Picnics and summer go hand-in-hand, and this time-honored tradition is a staple for many American families. While the classic wicker basket and checkered blanket are still fun, today’s families are challenging themselves to think outside the box. If you’re looking for a new angle or theme for your picnic outings, these family-friendly, outdoor-ready ideas should help get the creativity flowing!

Before you head out for a picnic, please make sure to check the laws and regulations for any Denver Metro park or public space that you intend to visit. Most have bans on glass bottles/containers, for example. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Safari Picnic (Recommended Ages: 6-10)

The “Backyard Safari” trend has become very popular in the last few years, but there’s no reason to limit the safari to your own yard! Pack up a rustic-looking basket with tasty treats and consider pairing up your kiddos with playful, whimsical accessories like this epic Safari Cargo Vest, which allows them to carry their supplies on them (and not in your pockets), or this outstanding and useful Safari Field Canteen!

These Animal Print Gift and Goody Bags can also be loaded up with packaged treats or wrapped sandwiches, depending on your menu choices. Finger foods are where it’s at with picnics, and these Silly Snake Hot Dogs replace standard Pigs-in-a-Blanket with something perfect for a family out in the wild. With a little more pre-picnic prep time, these Ladybug Crostini could be a big hit with families who have kids more excited to hunt bugs than big game out in the jungle. Just keep them chilled until you’re ready to leave and use them as an appetizer when you arrive.

Zombie Picnic (Recommended Ages: 6–13)

This theme can be particularly fun for families that love Halloween because there’s lots of room for incorporating spooky decorations and accessories that have been carried over from one year to the next. Zombies are definitely a popular trend, both with younger children and even teenagers. Parents can scale the spookiness level accordingly, but consider donning some creepy face paint, some shredded old clothing, and preparing “gross” Halloween-inspired snacks appropriate for an undead family munching in the grass.

Zombie Bite Sleeves are a fast way to create a Zombie vibe, and don't miss these fun, playful Zombie Warning Sign Necklaces to make it clear to everyone nearby that your family is all together--and hungry for brains! These Witchy-Poo Fingers may look like severed fingers, but not to worry, they're actually a tasty dessert. Alternatively, try Monster Toes for an adaptation of Pigs-in-a-Blanket, and Spooky Eyeballs are a great spin on Deviled Eggs. And while your entire meal doesn’t have to be creepy, the combination of attire and some Halloween-inspired hors d'oeuvres can make a Zombie Picnic festive and fun!

Luau Picnic (Recommended Ages: 6–16)

A luau picnic is a theme that can be adjusted to accommodate youth of any age, giving even stubborn teenagers something to look forward to. This quintessential summer motif is a classic, but it’s also versatile and on-the-go friendly! A wicker picnic basket even works to carry your supplies. Inexpensive party supplies can help bring this tropical theme to life, and reusable, non-glass Plastic Hibiscus Drink Cups can be a colorful way to serve lemonade, tea, or ice water when you get to your picnic location.

No luau feels complete without leis! These tropical lei necklaces are a lovely, floral addition to beach-worthy outfits for your picnic outing. Grass skirts, woven picnic blankets, Hawaiian print shirts, and floral headbands are all great ways to complement this theme. If you want portable entertainment, younger kids might enjoy a round of ring toss with this Express Inflatable Flamingo Ring Toss Game. Regarding the menu, some made-ahead Char siu-glazed pork and pineapple buns make for miniature sandwiches that are travel-ready. If you’re in need of a tropical-looking dessert, these Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies look absolutely delicious!

What's your favorite picnic theme? Let us know in the comments!

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