6 Ingredients for the Perfect Summer Picnic

There are so many great reasons to have a picnic this summer. It’s romantic for couples, fun for kids, and a relaxing way to spend an afternoon with friends. You can picnic right here in a city park or head out into the country. Try planning a scenic hike that ends a picnic by the lake - it’s as close to perfect as you can get on a summer’s afternoon. (And completely Instagram-worthy, if you’re into that.)

All you need is a picnic blanket, some forks and napkins, and a small cooler bag or backpack to carry your food. Wondering what to fill your picnic basket with? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our shopping list for a perfect lunch in the sun - now relax and enjoy!

Meal in a Jar

Wait, whaaaat? We’re recommending Meal in a Jar again, on the Meal in a Jar blog? YES, of course, not only because that’s what we do, but because it’s the ideal centre of your picnic lunch! Choose a jar for each person (The Backyard BBQ and Balsamic Chicken Coleslaw jars scream summer, and the Lively Lemon Ginger is delightful on a hot day). Load up your cooler bag with your personal favourites, and build your picnic meal from there.

French baguette

A nice, fresh baguette is a picnic classic. You can tear pieces off with your hands and enjoy it completely plain, or spread some butter or preserves on top. They’re great with some quality Canadian cheese - speaking of which...

Some fine cheese

If you eat dairy, cheese should definitely be a part of your summer picnic. Avoid messy, crumbly blue cheeses that will leave your backpack smelling like your lunch for weeks on end. A wedge of brie or herbed gouda will travel well in a cooler bag, and hard cheeses are always a hit. Try an aged white cheddar or smoked cheese from the farmer’s market.


You can’t have a picnic without some fresh summer fruit. Apples travel well, but take things up a notch by bringing ripe pears, red grapes or some delicious local berries. If you’re planning a family picnic, watermelon is always a hit with children!

Something sweet

Your picnic dessert can be anything from chocolate chip cookies to a slice of homestyle pie (apple and strawberry-rhubarb are great summer classics). Or, simply bring a small container of whipped cream and use it to top some of that fresh fruit!

Wine or sparkling water

If you’re hiking, you’ll need plenty of fresh water (bring a refillable bottle, and make sure to add ice). A slice of lemon or other citrus will add flavour while keeping you hydrated, but your picnic needs more. Bring a small bottle of wine, or even some cans of prosecco or rose - they’re better than you’d expect! If you don’t want to include alcohol, San Pellegrino makes great flavoured sparkling water beverages (we like the Blood Orange a lot). Now away you go...cheers to a great summer picnic!

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