How to Host a Retro-Inspired Picnic for Two

Pack easy, classic recipes and some vintage-inspired decorations and activities for a stylish, tasty meal in the park.

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Photo By: Melanie Grizzel

Party in Five: Picnic in the Park for Two

Pack your basket for a retro-inspired picnic in the park for two. A classic menu of fried chicken and homemade sides is served with a dash of vintage flair to transform the familiar outdoor event into a date to remember.

To host this party, you'll need just five essential ingredients: a kite and string, pickled veggies, printable utensil sleeves, a portable radio and fresh fruit.

Pack It Up

This party was designed to be packed. You can easily load these items into the back seat of a car, using a cutting board as a base for carrying the lot.

Keep Your Cool

It’s a good idea to bring a cooler for temperature-sensitive items in addition to your picnic basket. This vintage metal cooler keeps fruit and drinks cold while providing a bright pop of color.

Made in the Shade

Unroll your blanket in a favorite city park or on a grassy lawn –– even if it’s just in your own backyard. Choose your spot with care: Look for dry, flat ground under the shade of a tree.

Set the Scene

Forgo the plastic stuff and bring everyday flatware to give your picnic a more luxurious feel. Arrange the flatware together with a colorful napkin in printable utensil sleeves.

Download the utensil sleeves template here.

A Classic with a Twist

A little tequila goes a long way, especially when mixed with everyone’s favorite summer thirst-quencher. Whip up your own batch of homemade Tequila Lemonade, stash it in a glass bottle and bring vintage Mason jars to use as drinking glasses.

Get the Recipe: Tequila Lemonade

Finger-Licking Good

To make a picnic date feel really special, skip the sandwiches and go straight for the real deal: fried chicken. Try this traditional buttermilk recipe and arrange the pieces in a basket lined with a bright gingham napkin.

Also on the menu:

Homemade Pickled Veggies

Asian-Style Coleslaw

Get the Recipe: Fried Chicken

Get On Board

Bring a large wooden cutting board from your kitchen to use as a “table” on top of the blanket. If you don’t have one this large, a smaller one can be used to support just the drinks and centerpiece instead.

Campy Fun

A pair of classic speckled camping plates adds to the retro vibe of this outdoor meal. Inexpensive speckled enamelware can usually be found in the camping section of your local sporting goods store. Another option: outdoor-friendly melamine plates available in a wide array of colors and patterns.

Wild About Flowers

Bring a small bud vase and make your own centerpiece on the spot by scouring the area for a few pretty wildflowers to pick before you eat.

Tune In

Tune a small battery-powered radio to an oldies station while you dine for a thoroughly retro vibe –– then tune out afterward with a few good books.

Go Fly a Kite

Plan a fun after-lunch activity that’s as popular today as it was in generations past. Bring a kite to fly, bikes to ride or a Frisbee to toss after your meal. You can even make your own kite using a paper bag, which will make getting it to fly even more fun and rewarding.