Picnicking Spots & Meal Ideas

Are you trying to soak up the gorgeous weather before Chicago again becomes Chiberia?  Me too.  That’s why we are eating out (and no, I don’t mean going to restaurants—my wallet can only stretch so far) as often as possible.  I love serving meals as picnics because it puts an extra special spin on a weeknight or weekday meal.  But sometimes we want to go to a beautiful spot to have our picnic.  Read on to learn about the best picnicking spots in Chicagoland:

Picnicking spots in Chicagoland  found on www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Where to Go

Independence Grove Playground Slide - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Independence Grove

There is so much to do at Independence Grove, from the trails to the parks and much more.  We love setting up a picnic under a giant tree and watching everyone and everything (I’m talking about you, cute little baby turtles) while we dine.

Village Green Statue - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

The Village Green

Our favorite park on Chicago’s North Shore, the Village Green Park has it all.  And when you need a break from the water fountains, sand box, playgrounds, and open fields, there is ample room for a great picnic.  And you can even pick up from one of the nearby restaurants…or at least end with an ice cream treat.

Maggie Daley Park Bridge Sculpture - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Maggie Daley Park

So much can be said about Maggie Daley Park.  It truly is a feast for the eyes.  That’s why we bring our feast along with us, people and boat watching while taking a break from the nonstop fun at Chicago’s prestigious park.

Adler Planetarium Story Time - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Adler Planetarium

Looking for a more low key city picnicking spot?  Then head near the Adler Planetarium.  I highly recommend visiting their uber kid friendly play space and then taking a break for lunch along the lakefront.  You also are near 31st street beach, so you can put your toes in the sand after a satisfying meal.

North School Park Water Fountain - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

North School Park

Looking for a place that is just plain beautiful to have a picnic?  Then North School Park in Arlington Heights has you covered.  It has a great shaded playground, massive water fountain, and perfect landscaping to take in the beautiful Fall colors.

Evanston Lakefront Open Land - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Evanston Lakefront

Evanston has miles of free parks located on the shore of Lake Michigan, so pack a blanket and pick a spot under a 100 year old tree to enjoy a meal.  There are also grills provided if you are feeling adventurous and want to try out one of my grilling recipes.  Food trucks also like to visit the lakefront to share their delicious eats and treats.

What to Eat

I like to keep picnics simple so that you can focus on having fun.  I prefer to use store bought food the majority of the time, but if I have the time and energy, I love to make fresh salsa, cucumber salad, orzo casserole, veggie frittata, fruit kabobs, and whip up something easy and delicious using a rotisserie chicken.  And you can’t forget some tasty drinks and/or smoothies either.

Madison and Rayne Meal - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

Another great option?  The premade salads from Madison and Rayne.  I can’t say enough good things about this Chicago based food service, and they are offering $30 off your order with promo code AMANDA30.

I hope this post inspires you to go out and soak up the gorgeous weather before Old Man Winter comes back again.

Tell me, did your favorite picnicking spot make the list?

What is your favorite thing to pack on a picnic?

Bon Appetite!
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  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    It sounds like there are a lot great places for a picnic in Chicago. I keep meaning to ask you why you call it Chicagoland. Is it different than Chicago?

  2. Victoria says

    I have never been in chicago but it was a beautiful place to visit. When i visit to the chicago i will do a family picnik.

  3. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    I haven’t gone on a picnic for a long time. I miss being able to sit on the grass, on a beautiful park and read. I will really have to include this in my planning for things to do when the weather gets warmer again.

    • amandasimkin says

      Being outside as much as possible is my favorite thing about Fall. Summer gets a little too hot and humid for me and Spring is always so cold in Chicago!

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