10 Kid-Friendly Picnic Essentials

With these kid-friendly, stylish items, you can turn any outing into a sit-down al-fresco meal for the whole family

Kate MacLean
1 / 10

Comfy Spread

First, claim a bit of the forest floor for yourself and your family. You want a blanket that is handsome but machine washable (because: food, forest, kids). You also need it to cover a good amount of space so that nobody is left to make a seat of leaves and sticks—this one succeeds on all counts.
2 / 10

Portable Table

You aren’t a pack of wild dogs. Just because you’re eating al fresco doesn’t mean you must eat from the ground. Elevate your meal with this stunning and easily packable table in a bag. The legs simply screw into the table top (sans tools) to make an elegant wooden setting.
3 / 10

Chic Basket

Because these are summer picnic memories your children will carry with them through life, how about making the basket an heirloom to pass down with them? This one is handwoven in New England by a 163-year-old company.
4 / 10

Hardy Plates

Whereas paper plates tend to disintegrate and give your meal an unpleasant taste, this bamboo set is handsome and sturdy and (most importantly) unbreakable.
5 / 10

Stylish Vessels

With every great kid-friendly picnic comes a great mocktail. Treat your kids to a thermos of Shirley Temples. But instead of playing roulette with the germs your dear kids may be harboring, pour everyone their own cup of grenadined bliss. You can even choose a different watercolor design for each family member so that there are no more tantrums about which cup belongs to whom.
6 / 10

Insulated Jars

Keep drinks (or anything hot or cold) at temperature for up to 20 hours. So no matter how unbearably hot the day, you can get the refreshment you need without rush or worry.
7 / 10

Distinctive Napkins

Do away with wasteful paper towels by providing each picnicker with their own individual cloth napkin (this is a good trick for dining in the home too). You have children so you do laundry on the regular; what’s a small handful of cloth napkins to add to the load?
8 / 10

Kid-Friendly Flatware

Unless you brilliantly put together an Ethiopian feast or you bought burritos from your nearest taqueria, chances are you will want a fork for this meal. Finally, some versatile flatware that works well for kids and that adults can use without the risk of self-infantilization.
9 / 10

Stellar Cooler

It goes without saying that you’ll want to keep your food chilled. This insulated cooler is spacious enough for a complete meal, but comfy enough to tote either by the handles or shoulder strap.
10 / 10


Put all of your items in your (collapsible) picnic wagon. This puppy folds up to the size of a pack and play but when unfolded, can wheel around your small kiddos and your picnic supplies. The sturdy tires are great for gentle “off-roading” to get to the part of the park that is free from college students who started drinking at 11 am.