1) Decide on how many people to invite to your group picnic -
It's important to be realistic when it comes to the number of people you invite. A lot of your planning, from location to food, will depend on this number. Of course, the number you come up with now will just be an estimate – you'll get a more definite answer as RSVPs are returned.
While you're thinking about numbers, start to compile a list of people you'd like to invite. If this is the first picnic event you've ever planned, you might want to invite just your closest relatives and friends – people that you know will be forgiving when there are hiccups.
There are a few things to keep in mind when planning the date and time to have your picnic such as weather and sunlight. Prime picnic weather is in the spring and fall when the temperatures aren't too hot or cold. The closer you get to summer, the lower risk you have of snow ruining your event.
You'll also have to keep in mind the amount of sunlight available to you. If you pick a date in early March when the sun sets early in the evening, you'll need to either schedule it to start and end early or find some other lighting source.
3) Determine your budget –
Hosting a picnic is going to require some money. You'll need food, drinks, tables, napkins, and silverware, just to state a few. Now is the time to decide on how much you want to spend on this picnic. You'll also want to check in with those around you to see if they want to kick in some funds towards this party.
Once you know how much you (and others) can put towards the picnic, sit down and create a budget. This will help keep you on the right path financially and allow you to easily see how to balance out overspending in some areas with under spending in others.
4) Decide on a location for your group picnic -
Now that you have an idea of how many people might be showing up to your picnic, the date and time you want to hold it, and the money available, it's now time to decide on a picnic site.
There are great group picnic locations every where around you. Some are the usual suspects, like local parks, lakes, and beaches. Others are a bit unusual, such as local campgrounds, attractions, fairgrounds, and even local churches.
When you visit sites, you'll want to make sure that there is enough room to hold everyone you plan to invite. Also, you'll want to check to see if there are enough tables, BBQ pits, and bathrooms for you and your guests to use. If not, you will have to make arrangements for others to be brought in.
Once you've decided on a location, check with the owner or local agencies to see if a permit or reservation is required for your picnic. Most of the time, these fees are minimal and help to support your local township.
Now it's time to think about everyone's favorite part of a picnic – the food!
There are usually four catering choices:
- do the cooking yourself
- buy ready-to-eat platters from a grocery store
- have the event catered
- have a potluck meal where everyone brings a dish to share.
The same sorts of choices go for drinks too. You'll need a wide array of sodas, tea, and water to keep everyone happy so if you decide to buy them yourself, head on over to your local warehouse store and buy then in bulk.
Allowing alcohol at your picnic depends on a lot of things. Some cities, counties, and property owners won't allow it because of liability concerns. If it is allowed, it will be your responsibility to ensure that people drink responsibly and don't drink and drive.
Whatever you decide to do on this subject, make sure that your guests know your decision. The last thing you want is for Uncle Joey showing up to your picnic at a "dry" park with a bottle of Jack Daniels.
6) Pick up the incidentals for your group picnic -
First of all, make sure that you and your guests have something to sit on. If your site doesn't have enough picnic tables or benches, you might have to rent or borrow chairs for the day. For the younger set, borrow a selection of large rugs or blankets for them to sit on so the chairs can be used by those that need them.
Also, don't forget about your plates, cups, napkins, and trash bags. Disposable paper items can be found at your local warehouse or party store.
Some other incidentals you might want to look into are:
- music (mp3 player or stereo)
- decorations (flowers, balloons, streamers, etc.)
- games and/or piñata
- disposal cameras