Picnic Table Selection Guide

Most people would tell you that the sport of baseball is the great American pastime – and they’d be right. However, in simpler times many American would take their family on a different type of pastime – picnics. Families would gather their picnic baskets, blankets and any other necessary picnic items and head out to their favorite picnic spot.

If you’re familiar with the Andy Griffith television show, then you’ve seen Andy Griffith and Barney Fife take their dates on a nice quiet picnic outing. Many people would argue that times were simpler when picnics were an important American pastime.

For many people, picnics are still an important – although the structure of the picnic has changed. Back the time of Andy and Barney, you needed a picnic blanket and you typically sat of the ground to have your picnic. Nowadays, picnics have changed due to the picnic table. Let’s discuss the various types of picnic tables that are available in today’s times and how they are used in various ways.

Little Tikes Picnic Table with Kids

What is a Picnic Table?

A picnic bench or a picnic table is a table that is modified and has benches attached to it or has benches that come with it. The tables are usually designed for having meals when outdoors or picnicking.

They are also used for doing crafts, resting, dining and other functions. This piece of furniture can be made using plastic, wood, fiber materials, steel or a combination of multiple materials. They come in many different shapes and sizes, for example rectangular, round, octagonal or any other shape that may be required.

KidKraft Wooden Picnic TableEach table has its own importance. For example, round picnic tables are often used for meetings and conferences. The use of a specific type of picnic table will normally depend on the preference and taste of the user.

They are found in residential backyards, outdoors in most public parks, campgrounds, rest areas and other places. When these units have attached seating, these tables are commonly found indoors. This occurs commonly in employee break rooms, community centers and school cafeterias. These tables can accommodate lots of guests at any given moment. Six to eight people can sit at each table, although there are also larger and smaller capacity tables available.

These tables have existed for many decades and have had very few changes or enhancements made to them over the years.

Little Tikes Easy Store Large Picnic Table with Umbrella
Amazon Price: $90.99 $89.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 1, 2014)

The More Popular Picnic Tables

Kids Picnic Tables or Children’s Picnic Tables Are Really Popular

It is very important to invest in a kids picnic table if you have kids and you also have a spacious yard. This table is undersized and has been designed to be used by up to four children in most cases. These tables make outdoor activities more fun. They are almost always made from wood or plastic and they are used for playing and eating.

These tables provide a better surface for carrying out several craft projects for small kids, especially the wooden picnic tables. They come in different colors and are wiped off or cleaned easily. These tables also come in different styles and it is always advisable to choose one that will go well with your home’s exterior. It is also important to use a quality water repellent to make these tables last longer. These tables are recommended to be placed in shady, dry areas.

Little Tikes Fold 'n Store Table with Market Umbrella
Amazon Price: $154.52 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 1, 2014)

Metal Picnic Tables Are Generally Light Weight and Highly Durable

Metal picnic tables are becoming more popular nowadays and can usually be found in public parks. Most of them are usually made from aluminum. Originally, picnic tables were traditionally made using wood, but tables that are more modern are often made from concrete, metal or plastic. These are some of the best picnic tables that you can buy, because they are usually light weight, durable and can be impressively designed. Their other advantage is that they do not require any maintenance and they are often put in parks that attract lots of crowds. They usually sustain their color for many years and they last long. Metal picnic tables are normally attached to a fixture or attached to concrete surfaces for security purposes.

Wooden Picnic Tables Are Common In Many Parks

Wooden picnic tables are made from lumber boards. It is important to protect the wood using some type of protectant, for example protective paints or wood protectants that normally repel water. This protects the wooden picnic tables from warping, cracking or rotting which occurs because of moisture. Bench top boards and the table top are normally joined to the beams or trusses using nails or using wood screws. The legs of these tables can also be secured using carriage bolts, which are then fastened using washers and nuts.

Merry Garden Interchangeable Picnic Table and Garden Bench
Amazon Price: $199.99 $125.78 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 1, 2014)

Plastic Picnic Table Are Generally Inexpensive and Easily Transportable

Plastic picnic tables are often blow-molded. These tables are becoming more and more common since they are light weight, are less expensive compared to tables made from wood, and usually require no maintenance and are very strong. Apart from being used for dining or eating outdoors they are also used in preparation of food, writing notes, spontaneous games with friends and family, browsing using a laptop and many other activities. Plastic picnic tables are more advantageous since they will not break like wooden picnic tables and they are not as expensive as metal tables. Their only disadvantage is that they are typically not biodegradable.

Lifetime 6-Foot Picnic with 72-by-30-Inch Molded Top, Putty
Amazon Price: $249.99 $230.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 1, 2014)

Concrete Picnic Table Are Durable, But Often Immobile

Concrete picnic tables or stone tables are known to be the most durable but are often not preferred since they are extremely costly and due to the fact that they are nearly immobile, meaning they cannot be moved from one place to another very easily. They are mostly found outdoors and are used for eating and other outdoor activities.

From what I can tell, American’s are still having quite a few picnics. However, you can clearly see the picnic table has completely changed the way we have picnic.