As spring approaches and the weather begins to warm up, it’s time to enjoy Strawberry Fest, lazy afternoons in Washington Square Park and a refreshing picnic. Here are five themes to turn your run-of-the-mill outdoor gathering into an impressive occasion.
Try packing some fancy seafood selections, such as crab cakes, lobster rolls, cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce. Scatter some seashells across your table and accent the decor with seashell-themed dishware. Don’t forget to keep the perishable foods chilled.
Host your picnic at Hudson River Park, Pier 63, W. 23rd St., Chelsea
Adorn your guests with beautiful leis as they bask in the sun at your picnic. Menu choices to complement the theme include chicken, long rice, Hawaiian sweet potatoes and taro rolls. For dessert, opt for chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, coconut cupcakes or a pineapple upside-down cake.
Host your picnic at Gowanus Grove, 400 Carroll St.
A Spanish-style picnic is a fun way to spend your day in the park. Hang a piñata on a nearby tree or decorate picnic tables with colorful streamers. Cook up some delicious quesadillas, tapas and barbecued corn on the cob. Make some virgin Sangria or fruit punch for a final touch.
Host your picnic at Carl Schurz Park, East End Ave. at 86th Street
Pretend you’re strolling through the greenery in Paris with a très chic Parisian-themed picnic. Pack a picnic basket with sparkling cider, a large baguette, sliced pastrami, mini Gouda wheels and a jar of Dijon mustard. Round out the menu with sliced apples drizzled in honey, miniature ladyfingers or chocolate éclairs. Don’t forget your dresses or linen pants.
Host your picnic at Governor’s Island, Picnic Point, Gresham Road
To replicate the brunch refreshments served at your favorite coffee house, pack a thick blanket, napkins, dishware, a bottle of lemon water and flavored coffee. Add fresh croissants, mini bagels, cream cheese, orange marmalade and butter to the basket as the main brunch dish. Side dishes can include melon fruit salad, sliced peaches with strawberry yogurt dip, vanilla frosted chocolate cupcakes and almond biscotti.
Host your picnic at MacNeil Park, College Point, Poppenhusen Avenue
Sanjana Kucheria is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]