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Smithsonian: Picnics are back

Claire Turrell

Gen-Z is spurning restaurants to enjoy hot dates outdoors—echoing the picnic’s racy beginnings

The hottest table reservation is now outdoors. From Instagram-worthy settings in London’s royal parks to tailgaters in the United States pulling out fancy tablecloths, cushions and flatware, picnics are no longer the domain of smooshed sandwiches and tepid flasks of tea. They’re catered events.

Picnic companies are popping up around the globe to create food-based experiences for their guests. You’ll now find Australian companies offering mystery picnics where the ingredients are gathered from gourmet stores en route, while in the United Kingdom you can arrange for your favorite song to be played as you walk toward a designer picnic setting at Regent’s Park.

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