Plan an Afternoon Picnic

Take advantage of beautiful weather with a picnic for friends and family. Whether you want a big gathering or a small get-together, our Giant Eagle® guide will help you plan a successful event.
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Bring plenty of sunscreen, water and insect repellant.

Give it a theme

A theme makes your picnic special and helps narrow down what food to serve.

  • Play Date: Plan a play date with your child's close friends. Have children bring their favorite toys, and prepare kid-friendly foods like carrot sticks, apple slices, mini peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and cookies. Include snacks and beverages for the adults.
  • Tea Party: Brew some tea at home, chill it and add lemons, peaches or raspberries for flavor. Transport your tea in a sealed pitcher with plenty of ice to keep it cool. Then, pick up cookies at your local Giant Eagle® Bakery.
  • Go Gourmet: A platter of fine cheeses with apple slices, figs, prosciutto and crackers,  a bottle of wine, and crystal plastic wear and pretty napkins make elegant picnic fare.
  • Birthday Celebration: Make it a birthday picnic for yourself or a loved one.

Location, location, location

Get creative with the location, but consider how much space you will need to accommodate everyone. Make sure you have plenty of shade available, too.

  • Many state parks have picnic coves, and some have grills set up right next to them. Or pack a portable grill to make grilled food.
  • A local park provides a perfect spot if there kids are on your guest list. Choose a spot with a playground close by, and bring a Frisbee® or soccer ball.
  • Make a day of it. Drive out to the country to discover a fun new place.
  • Feeling adventurous? Rent a canoe and go downriver to a quiet spot. Pack plenty of food and drinks to refuel for the ride back.
  • No matter where you picnic, bring sunscreen, water and insect repellant. 

Easy picnic foods

Make it easy on yourself. Go to Giant Eagle for everything you need for your afternoon picnic.

  • Cookies from the Giant Eagle Bakery make easy crowd-pleasers.
  • Bring a variety of bread and sandwich buns with some meats and cheese from the Giant Eagle Deli for a make-your-own sandwich option.
  • Olives and antipasti make excellent choices if you want a light, yet sophisticated meal.
  • Giant Eagle potato chips are great for snacking. And our string cheese (a favorite with the kids) is easy to transport and keeps well in a cooler.
  • Juice boxes reduce spilling and make clean up easy.


Safety first

Follow these few simple precautions to reduce the risk of food-borne illness:

  • Separate raw foods from other foods. Vegetables and fruits should not come into contact with cooked meats and cheeses.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Cook foods ahead of time and pack them after they’ve cooled. Make sure all food is cooked thoroughly.
  • Keep perishable products in a cooler with ice or a cold pack.
  • Bring disposable, alcohol-based wipes to clean hands and surfaces.
  • If you plan to grill food, read the safety tips in our guide to grilling.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service