Relax Like a New Yorker: Enjoy a Fall Picnic October 04 2017

Central Park Picnic Fall

There is something especially magical about New York City in the fall.  Yes, some may say that the lights and festive mood make winter the best.  Others love the pretty flowers and break from bad weather that is spring.  And there are a few who prefer summer.  Given that New York tends to be hot and humid for about three months per year, there tends to be fewer fans of the summer itself, even though the parties, events, barbecues, concerts, etc. make many people very happy.

But in the fall, especially in October through Mid-November, there is something extra special about this time of year.  The city is active and alive.  The weather is crisp, but not too cold.  The trees are changing, but aren’t quite naked.  It is the perfect time for a picnic.

Now, it is possible to go to just about any restaurant, stand or coffee shop, grab some goodies, find a bench and enjoy an al fresco snack or lunch, but making an actual plan and setting up a special meal outside, and ideally on a blanket and savoring the meal as well as the company is a worthwhile experience.  There are many places such as Dean & Deluca and even some hotels that supply great picnic baskets, but the team at New York NightLife has picked a couple of places that make delicious packed outdoor options for your enjoyment.


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Located just a block away from Central Park, the popular Upper West Side eatery offers delicious gourmet Italian picnic options for parties of two or four.  You can order your picnic bag with as little as 24 hours in advance, seven days a week from 12:30 PM to 6 PM.  Their standard picnic bag includes paninis, antipasto, salads and dessert options, as well as a picnic tablecloth, napkins and utensils, but you can check out their menu and order additional items.  Note, coupons sites such as Groupon and Living Social often have special deals on these picnics.  If you are looking to save money, you may want to look into those options.  Pappardella is located at 316 Columbus Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY 10023.

Perfect Picnic

Perfect Picnic NYC

Something that makes Perfect Picnic special is that they deliver their special picnics all around Manhattan for fees ranging between $10-30, however, you can also stop by 81 Allen Street in the Lower East Side and pick up your feast.  Also, you can choose whether you want to feed one, seven or hundreds with either their American, Classic, Family and Deluxe Picnic options.  They have many varieties of picnic lunches available and they also have the Kids Picnic, that has a small meal prepared that is perfect for kids under 10. Now, if you want something more extravagant, you can choose to have a “picnic experience” which comes with everything you need for a picnic, including someone to wait on you and clean up the mess when you are done.  The price for these starts at $350 for two for a period of two hours and tip isn’t included, but this is a great romantic option for people who want to enjoy a great memory without the extra hassle.  Learn more here

For more suggestions, check out this article on packed picnic options in New York from CBS News and this piece from Time Out New York on best premade picnic baskets in NYC.  

General Tips for Picnicking in New York

  • Check the weather in advance, while moving a picnic indoors can be fun in a pinch, it can lose a bit of its magic.  So unless you are only in time for a short period of time, try to get a sense of what the weather will be to ensure the best conditions for this experience.
  • Should you find a ready-made picnic lunch that you love, but don’t have the proper equipment, visit a dollar or discount store and pick up a few items that will make the experience complete such as tablecloths, napkins and serving items.  Of course you can go fancier if you wish. 
  • Pick your location in advance.  In case you want some ideas of where to go on your picnic, check out this top ten list of great picnic spots from CBS news.
  • Technically, drinking alcohol is not legal in New York parks, but the laws have recently become more relaxed, so please be discreet with your choice of container.  Bring any necessary tools such as openers with you. Most ready-made picnics do not supply alcohol, and those that do may not be specifically  what you want, so think about bringing your own. 

Happy picnicking!