It is National Eat Outside day! Who doesn’t love a well thought out, (mostly) bug-free picnic with your favorites? It is one of our favorite things to do in my house.

As I was doing my research, I realized that my picnicking looks absolutely nothing like what Pinterest likes to portray picnicking to be.

Pinterest “inspired” picnic:

Real life:

Seeing what can be done to what could be viewed as something pretty ordinary, has me inspired to try to get fancy with a picnic of my own. Maybe this time though, I will plan with only grown ups, rather than my 4-year-old niece and her Disney Princess friends.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to throw a fancy picnic:

Paper bag utensil holders! This is really a neat idea, and using washi tape to bring some color or pattern into the mix keeps the cost down. They even have “fancy” plastic silverware now that look like metal to replace the standard white utensils.

This could be a DIY if you are handy (I am not), or you can purchase this wooden wine glass & bottle holder.

If bandana print isn’t your thing, any similar fabric from the fabric store should work fine for these DIY bowl covers.

Crafty? Consider making a picnic specific blanket using a drop cloth and some fabric paint like this one. Trick: if you aren’t all that crafty there are things like stencils or stamps that would serve a similar purpose, and render the same adorable result:

Outside DIY game options to keep everyone occupied before or after the meal:

Tic Tac Toe

Pallet Checker (or Chess) Board:

Bottle Ring Toss:

Some of these you might have to have the picnic in your backyard – but all are still fun additions to any outdoor event with friends.

Speaking of eating outside, I cannot believe I never thought about making deviled eggs and putting them back in the egg carton for transport!

Is it just me, or is it that when I am eating outdoors – Sangria always makes sense? This one though?! I would drink at home in the dark.

Potato Salad is an outdoor eating staple, and it seems like everything else – people are really getting creative on the classics.

Outdoor eating isn’t just about fancy-ish picnics in the park or your backyard. Some fine dining establishments are local go-to’s specifically for their outdoor attention to detail.

Big Star, Chicago

You can enjoy the outdoor setting at this well known taqueria in Wicker Park. Once the weather turns nicer, patrons come from all parts to enjoy this well-known $30 margarita pitcher patio. Sometimes a little too much.

Bridgewater Bistro, Astoria, OR

Formerly a cannery located right on the Columbia River – Bridgewater Bistro has become a must-stop at location, even for travelers that are just passing through. The outdoor patio has spectacular views – and you can even see Washington State across the river.

Mama’s Fish House, Paia, HI

Mama’s Fish House is an open air restaurant, that has been a secret gem on Maui since 1973.

However you choose to celebrate, make sure you get outside and enjoy a meal with your family and friends before summer ends!

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