The Company Picnic

18 July 17



Jaime Marie here, back again.


It’s summer time! The sun is shining bright, the grass is soft and green, and people are hankering for a little fun outside with friends. Sounds like the PERFECT time for a company picnic. Whaddya say?


Why a Company Picnic?


Company picnics are a fantastic way to show appreciation for the efforts of employees. What says “thank you” better than some free (for them) food and fun activities on a nice afternoon?  A picnic can be a great venue in which to introduce employees’ families to your company and each other, and to forge new connections in an enjoyable, relaxed way. These picnics entertain all age groups through a variety of events, such as carnival games, music, employee matches and so much more!


Here’s What You Need…


The BIG stuff Food The FUN stuff The IMPORTANT stuff
Venue What fits the theme?

-Burgers? Tacos?

Hire entertainment Rent equipment
Calendar Date Drinks?

-Beer? Soda? Water?

Plan activities Invite guests
Caterer “Fun foods”

-Slushies? Ice cream? -Food Trucks?

Décor Signs and banners





Where you decide to hold your event is crucial. I’ve learned through experience that it’s best to choose a location with both an indoor and an outdoor option, in case of bad weather. Do you want your event to be more of a country club style or are you hoping for more of a relaxing, picnic-y type event? There are locations available for party’s that are classy, comfortable, or anything in between.


The activities you decide upon help narrow down the venue options. If you’re looking to host more active games, you may want a location with a large area of free space. For those companies who hope their event is more aimed toward conversation, mingling and foods, you all may want a venue without so much room.





Should a work event be strictly for employees? Or should the invitation be open to their spouses and munchkins as well? In my personal opinion, toddlers and teens alike always make the party more interesting- there’s more laughs, more action, and ultimately more conversation.


Windy City Field House also makes a good point in saying, “Summertime company picnics and holiday parties are two of the best opportunities for inviting family into the fold. Not only does it capitalize on the season (think warm summer days and festive winter nights); it can also make your corporate events more interesting.”


Each member of the staff has a life outside of the office. For every good employee, there’s a great family behind them every step of the way- so when planning your event, every employee’s “cheer team” should also be invited. Imagine the entire staff having at least one cheerleader by their side for a relaxing day with coworkers. How fun does that sound?!




With families in mind, the list of activities is endless. Some staff may bring wide-eyed toddlers, whereas others may drag along cranky teens who are just in search of an outlet to plug their iPhone chargers into. The goal in organizing and planning a family event is to engage all ages and offer something for everyone- whether that may be a yummy snack or a fun activity. Here are some popular suggestions of fun activities to keep in mind:


  • Water balloon toss
  • Tug- of- war
  • Team Relays
  • Pie eating contests
  • Bingo games


While some guests may be thrilled to play games and be silly, others may prefer to take a more relaxing approach to the event. In this case, you may want to consider hosting some leisurely activities or arts and crafts activities!


  • Tie dye t-shirts
  • Beaded jewelry
  • Photo frames
  • Canoeing/Kayaking


The youngest guests are often the most difficult to cater to, and if they’re unhappy that unfortunately leads to a miserable experience for their parents. That being said, make sure there are some fun activities to keep the kiddos cheery throughout the event!



  • Face painting
  • Bounce house
  • Giant inflatables
  • Carnival games
  • Mini golf
  • Caricatures
  • Pony rides
  • Petting zoo
  • Photo booths



To Drink or Not To Drink…


Cream soda, grape, orange…all the classics. With some crowds, however, these family- friendly options don’t always satisfy; so, what do you do? Be a crowd pleaser and give in? Be a
party pooper and leave those who wanted a cold beer with their burger stuck with an orange soda?


Alcohol is always a tricky topic once it enters into the work world. Of course, you want the company picnic to be a nice relaxing time with fellow employees, but do you want all the responsibilities that come along with serving alcoholic beverages? A company called Abainsurance services set general standards for when to serve alcohol and when to opt out.


Generally, for light events such as a company picnic, you should always consider the option of not serving alcohol all together. This is a strong point when families of employees are also invited. Extending the invitation to families encourages the company of children and teens, in which case serving alcohol is a risky move.


In the cases in which you DO decide to serve alcoholic beverages, here are some tips to keep in mind to prevent mishaps…

  • Offer many non- alcoholic options as well
  • Hire a bartender to work the event and serve the guests
  • Plan for alternative transportation options
  • Have a plan to address intoxicated employees and guests
  • Limit the number of drinks per guest


Cha- ching!


Let’s talk budget. Obviously, you don’t want to break the company bank in the process of organizing a celebration event. Let’s take a look at some of the average costs for company picnics to be held successfully.



Venue Entertainment Food/Catering Drink
$500 $600-1000 $40-$100 (per guest) $10-$50 (per guest)



Employees work hard throughout the year- overtime hours, taking their work home with them on the weekends, endless nights of junk food binges and missed family dinners. Having a company picnic is a great way to show your staff how much you appreciate all that they do and everything they dedicate to your team. Invite their families, serve some yummy food, and have some good ole’ fashioned summertime fun with the community you normally only have the privilege to encounter wearing a suit and tie.