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Romantic Valentine's Day Picnic

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

If you want real romance is there anything more romantic than a Valentine's Day Picnic?

Whether you live in a mild climate or the frozen north there is a way to have the picnic of your dreams.  Use some imagination, a couple of really easy recipes, and a great go with wine, and you can't miss.

The biggest mistake that most people make is to try to make something that is complex.  The easier and less stressful you keep the picnic the more romantic it will be.  Try not to build up unreasonable expectations but determine to enjoy it for what it is.  A fun, romantic evening for you and your mate.  Give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead and everything should go off smoothly. 


Basic Checklist

Here is the basic checklist of what you need to do to pull this picnic off.

  1. Arrange a babysitter.  Even if you will be picnicking at home arrange for the kids to be somewhere else.
  2. Plan the venue.  Are you going to have a theme? Are you planning a certain location?  Think about what seems the most romantic to you and then do what you need to do to create that ambiance.
  3. Plan the food.  Keep the menu simple and light, especially if you are planning a post picnic seduction.   
  4. Plan the entertainment.  After you eat will you just talk? Play a game? Watch a movie? Slow dance to your favorite oldies?
  5. Plan to make a memory.  Make sure that there is something special and memorable.  A special gift, a special event...something to make the evening memorable forever. 

Find a Babysitter

This shouldn't need a lot of explanation.

There are a couple of ways to do this.  If you can send the kids to grandma's that's great but if not :

  • Can they spend the night at friends?
  • Check the local colleges.
  • Ask your friends if they have a recommendation.
  • Get your babysitter early! The closer you get to Valentine's Day the harder it will be to get one.


Pack a Romantic Picnic

Plan the Venue

Will you be having your picnic outside or inside? Having the picnic outside is great unless it is forty degrees and raining. Here are some suggestions.

At Home:

  • In front of the fireplace
  • In the bedroom
  • A progressive picnic, one room to another

Inside, Not At Home:

  • A hotel room (book early)
  • The car (remember that backseat groping?)
  • A tent or camper 


  • Pretty much anywhere you can think of!

What your picinic is like will depend a lot on where you decide to have it.  Having the picnic at home or a hotel room will give you the most freedom but you should choose a place that you find romantic. 

Plan the Food...and the Wine

The food is going to have to pack and travel well because you are going to be putting it in a picnic basket.  You don't want things that are messy or difficult to eat.  You don't want foods that produce gas. It is amazing how many people choose to have Mexican food on Valentine's Day!  Not the best choice.

  • If you are going to be home what about a chocolate fountain and fruit?  Very romantic.
  • Cheese, grapes, and a good baguette are a classic choice for a reason.  They are sensual, delicious, and don't fill you up so much you have to digest for hours.
  • Small tea sandwiches cut on the diagonal.  Fill them with combinations like: smoked turkey and cranberry sauce,  ham and swiss, chicken salad with pecans, etc.
  • Smoked salmon and thinly sliced rye bread.
  • Small quiches of any sort will travel well and are easy to do.  The can even be made ahead and frozen.
  • Try a good Shiraz, a Cream Sherry, or an Amarone if you are going to do wine with chocolate and/or cheese.

Plan the Entertainment

The entertainment could be as simple as playing a game, watching a movie, or just talking. Movies to consider are:

  • Moonstruck
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • Mostly Martha (German with subtitles)
  • Princess Bride
  • Casablanca
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Fifty First Dates
  • Holiday Inn

Try to avoid movies like The Notebook that are very romantic but also induce tears. Light romantic comedies are the best for most people.

Plan the Memory

Romance is all about fantasy.  This is the time to dress up in fantasy clothes if you are staying home and be anyone that you want. Have fun with it and allow your imagination to run wild.

If you are going out you can play the fantasy as well, just do it with more discretion.

Move outside your comfort zone and create an evening that neither of you will ever forget. 


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    • Entourage_007 profile image

      Stuart 6 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Lots of great ideas in this hub, thanks for the ideas.

    • OliviaT profile image

      OliviaT 7 years ago from US

      Great Hub. The checklist can in very handy this year. thanks

    • Consultanttech profile image

      Consultanttech 7 years ago

      Yeah, just make sure its not the other person when you making all these plans? HELLO?

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you for thinking ahead, this actually gave me a great idea for Valentine's Day which I rarely think about until its almost here. Thanks for a great hub!!

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      The Expert does a great one again. You are working on Valentine's Day, and I am still on Christmas. You're good.

      Happy New Hubbing Year!