birthday picnic ideas

Use a good old-fashioned picnic for inspiration to plan your next birthday party.  Party guests young and old will enjoy the simple, traditional fun of spreading out a blanket on the grass to eat in the great outdoors.  It will be an easy but memorable way to celebrate the big day, and you won’t have to spend big bucks for a big impact.

birthday picnic ideas: invitations

Try this cute birthday picnic idea for sending out invitations.  Buy a pack of recipe cards and fill in “the ingredients” for your picnic: the time, date, place and occasion for the party.

Or use a fabric marker to write out the invitations on cloth napkins. Attach a wooden clothespin to any invitation to give it a casual, backyard feel.

no time to make your own? get picnic invitations at

birthday picnic ideas: decorations

A few things to consider when planning your birthday picnic party:

  • Are going to have your picnic in your own backyard or at a park. 
  • Will you be transporting your food? This could influence some of your menu choices.
  • Will the picnic be traditional or elegant?
  • Are you going to use red-checked tablecloths, or will you use some of your lovely linen tablecloths and china instead? 

Once you decide, you can take your decorating cues from that. I always pick lots of fresh flowers from my garden and fill vases for my parties. You can use your beautiful crystal vases if you’re going the elegant route, or canning jars, water pitchers or old-fashioned glass milk jugs if your picnic is going to be more casual. 

You may have to buy some flowers if you don’t have enough in your garden. Sunflowers or daisies would be perfect for a picnic. 

Set out canning jars with votive candles inside as decorations for a casual picnic. (And using citronella candles with help keep the mosquitoes away!) If you’re using a pavilion, brighten up the space with big clusters of red and white helium balloons.

Using unique items to serve your food and drinks will help add to the feel of the event. 

  • Use a galvanized tin tub filled with ice to keep cans and bottles of beverages cold. Consider offering lots of bottled water, so guests don’t get dehydrated on a hot summer day. 
  • Set out a picnic basket right on your serving table with bags of chips, pretzels and snacks inside. Or, find old metal colanders to serve your snacks in.  
  • Fill pretty glass pitchers with lemonade, iced tea and water. 

Whichever route you choose, your backyard or a picnic pavilion, spread some blankets or tablecloths on the grass, too, to give folks the option of eating right on the ground. But have some tables set up, too. Not everyone, particularly older folks, will want to dine on the grass.

Another birthday picnic idea is to have a few cans of bug spray and bottles of sunscreen on hand for your guests.

pick up all your decorating needs at

birthday picnic ideas: games and activities

Try these birthday picnic ideas for entertaining your guests.

Keep kids occupied with an activity table. Set out items they can pick up and use like bubbles, kites, chalk, squirt guns and frisbees. 

Dedicate one table as a drawing table: cover it with butcher block paper, or a plain white table cloth and set out markers so the kids can draw on it. You can leave out plain white cloth napkins to draw on, too, so they can take their creations home. Or find blank placemats and let them decorate their own placemat.

Kids will love organized relay races and games like water balloon toss. Hide treats much like you would for an Easter egg hunt. 

You could hide plastic bugs, (the dollar store usually sells packs of these) and tell the kids to save the picnic from the bugs, and set them off on their hunt. Give prizes to the kids who find the most and let them keep the bugs. 

Adults always love playing horseshoes, so try to set that up if you can. Leave some frisbees out for the grownups, too. 

An impromptu talent show would be loads of fun!

Traditional games like a three legged race, tug of war, or potato sack hop would be fun for kids and adults. 

A hula hoop contest would be a blast for everyone!

great games at great prices at!

birthday picnic Ideas: food

You can serve traditional picnic fare, such as a variety of sandwiches and salads. A watermelon filled with cut up fruit is always a hit. 

If your picnic is elegant, look for recipe variations on the traditional dishes like potato salad.  Why not surprise your guests with a blue cheese and bacon potato salad, or fruit kabobs instead of a fruit salad? 

Or, you can try something really different and serve your food in a glass mason jar for a memorable meal. 

Make pulled pork, coleslaw and baked beans. Layer each one in a glass jar, starting with the pork, then the beans and finally the coleslaw. These can all be preassembled at home, if your picnic isn’t in your backyard. 

Before serving, insert a dill pickle spear on top, and set out the jars and silverware for your guests to grab and go eat wherever they like. (But with kids on hand, do have some simple sandwiches available. Kids can be fussy!)

Remember, you’ll need plenty of coolers to keep your food fresh and safe for your guests.  Consider filling a small inflatable pool with ice, and stashing your bowls of salads inside. 

If your picnic is being held somewhere other than your home, do make a checklist of things you need to bring.

serve your picnic fare in style with supplies from

birthday picnic ideas: bring on the cake!

You can have a lot of fun with a cake for a picnic birthday party. Bake a regular 9x13 cake and cover it with white frosting, as if this is a tablecloth. 

You can use colored icing tubes to decorate your “tablecloth”: with plates and utensils. (And maybe ants marching across it!) Or set small plastic plates and food on the frosted cake (from a toy kitchen or doll set) to make it look like a picnic scene.

Serving individual cupcakes is always a fun idea. Want to make it really easy on yourself?  Set out unfrosted cupcakes with frosting and lots of candies and toppings and let guests assemble their own. Fun for everyone, and it will save you lots of time!

cake supplies at

Go from Birthday Picnic Party Ideas to the Birthday Party Themes menu

Check out the other great themed party plans at One Stop Birthday Ideas!