips, popcorn, pretzels or whatever your family and guests enjoy.
5. BRING SOUP
It’s fall, and it’s the best time to bring out your favorite soup! Pureed soups work best for picnics because they can be served in cups and sipped. If you do decide to make a chunkier soup, you can still serve in cups, just don’t forget to bring the spoons.
6. CREATE A DESSERT BAR
Remember those apples? Well, you can create a sweet, no pun intended dessert bar with the apples you’ve picked. Have your guests, cut up their apple into a bowl and drizzle with caramel. Use muffin tins to hold all the other toppings to sprinkle onto their caramel apples. Muffin tins make the perfect holder for all those fixings.
7. SKIP THE LEMONADE
It’s fall! Grab a galvanized tub and fill it with all the flavors of fall like cider, pumpkin ale, hard cider, or even apple wine.
8. DON’T FORGET THE CAMERA
Fall provides the perfect backdrop to taking gorgeous pictures of fall foliage. And, it’s the perfect scenery to capture all the fun being had by family and friends.
Sure you can take your pictures with your iPhone or another phone device, but if you’re at all interested in ramping up your photography consider investing in a good 35-millimeter camera.
The pictures can’t compare.
And, because of the quality, they are perfect for enlarging and hanging in your home or placing in a beautiful picture frame.
9. THINGS TO DO
Does your family like games? Grab Monopoly or a deck of cards and get ready to have an epic challenge. Not into games? Not a problem? Maybe someone who’s coming along plays guitar, and you can have a sing-a-long. If you’re at the beach bring the Bocce Balls with you!
Fall is the best time of year to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage, crisp, clean air and night-time bonfires huddled under a blanket star-gazing.
These ideas will have you throwing the best fall picnic ever!