The Perfect Pic: How to Create the Perfect (Hassle Free) Summer Picnic

By Brittni • Updated on 02/14/2024

Summer picnic idea (with recipes)

The weather has been so beautiful lately, it’s been making me want to go on a picnic. And I’ve been trying to take more time out to myself to just think, read a book, relax, etc.

So, when Ghirardelli got in touch about a subscription box they put together with Quarterly featuring their (seriously delicious) Intense Dark chocolate along with a signed copy of a summer must-read book, it seemed like the perfect excuse to head out on a little adventure…all the way to the park…which is really just a few minutes from my house.

I packed up my backpack, went on a bike ride and plopped down by a tree for the afternoon. After a couple of hours, I realized I had too much food / drink to finish all by myself, so I called Jeff to have him meet me at the park before I ate myself into a food coma. Haha. But it was really nice to have a little bit of ‘me time’ first.

Bike ride to a picnic lunch

Summer picnic ideas (with recipes)

Here’s what I brought with me on my picnic (which also includes a summer cocktail recipe FYI)…

All the goodies from my Ghirardelli Savor the Dark subscription box of course came along for the ride…Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Bar, Intense Dark Cherry Tango Bar (this one is my fave), Intense Dark Cocoa Nibs Bar (it’s new!), and the book I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan (#1 New York Times bestselling author). Ghirardelli also developed a mini chocolate pairing guide you can enjoy online (which is how I came up with all my food and drink ideas below).

You can grab your own Ghirardelli Savor the Dark Book Club subscription box right here.

Ghirardelli Savor the Dark subscription box

Ghirardelli Savor the Dark subscription box

More picnic food! I had to bring a little food to pair with my chocolate haul, right? So, I grabbed mainly small snack items that were easy to bring on the go… cherries, cheese and crackers, almonds, and dried apricots. I bottled up some homemade cocktails to take with me, which I highly recommend – especially for summer!

Summer picnic ideas (with cocktail recipe for spiked blackberry iced tea)

Boozy Blackberry Lemon Iced Tea


  • 4 cups of fresh brewed black tea
  • 1/3 cup of simple syrup (you can add less or more depending on your preference)
  • 1 cup of rum
  • juice from 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • one handful of blackberries
  • 3-5 mint sprigs

This one is super easy. Just muddle the blackberries and mint, then combine all of the ingredients into a jug or glass jar, stir (or shake) and serve over ice. FYI – This cocktail pairs especially well with Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Bar, in case you like your cocktails with a side of chocolate.

Summer picnic ideas (with recipes)

Last thing! I also brought a handful of blankets and my favorite pillow, so I could spread out and get comfy, without getting grass stains or ants in my pants. 🙂

Summer bike ride

Fill up a backpack with picnic goodies this summer

A bike ride to the park

Photography by Amelia Tatnall
Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Curious to know… What does your perfect picnic look like? What kinds of snacks, drinks, sweet treats, and entertainment items would you bring to make the day extra special?

This post is in partnership with Ghirardelli. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.

7 comments | Click here to reply

Sign me up for chocolate mailed to my house any day!!!! And PS, I LOVE your pants.

Jeran McConnel

Thanks Brooke and Kelcy, though I can only take credit for the styling. The photos were taken by Amelia Tatnall. 🙂 She’s great!


Your pictures are adorable & styled so well! #GOALS

xo, B&K

Brooke & Kelcy | BKCsquared

Good question James. I forgot to mention that, but I like to use a citronella candle for keeping bugs at bay. This DIY version works really well:


I like the simplicity of what a nice hassle free summer picnic can look like. I have a question what do you do about inspects when you have your picnic lunches? Any suggestions? I can’t see to have one with bugs always showing up

James Ron Davis

The cocktail really is good Michelle. I think you’ll like it.


The pictures are wonderful, and I will try that lemonade because it looks so delicious!

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