Picnics may seem like a lot of unnecessary work. Why pack up a meal to eat somewhere else when you could just eat at home? But picnics aren’t about practicality—they’re about the experience. And if you have the right supplies, you can create the perfect peaceful outing to enjoy the beauty of a Minnesota summer.
Create an experience that caters to you and your taste, fit for any occasion, with the help of these tips and tricks.
Location, Location, Location: Finding the Perfect Oasis
The setting of your picnic can make or break the entire experience, especially given the time of day. Consider places that have a variety of a sunlight and shade to help regulate the temperature for your stay. (And always pack sunscreen.) Depending on the size of your party, you’ll also want to consider the amount of space available at the location. There is a plethora of green spaces right here in Edina, perfect for picnicking. You can even rent a park area or picnic shelter if sitting on the grass isn’t your cup of tea.
Nestled in a quiet pocket by 50th and France, set up shop in this park’s vast green space that connects to multiple wooded trails and overlooks Minnehaha Creek. This park also features a newly-renovated playground where the kids can play.
This park offers loads of open space to sprawl out, with plenty of activity space for large groups to enjoy. Featuring baseball and softball fields, tennis courts and extra green pasture, you’re sure to find the perfect settlement for your picnic—plus space for post-meal activities.
A quaint getaway located in the center of Edina, set up your picnic in the small gazebo, or spread out a blanket among the stunning fresh florals, with the trickle of the fountain as your backdrop. The large evergreen hedges offer shade protection when you want to get out of the sun.
Overlooking Lake Cornelia, this park provides a stunning backdrop for your next outing. Find a space in the open field or use the shelter underneath the large picnic gazebo for optimal shade. And there’s plenty of opportunity for activity, with pickleball courts, an inclusive playground, a sand volleyball court and the Edina Aquatic Center, all within the park.
A Moveable Feast: Packing Fancy Finger Foods
A picnic isn’t a picnic without food. If you prefer to keep things simple, prep basic, easy-to-tote food such as veggies and hummus, pasta salad, sandwiches and fruit.
Or order takeout from your favorite restaurant for a more elevated experience. Order pastries to enjoy something of a relaxing afternoon tea in the park. Choose from an array of goods at Rustica Bakery, such as the mandarin olive oil tart, blueberry lavender danish or its classic bittersweet chocolate cookies. The Lynhall also has a variety of delectable goodies, like pistachio croissants, matcha cinnamon rolls and chocolate hazelnut scones. And don’t forget to pair your pastries with your favorite coffee or tea.
For a savory touch, pair the sweets with charcuterie. Head to the France 44 Cheese Shop to create a classic spread of meat and cheese, along with a baguette or rolls. Or skip the hassle of creating your own and order premade selections offered by the cheese shop staff. You could also opt for the variety of handcrafted cheese and meat boards at Bojae’s Wine Bar & Bistro, ordered to go.
For drinks, always pack water to stay hydrated. And for an elevated beverage selection, pack a refreshing sparkling lemonade or premade non-alcoholic cocktails. (Alas, we don’t live in France where drinking wine in the park is allowed.)
Stay Safe and Leave No Trace: Maintaining Proper Food Storage
In the heat of summer, it’s important to ensure that your food stays fresh. Pack perishable foods in a cooler, using ice packs to maintain the proper food temperatures.
Being in nature and packing foods can also mean an invitation for various critters. Be mindful of food waste and any food packaging, leaving nothing behind. If picnicking on the ground, consider covered vessels versus plastic wraps to keep the contents from spilling over or blowing away.
Picnic, But Make it Stylish: Shopping for the Essentials
Head to some local boutiques to find all your picnic accessories and essentials.
Serge + Jane
Faherty Blankets $128
You can’t plan a picnic, bonfire or outside outing without one a good blanket to lay out on the grass. Woven on looms from cotton yarn, these sturdy and versatile blankets are just as suitable for picnics as they are for cuddling up on the couch.
The Brümate Winesulators, Rehydration Bottles or Champagne Flutes $19.99–$42.99
These transportable capsules mimic your favorite glassware, have leakproof lids and help to keep wine, cocktails or water chilled for up to 24 hours. Pre-mix your favorite drinks and serve them on the go. Available in several sizes in a variety of colors and designs.
Fermentation Station Nibbles Starting at $6.25
These tasty snacks, made by local chef Jim Taugher, are the perfect addition to any spread. Pickled fruits and veggies can be used in cocktails, on charcuterie boards or for snacking right out of the jar.
Brooke & Lou
Blue Floral Cooler Tote $99
Up your cooler game with a beautiful cooler tote. Perfect for on-the-go outings, this premium cooler will keep your food and drinks chilled all day long.
Rattan Dish Caddy $68
Hosting a larger picnic? This organizational caddy keeps your dishes and silverware organized and collected in one place—perfect for placing at the front of a buffet line.
Melamine Dinnerware Starting at $9
Eliminate disposable plastics and dinnerware with durable melamine dinnerware. These designs will elevate both the style and sustainability of your picnic.
Large Wicker Buggy $195
As an ode to the classic picnic basket but in a more totable design, this stylish hand-woven buggy will make picnicking easy with its spacious interior, sturdy wheels and tall handle. It’s also perfect for your farmer’s market finds.