5 Tips for Designing the Perfect Picnic Area


Giving people a place to sit and eat at their destination point helps increase enjoyment. Beaches, walking paths, hiking trails, bike trails and parks all benefit from the addition of a picnic area. With a place to sit and relax, people are more inclined to stay longer.

Picnic areas can take on many shapes and forms. Some of this will be dictated by the area and how many visitors it sees. Other attributes, however, are up to the designer. Ideally, when creating a picnic area, catering to the most needs will get you furthest.

By creating a flexible, functional area, you ensure maximum enjoyment for the most people. These five tips are designed to help you create the perfect picnic area. Use them in conjunction with your space’s needs to design the ideal area.

1. Flexible Seating

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Not everyone interacts with a table the same way. Children, adults and people with disabilitiesuse picnic areas. When you offer flexible seating designs, you make the area more accessible for everyone.

This may mean including a few lower tables for children. Or, it may mean including some picnic benches with backs for those that need support. Blend different configurations and sizes of tables in one area and utilize the same materials and overall style. This creates a cohesive design that still ensures maximum use and enjoyment.

The larger your area, they more flexibility you can offer. If you have a small picnic area, consider using tables that have a mix of bench types. This way, users still have options, even if there are fewer tables.

2. Hydration Stations

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Many picnic areas are situated in recreational locations. People using them are likely to also be taking part in a physical activity of some kind. Therefore, offering a bottle filling station can enhance the use of the area.

Bottle filling stations allow people to hydrate their dogs, fill bottles before leaving, or to simply get a drink while they eat. A hydration area can definitely help encourage visitors to stick around.

Make sure that you install the hydration station in a central location. It should be easily seen and accessible to all visitors of the site.

3. Well-Marked Sections

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Are there trails near your picnic area? Are there bathrooms nearby? Do you have a bottle filler or grill? If any of these things exist at your picnic area, take the time to label them clearly with signage.

Signs take the guesswork out of using the area. Whether you have one large map of all nearby trails or several discrete signs, marking the area makes it easier to use and increases enjoyment. This can also help prevent people from going into areas they should not. 

Make sure that your picnic area is well marked. Include not only the site itself, but any nearby attractions or facilities for best results.

4. Grilling Stations

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Many large parks include picnic areas with grilling stations. A grilling station gives patrons more options for how they will use the area. By adding a grill, users can have small parties at the picnic area or come prepared to stay for the day. For very large parks, having multiple grills and picnic areas is beneficial to accommodate more guests.

Install grills that utilize either wood or charcoal for safety. Patrons can bring their own fuel with them, so it doesn’t need to be stored at the picnic site.

5. Shade

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Consider setting the picnic area in a naturally shady section of your property. Natural cover over picnic tables enhances use by providing a cooler spot out of the sun. 

By including shade in the picnic area, you encourage users to stay longer. If guests don’t need to worry about the weather, they can relax. 

Create the Perfect Picnic Area

Picnic areas come in all shapes and sizes. This means you can customize yours to fit your guests’ needs. Make the area easily accessible and comfortable to ensure maximum use. Provide adequate seating, shade, hydration and cooking options for the most enjoyment. You’ll soon find your picnic area is attracting guests.

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