Plan the perfect picnic

Summers along the lakeshore are best enjoyed by the beach with friends and family over a picnic. 

Make the most of your next picnic with these planning tips!

Pick the perfect spot

There’s an art to choosing the best picnic spot — grills, shelters, tables, beach access and shade are all important elements to keep in mind. Luckily, there are plenty of locations to choose from in our lakeshore region. Here are a few popular places worth checking out:

Pier Cove Beach
2290 Lakeshore Drive, Fennville

North Beach Park
18775 N. Shore Drive, Ferrysburg

Van Raalte Farm Park
1076 E. 16th St., Holland

Huizenga Park
350 Royal Park Drive, Zeeland

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park
6585 Lake Harbor Drive, Norton Shores


Prepare a checklist 

So, you’ve found the perfect picnic spot. But after unpacking, you realize you left your corkscrew at home — talk about a wine catastrophe! Use this checklist of picnic necessities to start your DIY outdoor dining experience off right. 

• Corkscrew and bottle opener
• Cutting board and knife
• Ice pack/thermos
• Paper towels/trash bags
• Glasses/cups/plates
• Bluetooth speaker
• Camera

Buy local picnic staples

After crossing off your packing checklist, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all the picnic staples before leaving the house, including: a picnic basket, cooler, blanket, sunscreen and insect repellant. There are a couple of local stores you can stop by to pick up everything you need:

Lulu Cadieux
3480 Blue Star Highway, 
Saugatuck, 269-543-2445

Van Wieren Hardware
645 Douglas Ave., Holland

Shop local markets

Everyone knows the most important part of a picnic is the food and drinks. Sandwiches, chips, salads, pasta dishes, wine, beer and hard seltzers all pack perfectly for a picnic. You can even impress your friends with a to-go charcuterie board from a local market. Check out these markets for all of your picnic goodies:

Market Zero
62 W. Eighth St., Holland

Isabel’s Market & Eatery
310 Blue Star Highway, Douglas

Ghezzi’s Market 
2017 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 1; Muskegon

Take along some games 

Games are a great addition to any picnic, and everyone loves a little bit of friendly competition. These are a few ideas to turn up the fun at your next picnic:

• Giant Jenga
• Ladder Golf
• DIY sack race
• Cornhole
• Jumbo tic-tac-toe
• Croquet
• Outdoor lawn bowling
• Oversized outdoor chess


Attend a concert series

Live music and entertainment are finally back this summer, and outdoor concert series are in full swing. Take your picnic to the next level and stop by these summer concert events:

Music in the Park
Wicks Park — 452 Water St., Saugatuck
Free concert series
7–9 p.m., every Wednesday night through August 

McGraft Park Summer Concert Series
McGraft Park — 2204 Wickham Drive, Muskegon
Free concert series
7–10 p.m., Tuesday nights through August
Visit for all dates and times

Summer Concert Series
Kollen Park — 240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland
Free concert series
6:30–8:30 p.m., Friday evenings through Aug. 13