Welcome to picnic season, Tampa Bay couples! The air is (slightly) less humid, the sun is shining, and that means it’s time to break out those checkerboard blankets and charcuterie boards. From Downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park to St. Petersburg’s Crescent Lake and beyond, plenty of locales exist here for you to enjoy an unforgettable date night. Chill your favorite chardonnay and surprise your significant other with a creative picnic soiree for just the two of you. Here’s how to plan it.
CONSIDER THE MENU
Leave picnic packing to the pros and purchase a ready-made spread of jams, cheeses, specialty cured meats and more. Sure, you could toss some water crackers and a few hunks of cheese into a basket, spread out a blanket and enjoy. There’s something to be said for luxury convenience, though. These local experts are ready to elevate your picnic to phenomenal.
Who better to put together a spread that makes you say WOW than a Cheese Executive Officer? Visit The Charcuterie Chic’s Instagram page (@thecharcuteriechic) and scroll to enjoy gorgeous spreads that can only be described as food art. Plump mahogany figs, king-size green olives, that goat cheese studded with chives…and wait, is that oversized wedge brie?
All this can be yours, Tampa Bay. Just send a DM and fill out this form to complete an order inquiry. You’ll be contacted within 48 hours to solidify details and select favorites (like that must-have brie) to create your custom board.
Opt for pickup or delivery, and rent the wood charcuterie board or opt to keep it. A word of advice? Keep it. And top it time and time again with delicacies for your future Tampa picnic date nights. Boxes are also available to order in a to-go form, perfect for picnicking.
Yummy Tablas bills itself as The Most Elegant and Delicious Grazing Tables & Platters Impressively Delivered with White Gloves. Their featured fall spread is a bright collection of yumminess, from the golden apricots to bright jams and gleaming honey, with generous salami slices and other meats curled in between.
Picnic-friendly options include spreads like The Picnic Graze Box ($55), which serves four, and The Grand Graze Board ($285) which also serves four and comes with with an accompanying bottle of bubbly. Or, go for the mini 5 O’Clock Somewhere box ($25 – minimum order of two) which is the perfect size to pack for a picnic in the park.
What better than wine and cheese to ease the sting of digital learning? Gracious Grazing features boards and to-go boxes, plus occasional workshops. One of their creative ‘to go’ concoctions is a ‘digital learning assortment’ complete with an encouraging message. Signature ‘Boat day’ boards are covered in antimicrobial plastic wrap and all items are disposable.
Gracious Grazing provides culinary highlights for special events – like that romantic picnic you’re planning. Send a direct message for more information and to order, or call (901) 674-5205.
For DIY provisions, stock your own basket with delicacies from Mazzaro’s, the Italian market in St. Pete known for its cheeses (the dairy delights have a room all of their own; varieties number 300+). Watch as prosciutto is sliced perfectly thin and pile your cart with crackers – or order a custom cheese and charcuterie board. Just don’t forget the famous cannoli for dessert.
Check out our guide to planning a Gourmet Tampa Bay Date Night at Home for more local spots offering picnic-worthy goods.
PERFECT YOUR PICNIC SETUP
While you could certainly pack your own picnic basket and blanket, why not leave it to the pros? These local Tampa Bay picnic companies specialize in elaborate setups ideal for a romantic Tampa Bay picnic.
Wine? Check. Cheese? Double check. Ambiance? Triple check. The Picnic Social specializes in luxury pop-up picnics in Tampa Bay. A relatively new company, their Instagram pictures on @thepicnicsocial showcase beautiful flower arrangements and other inviting ‘picnicscapes.’ The Picnic Social also collaborates with The Charcuterie Chic for grazing boards, so all you have to do it show up and enjoy your picnic spread. Email or message to book: [email protected].
Looking for bohemian rhapsody meets pop-up dining experience? That’s My Jam creates unforgettable experiences just about anywhere in Tampa and nearby. Of course, every pop-up (known as a Jam) comes standard with a signature grazer board. This is the company to consider if a wedding proposal is on the picnic menu. Think birthdays, besties, graduations and more: any event that deserves extra-special spice is Jam-worthy.
That’s My Jam doesn’t just deliver – they also set up the entire picnic experience, so there’s no lugging flatware or grumbling that you forgot the cheese knife. Simply sit back, pop those bottles, and relax.
For picnicking, opt for the Basket JAM which includes a picnic basket, grazing plate with cheese, fruit and crackers, a bread box, seasonal floral stems, 2 sparkling waters and dessert. Pricing ranges from $145 – $190 depending on the basket type. For a proposal or special occasion, the Luxe Jam is a full-service experience with a romantic setup, food, candles and decor, a speaker and more. Luxe Jams are $496 and can be set up anywhere, including your own backyard.
Book your Jam online and select items that serve as mementos long after all the gouda is gone. You know what they say: picnicking is temporary, but a handwoven picnic basket is forever.
While not technically a picnic in the traditional sense, this private beachfront dining experience is close enough to count! The team at Romantic Honeymoon Island offers this service to couples for $160/person. Dinner includes a private tent and table on the beach, a dedicated server, multi-course meal, champagne and strawberries.
Fill out the form on the website to inquire, or call (727) 260 – 5503.
PICK YOUR TAMPA BAY PICNIC SPOT
Choose your ideal ambience: Is it a picnic table with sailboats on one side and tiny planes taking off on the other? The Vinoy Park lawn, where people watching is at its finest? Are you hoping for the respite of nature (and the occasional alligator sighting)? Picnicking is intimate, creative, and, with the help of the companies shared above, delicious.
Here are some suggestions to start off your ‘must see’ picnic destinations. Just don’t forget the brie.
ALBERT WHITTED PARK (AKA Airplane Park)
480 Bayshore Dr SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
701 Bayshore Dr NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
7400 25TH St N
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
3500 Pinellas Bayway S
St. Petersburg, FL 33715
600 N Ashley Dr
51 Main St
Dunedin, FL 34698
1825 4th St N
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
4810 N Himes Ave
Tampa, FL 33614
Refer to our list of Top Tampa Bay Parks for the Perfect Picnic Date for more ideas.
Feature image credit: That’s My Jam