10 Sensational Summer Picnic (or Potluck) Ideas

The weather is finally warm after what seemed like an endless winter. The minute you put your flip flops on, the pace of life gets slower and the living gets easy – including picnics and potlucks. Simply pick a theme from these fun-tastic ideas!

Pro Tip: With social distancing still recommended, think “outdoor festivities” that allow for plenty of space between attendees, use props such as picnic blankets or hula hoops to mark off safe distances between households, and consider using SignUp to manage the headcount at your event at any given time.

Sensational Summer Potluck Picnic Ideas

1. Ice Cream Social – Stock up on a variety of flavors and toppings, or have your guests sign up to bring their favorites.

2. Summer Movie Night – If you’ve got a projector, set up lawn chairs for the adults and throw blankets on the ground for the kids for an outdoor movie night. Consider renting an old-fashioned popcorn maker, and serving typical drive-in movie fare.

3. Star Gazing – Another outdoor viewing party, but no need for a projector for this one! Time this to coincide with a meteor shower or eclipse and serve star and planet themed food and drinks.

4. Mexican Fiesta – Celebrate with a Mexican taco bar and a margarita machine, and don't forget the piñata!

5. Dessert Buffet – Have participants sign up to bring their favorite desserts in miniature form, creating decadent finger food.

6. Wine Tasting – Have guests bring a bottle of their favorite wine and their favorite appetizer to pair with it.

7. Under the Sea or Beach – If you can’t take all your friends to the beach, bring the beach to them! Decorate with sand and shells and candles inside hurricane glasses. Have guests sign up to bring their favorite beach-related food and turn up the Beach Boys!

8. Luau – An exotic twist on a summer party, traditional luaus are potluck affairs with each family invited responsible for bringing a signature dish. Decorate with grass skirts and fresh flowers, and serve drinks in coconut husks. Don’t forget the tiny umbrellas!

9. Hot Dog/Burger Bar – This July 4th, what could be more American than a burger/hot dog buffet? Do the grilling ahead of time and have guests bring side dishes and fixings.

10. Neighborhood Block Party – You’ve been meaning to do it forever, but why not take advantage of the nice weather to get to know your neighbors? Call the city to arrange to block off your street, set up long tables to hold food and drinks, and crank the tunes!

At SignUp, we’ve got everything you need to organize a picnic or potluck right at your fingertips. With easy SignUp sheets, event reminders and checklists, all of the details for your next potluck are handled and you can concentrate on the other fun details, like choosing a theme!

Annual Picnic SignUp on Mobile

For more potluck ideas, DOs and DON’Ts visit our Potluck Planning Center!