9 Summer Picnic Goals, According To TikTok

Make like these Picnic-Tok influencers and create a gorgeous outdoor spread.

Picnics are for everyone. All it really takes is a blanket and something as simple as a box of crackers and, voila, you're picnicking. But TikTok videos provide a glimpse of downright aspirational picnics, meals that inspire us—an entire #cottagecore aesthetic that proves picnics aren't just about the food, but about curating an entire vibe.

Whether you're dreaming of a pink champagne lunch or something else entirely, the sunny corner of the internet known as Picnic-Tok has some inspiration for you.

Make a picnic bento box

Forget what you think you know about picnic food, always tucked tidily into a woven basket. You can create something delicious, compact, and totally Instagrammable by packing your outdoor meal in a bento box. The recipe above revolves around salmon, but as a plethora of other TikToks show, the bento possibilities are endless. And it won't blow away in the wind like paper plates do.

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Pack your food in a stackable thermos

Even if you don't feel like getting innovative with the food itself, get creative with how you pack your snacks by making use of a stackable thermos. Whether you fill it with something as fancy as shaved fennel salad or as affordable as cheese puffs is up to you—and with all those temp-controlled compartments of varying sizes at your disposal, why not both? You (and your thermos) contain multitudes.

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Try the Rainbow Picnic Challenge

Instead of going through the back-and-forth exchanges to determine who's bringing what to your group picnic, make it easy with a color-coded assignment. The Rainbow Picnic Challenge is simple and fun: Everyone just needs to bring a course for every color of the rainbow. The color can be found either on the packaging of an item or within the substance of a dish itself. If you're really hell-bent on bringing something specific that doesn't match one of the predetermined hues, well, time to whip out the food coloring.

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Go goth with an all-black picnic

Pastels and bright colors may dominate Picnic-Tok, but that doesn't mean technicolor is the only way to do outdoor dining. Goths can have picnics too! Gather your friends from the shadows for an all-black dining experience, from the dress code to the serving utensils to the lemonade. (Black lemonade is made with activated charcoal, so you don't even have to risk staining your countertops with food coloring.)

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Pizza is perfect picnic food

Don't stress about preparing a picture-perfect meal if all you really want out of your picnic is to share a meal outdoors. In that case, try a BYOS picnic—Bring Your Own Slice. Everyone will get exactly what they're craving. Plus, it makes for easy outdoor cleanup when all you have to do is toss a few pizza boxes.

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Go ahead, make maqluba

If you do want to go big, go big. Be like these pinickers and bring a whole maqluba to the park. Maqluba, a Middle Eastern dish featuring meat, rice, and fried vegetables, is served upside down straight from the pot—which, of course, provides the sort of visual flair that viral videos are made of. As the TikTok above shows, you might need several friends to help serve this one.

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Deck out your trunk

If you're not exactly about sitting on the ground, you have options, especially if you have access to a car. A trunk can become a picturesque tablescape with just a few added accessories, like battery-operated twinkle lights, some comfy pillows, flowers, and candles (plus some delicious food, of course). This is also a great option if weather affects your picnic plans. Just take in the view of a rainy landscape from the comfort of your car.

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Any meal can be a picnic

Lunch isn't the only meal of the day that calls for picnics. No matter the time of day or what type of food you're craving, you can hit the picnic blanket to enjoy a meal out in nature. As evidenced in the video above, a mason jar is a great portable vessel for your morning coffee, and you can bring a thermos of frozen coffee ice cubes to make it a chilled drink for a hot day. Breakfast food lends itself so well to the picnic treatment, in fact, that we might ask our friends to meet us at the park bright and early to snack on some french toast sticks this weekend.

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Animals can enjoy picnics too

Yogi Bear may well have been based on a true story if this TikTok is to be believed. While you should absolutely bring your own pet on picnics with you when possible, both for the companionship and the adorable social media content, for your own safety you should avoid any wild animals you might see enjoying a meal in the park. (You don't want to get in their shot while they're trying to go viral on TikTok.)

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