July is National Picnic Month and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the outdoors, the company of good friends, and great food. We put together a list of must-haves for planning a perfect picnic.

Pick the Perfect Spot

The great thing about picnics is they can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. Whether you invite your friends or choose to enjoy quality me-time, you just have to get outside and enjoy.

Check out these great parks and green spaces to host your picnic in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas and Pennsylvania.




Chicago Parks


  • Lincoln Park: Slab Cove and Chess Pavilion are scenic spots to visit within the park and are along the lake shore.
  • Millennium Park: While it’s known for The Bean, it has plenty of green space, perfect for a picnic. Pro Tip: Enjoy post-picnic cocktails just around the corner at Sweetwater.
  • Grant Park: Gaze at the skyline in this lush and serene picnic spot. Pro Tip: Enjoy post-picnic cocktails just around the corner at South Branch Tavern and Grille.
  • Sedgewick Park and Seward (William) Park are also great options near Old Town Pour House Chicago.


  • Danada Forest Preserve: A beautiful preserve with wooded and sunny spots perfect for picnics. Plus you may see horses on your visit!


  • York Woods: A relaxing forest preserve with a covered picnic area, lots of green space, and a walking path.


  • Busse Woods Picnic Grove: There are multiple picnic groves located in the lakeside forest retreat of Busse Woods. Be sure to look out for elk!


Century Park Boat Dock Picnic Shelter

Century Park Boat Dock Picnic Shelter

  • Century Park Boat Dock Picnic Shelter: Century Park is the largest park in the district and has multiple picnic tables to take advantage of.


  • Performance Pavilion at Heritage Park: Beautiful park with luscious green spaces for picnics. Pro Tip: Check their calendar for free concerts, and stop in City Works right around the corner!


  • Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park: A beautiful green space with trails and covered picnic tables.



Arsenal Community Park and Skate Park

Arsenal Community Park


  • Arsenal Community Park and Skate Park: A lovely area of green with covered and open-air picnic tables. Pro Tip: Place a pick-up order at City Works only 0.3 miles away.


  • Trinity Trails River Park:  There are so many perfect picnic spots in this park and a plethora of shade to keep cool in the Texas heat.


Frisco Central Park

Frisco Central Park


  • Frisco Central Park: Enjoy views of creeks, bridges, water displays, and art at this quiet and relaxing park.




Varnum's Picnic Area

Varnum’s Picnic Area

  • Varnum’s Picnic Area: Located within Valley Forge National Historical Park. Pro Tip: Park at the picnic area, enjoy your picnic, and then head out on the trails.


Point State Park

Point State Park


  • Point State Park: A beautiful urban park with a fountain, green spaces, a biking path, and phenomenal views of downtown Pittsburgh Pro Tip: Place a pick-up order at City Works only 0.3 miles away.

Packing a Picnic Basket

Pack The Essentials

Level up your picnic game by packing these practical items.



  • Even if there is a picnic table at your chosen spot, a blanket is a must-have. If you don’t have a picnic blanket, sheets and tablecloths also work great. Pro Tip: Bring a couple of yoga mats to put under your blanket for extra cushion.



  • You’ll need something to pack your supplies in. Backpacks work as well as, if not better than, a basket!



  • Essential for keeping our ice cream and beverages cold. Don’t forget your ice packs! Pro Tip: Put your ice in a ziplock bag and you’ll have clean ice for your beverages.


Rebel's Hot Chicken Food Spread



  • Fried Chicken, BBQ, pinwheels, fruit, and cold veggies are great options for a picnic.
  • To alleviate any stress, place a pick-up order with Rebel’s Hot Chicken or Secret Sauce Barbeque. Think pulled pork, spicy bread and butter pickles, creamy grits, chipotle coleslaw, BBQ pork tacos, fried chicken sandwiches, chopped salad, and more.
  • Hosting a large group? Try our Great For Groups options.
  • Pro Tip: Make your own ice cream sandwiches to bring with you. We have included an easy 3-ingredient recipe at the end of this article.


City Works Growler



  • Pack a large bottle of H2O, lemonade, or your beverage of choice. If wine is your go-to, don’t forget the wine opener!
  •  Pro Tip: Pick up a growler of your favorite beer from your local Bottleneck restaurant or check out our other alcohol-to-go options. (City Works, Old Town Pour House, South Branch, Sweetwater



  • Don’t forget your hand sanitizer, plates, cups, napkins, and utensils.



  • The scenery and conversations will be great entertainment but bring a deck of cards, conversation starter cards, or an active game like Kan Jam for an added element of fun and a little friendly competition. If you’re enjoying your picnic solo, bring your favorite book to catch up on or an adult coloring book to spark some creative energy.



  • Don’t forget your sunscreen, insect repellant, hat, and sunglasses.


Leave No Trace

We hope National Picnic Month encourages you to get out and celebrate the warm summer days while enjoying great food and even better company, but don’t forget to clean up any trash to keep our parks and green spaces beautiful.


Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Recipe


  • 1 Pint Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato (Talenti is wonderful)
  • 8 Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies (Tate’s is a good choice)
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Sprinkles


  • Leave the ice cream at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until it’s soft but not melted. Place 4 cookies flat-side up and place one scoop of ice cream on each cookie. Place 4 more cookies, flat sides down, on top of each scoop of ice cream and press lightly until the ice cream is at the edge of the cookies.
  • Put the sprinkles on a small plate and roll the edge of the sandwiches on the plate. Place the sandwiches in the freezer immediately and freeze until firm. Place them in plastic bags and pack them in your cooler for a refreshing treat at your picnic.


 If you host a picnic this month, share your photos and let us know on social media. Happy picnicking!