Giant Chess yard game and patio heater rental

You’d assume from the phrase, “it’s no picnic,” that planning a picnic would be an easy affair. Newsflash: it’s not. Let’s put it this way: planning a picnic ain’t no picnic.

As an event planning service based in Seattle, Washington, we’ve spent years planning epic summer picnics for corporate clients like Microsoft and Amazon. Our philosophy: think big, and feed well. Here are a few ideas—and snapshots—from our summer lovin’ memory bank.

It’s playtime.

doughnut on a string summer picnic game
Goodbye, dignity. Hello, fun. This is Donut-on-a-String.

Goodbye, dignity. Hello, fun. This is Donut-on-a-String.

Our advice: leave the fancy chitchat to the formal dinners. This is your opportunity to treat your employees, customers, or friends to FUN! Plan some icebreaker games, like these from

  • Three-Legged Race
  • Fill-It Water Race
  • Bobbing for Coins
  • Sponge Race

Have a ball! (Or a slide.)

There’s one thing in particular that you can offer your guests that no family picnic can: BIG toys. Aunt Sue may not have the budget for inflatable hamster balls, but if you do, we can tell you one thing: your guests will thank you. Here are a few of our favorite rentals for outdoor picnics.

Hamster Ball rental
Hamster Balls Rental
Dunk Tank rental
Dunk Tank
Giant Tricycle rental
Monster Trikes
Giant Connect Four and Giant Chess yard game rental
Giant Connect Four
Frisbee Golf rental
Frisbee Golf

What swimsuit season? It’s due time for a feast.

Summer picnics come with one expectation: fun food. While there’s no need to be fancy, there are a couple of ways to deliver unexpected delight to your picnic-goers.

reinvented traditional picnic foods

One idea: reinvent traditional picnic foods like hamburgers and hot dogs by taking them to a new level, pre-made for your hungry guests

fresh picnic food ingredients

Another angle: Let your guests craft their meals themselves, but with elevated, creative ingredients.

Or, take your food show on the road with a food truck. Not only do food trucks tend to be affordable, but they can pull up to most any location and serve hot, fresh food in quantity.

Now that’s a picnic we’d want to be invited to.

For even more great party theme ideas, check out our list of 100 Creative Event Themes.