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Creative Ideas for Picnic Dates

Tom Kerr

The age-old favorite is a picnic for two!

Creativity makes the world, and then keeps it going ‘round and ‘round, and a dose of artistic originality can launch your dates into orbit before they have a chance to crash and burn under the force of boredom’s gravity. Plus, originality is attractive, and if you express some of yours to provide a romantic and fun experience for your special someone, they will credit you with having that rare form of sexy intelligence we all gravitate toward in life.

Creativity equals sex appeal on a date, and it usually doesn’t cost much to be innovative; it just takes a little time to think about things and come up with a recipe for success.

While on the subject of recipes, why not get creative and combine your date with food? The culinary arts have a long and seductive history, and combining good eats with good conversation is the perfect way to hit it off on a date. In fact, most restaurants and bistros admit that the majority of their weekend evening clientele is couples on candlelit dates.

Picnics are one of the most romantic ways to enjoy time with someone, and they are much less expensive than dining in a restaurant. For that reason, it is possible to splurge on the ingredients, and make your picnic a gourmet meal. Plus, you don’t have to make reservations, worry about getting seated at a table you don’t particularly like, or leave a tip.

Recipe for Success

The recipe for a good picnic is simple and twofold: one part ambience to one part flavor. Once you have mastered the art of one picnic, other variations on the theme are a cinch, and with just a little tweaking of the fundamental ingredients, you can create an entirely different setting, mood, and culinary adventure.

Here are a few ideas regarding location for a romantic picnic date.

Is there a rooftop nearby? Maybe you have a friend who has access to the top of a building where they live or work, or maybe you can scout one out on your own. Even something as boring and mundane as a public parking deck can be transformed into a romantic getaway, if you can find one that is not used at night and has an interesting view of the city or the countryside.

If there is no rooftop, then search out any place with a good high-altitude view: a place to pullover to the side of a mountain road, a spot near a bridge over a waterway, or a convenient hillside will work just fine.

Any natural setting is ideal. A city park, a beach, a canopy of trees in the city or in the wilderness, an arboretum with public access – all are great spots for a picnic.

Check your location ahead of time, if possible. One friend of ours keeps citronella candles in her car, just in case she finds an ideal place for a picnic but then discovers that mosquitoes are a potential nuisance.

A large blanket is always a good idea, because you can use it to keep any uninvited guests (ants and such) at a distance, and you can also smooth over any roots, rocks, or uneven terrain with a strategically placed and folded blanket.

Take a Rain Check

If your picnic gets rained out, then take advantage of the opportunity and have a picnic at home, either on a covered porch or in the middle of the living room floor. Sometimes this kind of ingenuity and spontaneous spot can be just as much fun, or more fun, than a traditional outdoor picnic, especially if you have the ultimate aphrodisiac, a fireplace to picnic in front of inside your home.

For the second part of your planning, choose food that is convenient, not messy, and can sit out for a while without going bad or turning stale. Red wine is a good choice (just don’t forget the corkscrew) because it does not have to be chilled, and finger foods such as petite sandwiches or little snacks you can serve on a toothpick, are perfect. Fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces, is a great dish to serve, as are things you can dip into hummus or a cheese dip, like baby carrots, celery pieces, and corn chips.

Don’t forget to bring along water and hand towels to wash up afterward, and if you use a picnic basket instead of grocery bags, it adds a touch of class and also gives you a good way to carry home things like wine glasses, dirty dishes, or candlesticks.

If you want to really surprise someone with a treat, arrange a breakfast picnic, when nobody thinks of doing something so adventurous. You can serve mimosa drinks, with orange juice and champagne, and instead of sandwiches, pack bagels with spreads or slices of quiche. On the other hand, nocturnal campfire picnics are totally romantic, and are a creative way to add some “spark” to your dating life.