Pack the Perfect Picnic in Delaware With These Tips

Want to pack the perfect picnic? Here are some tips from the experts at Harp & Hare, a Delaware-based luxury picnic business.

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With a peaceful outdoor ambiance and scrumptious bites, picnicking is a beloved summer tradition. Luxury picnic companies like Delaware’s Harp & Hare started popping up in recent years to provide Instagram-ready picnicking experiences.

While there’s nothing wrong with sandwich bags full of pretzels and PB&J, it does lack the cinematic experience we’re often seeking in an ideal picnic. If you’re looking to elevate your next picnic, turn to the experts for advice.

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Courtney Thornton, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Harp & Hare, offers us the company’s pro tips for planning and packing the perfect picnic in Delaware.

Why a Picnic?

Along with the refreshing change of scenery and relaxed, informal atmosphere, Thornton also points out that eating outdoors can be great for overall wellness.

“Picnics encourage physical activity, such as walking or playing games, enhancing overall well-being,” she says.

“We started our pop-up picnic business because of our passion for hosting social events for family and friends. During the pandemic, we saw a strong need for meaningful social connections in a safe environment. By enhancing the overall picnic experience, we aimed to provide a unique and enjoyable way for people to reconnect safely over delicious food and beautiful decor.”

The Picnic Essentials

Thornton advises using “The Four Ts” when planning a picnic. When starting the planning process, here are four key things to consider:

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Terrain: Choose a shady spot under a tree on even ground. Make sure the background is picturesque. Choose a unique environmental feature like a lush garden, waterfront or beautiful architecture.

Theme: Pick a unifying theme for the picnic; bonus points if there’s a dress code. The theme can be holiday-related or even just a color scheme.

Tunes: Create a playlist and bring a Bluetooth speaker. The playlist should fit the theme or can be string covers.

Tastes: Provide food and drinks. Ensure you have proper coverings to protect from bugs. Bring a small trash bag to dispose of everything.


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Planning Your Picnic

The planning process for a picnic is dependent on many factors. The first thing to consider is the number of guests. When planning a large picnic, Thornton recommends a spacious location with ample seating and shade for comfort. A diverse menu with plenty of options to cater to different dietary needs is also a must. The picnicking experience doesn’t stop at eating and drinking, though, and neither should your planning!

“Bring plenty of activities like games or sports equipment to keep everyone entertained throughout the picnic,” Thornton adds.

For an intimate picnicking date, Thornton recommends handwritten chalkboard signs, a romantic playlist, fresh flowers, rose petals and a thoughtful activity.

“We include the card game ‘Intimacy,'” she explains. “Which is a deck of cards with question prompts that spark meaningful conversations with couples to help build a deeper connection.”

Picnicking Food and Storage Essentials

“Picnics are for light meals,” Thornton advises.

She recommends finger sandwiches, lemon bars, scones, petit fours, iced tea, lemonade and wine. For charcuterie, Harp & Hare often partners with Wilmington-based Luxe Charcuterie. You can order charcuterie cups, personal boxes, larger boxes and even a 16″ tray on Luxe Charcuterie’s website and pick it up before your picnic.

For storage and setup, Thornton recommends bento boxes, coolers, thermos, foldable food tents, tabletop fly fans to keep the bugs away and a classic fabric lined picnic basket for storage. Use citronella candles for a bug-free picnic!

Here are some of our picks based on Harp & Hare’s recommendations.

Country Picnic Basket | $59 | Picnic Time

Pop-up Mesh Food Covers | $14 | Amazon

Modern Lunch Box | $35 | Bentgo


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24 oz Icon Food Jar | $30 | Thermos


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Want to Skip the Planning?

Some situations call for a good old-fashioned DIY, but for a special occasion or to treat yourself and your loved ones, consider hiring the pros. Harp & Hare can plan anything from a girls day to a surprise engagement picnic to a corporate event. When in doubt, turn to the experts!

Related: 10 Brunch Hotspots at the Delaware Beaches

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