Company Picnic Ideas and Themes the Whole Office Will Love
Looking for company picnic ideas that will excite your employees and lead to summer fun? Look no further. Company picnics get a bad rap as boring obligatory get-togethers, but when done right, company picnics can improve company culture and boost morale among your employees.
In this blog, we’ll highlight some crowd-pleasing company picnic ideas and activities to help make your next summer soiree a success. Explore these great company picnic ideas and themes to inspire your next gathering!
Crowd Pleasing Company Picnic Ideas
Company picnics have always been beneficial to office culture, but they’ve become especially important events over the course of the last year. Luckily, Minnesota has ample outdoor space for hosting such events! At Earle Brown, we love offering our impeccably-manicured Courtyard as a company picnic venue. Its picture-perfect lawn, fountains and white fences make for an ideal background to any corporate outing.
When planning a company picnic, it’s important to consider the details. Ask yourself or your event planners these questions: Will your event be for employees only, or will you open it up to family members of employees? If you choose to open the event to family, will children be allowed to attend? Will you opt for potluck-style dining, or cater the event? What dietary requirements, preferences or restrictions must be considered?
Once you’ve nailed down these particulars, you’ll have a better framework to guide the next stage of planning: Deciding how to enhance your company picnic experience with activities, entertainment, theming and more. The ultimate goal of hosting a company event is to show appreciation for employees and build community, so it’s vital to try to cater to interests across the company to ensure true success.
Because picnics are typically a casual affair, you may be tempted to host your company picnic in the nearest green space to your office, whether that be the park next door or the front lawn of the building. But choosing the right setting or venue for your event is crucial to creating a great guest experience. Certain elements like safety, accessibility and comfort must be taken into account. A park pavilion atop a hill isn’t an ADA-compliant venue, for example; a heavily-wooded area will undoubtedly be thick with mosquitos, ticks and other unwelcome guests.
If you’re looking for a venue that has already factored in these details, we recommend our Courtyard space as the perfect place to host a company picnic. This sprawling outdoor venue has plenty of room for guests to spread out and feel comfortable. It is accessible and safe, but still has all the charms of a traditional picnic space. To top it all off, your picnic can be catered by the incredible Earle Brown culinary team!
Of course, we’re not the only venue in Minnesota with lovely outdoor spaces. Here are a few additional locations in the Twin Cities metro area that would be well-suited to your company picnic:
Best Places for a Picnic in Minnesota
- Earle Brown Heritage Center
- Lake Harriet Park
- Afton State Park
- Minnehaha Falls
- Theordore Worth Regional Park
It goes without saying that food is an important aspect of any party; it can set the tone and make all the difference when it comes to guest enjoyment. You may be asking yourself: Does it really matter if a company springs for fancy catering vs. hot dogs on the grill? We’d counter with a question of our own: Which event would you rather attend? While hot dogs and burgers might hit the spot for some, and could be perfect for a casual event, the right catering can communicate to guests that you genuinely care about their experience.
For those who don’t want to have to worry about the nuances of food prep, transport or clean up, Earle Brown offers amazing full-service dining options, including catered picnic menus! A unique or themed catering menu can elevate your guests’ experience at your corporate event and make your picnic one to remember, so it’s worth looking into more exciting options than your basic grilled fare and fruit punch.
Theming your picnic can also add to your guests’ experience in a positive way. A themed party gives guests the opportunity to cut loose and show their personality, whether it be through their beach wear at a Hawaiian luau picnic or through the themed games and activities you plan for the event.
Of course, the ultimate success of your picnic comes down to how well you execute whatever theme you choose, even if that theme is simply “great food, great music and great conversation!” While a distinct or whimsical theme isn’t the most important element of planning your corporate picnic, it can add excitement and fun to a blank-slate event. If you’re looking for picnic theme ideas to get you started, here are some of the best company picnic ideas we’ve seen:
- A Day at the Beach: Encourage guests to dress casually, befitting a beachy theme. Set up some volleyball nets or a bonfire, cater in some fresh fish tacos, jerk chicken or picnic favorites like burgers and macaroni salad, and turn up the island tunes! Sandy shores and flip-flops optional, of course.
- Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Who doesn’t love a day at the ballpark? Cater in your ballgame favorites, like hot dogs, Cracker Jack, popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy and snow cones, plus ice cold beers, water and sports drinks. Games can be centered around baseball games and other baseball activities.
- The Carnival Is In Town!: This is a great family-friendly theme for your company picnic. There are tons of small carnival games to play at company picnics, and you could opt to issue tickets to participants and let them pick out prizes, just like the real carnival! Catering ideas include all your carnival and circus favorites: Cotton candy, corn dogs, jumbo pretzels and beer cheese, funnel cakes . . . the Big Top is the limit!
- Kentucky Derby: Perfect for a spring picnic, this theme encourages big hats and bourbon cocktails! Ask guests to dress in their best Derby attire (flamboyant hats are a must) and cater in sumptuous fried chicken, Kentucky hot browns, chocolate-walnut Derby pie and, of course, mint juleps. Activities can include trivia from Derby history, lawn games and horse-naming contests.
- Christmas in July: Bust out your ugly sweater t-shirts and jingle bells, because it’s Christmas in July! Plan a menu that updates holiday favorites for the summer season: Think cold turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwiches, veggie wraps in red and green tortillas, frozen hot chocolate and mulled wine sangria. If kids are invited, they can make snowmen sundaes at the ice cream bar while the adults pass White Elephant gifts or grab a cocktail by the roaring (bon)fire.
Fun Things to Do at a Company Picnic
Company picnic entertainment doesn’t have to be elaborate or extravagant, but it does have to be well thought-out, appropriate and appealing to all guests. When an employer takes the time to come up with entertainment ideas that will appeal to all of their employees, it shows that they genuinely care about their guests’ enjoyment of the event. Even low-key company picnic events, entertainment or activities can be a smash hit if chosen well! Below, you’ll find some great ideas for fun things to do at your next company picnic.
Fun Group Picnic Games
Group picnic games can be a fun way to break the ice and introduce some team bonding to your event. It’s important to offer a wide variety of games that appeal to different abilities, as not everyone in attendance will have the same level of physical fitness or interests. Again, think about what types of activities and games will appeal to all your employees before deciding upon the final slate of group picnic games.
Here are some of our favorite company picnic game ideas:
- Tricycle Obstacle Course: Use traffic cones to set up a challenging “course” and have adults race to complete it while navigating on kid-sized trikes.
- Cornhole: AKA bean bags or simply “bags,” this low-impact game can have a high impact on fun! If you really want to impress the group, have a custom set made with the company logo and raffle it off at the end of the day.
- Three-Legged Race: A picnic classic! Pair off into teams of two. Tie the left leg of one runner to the right leg of the other and have teams race to the finish line.
- Dodgeball: Travel back to your elementary school days for a competitive game of dodgeball! All you have to do is supply the soft recreation balls and break off into teams. The rest is self-explanatory!
- Themed Trivia: Match your trivia questions to the theme of the party, make it a general trivia game, or choose to quiz your guests on company history and fun facts. Whatever you choose, this activity is great for a company picnic on a budget, and it’s always a good time.
Additional Picnic Activities
Aside from games, there are many other forms of entertainment that can be hosted at a picnic. Team building group activities, like laser tag or a scavenger hunt, can help strengthen team dynamics while also presenting a fun way to blow off steam and have a good time. General entertainment, like live music or a DJ, can add to the overall ambience and guest experience at your event. Here are some of our favorite additional activities and company picnic entertainment ideas to add to your picnic agenda:
- Karaoke: Here’s a chance for the singer in sales or pop star in project management to show off for their coworkers! There are many companies in the Twin Cities Metro and Greater Minnesota that rent karaoke equipment for corporate events. Some may even offer on-site set-up services day-of!
- Live Music: Whether it’s a local band, a cover artist of a popular singer, or your CEO’s garage group, everybody loves jamming out to some live tunes. Your best bet is to opt for a band that does crowd-pleasing covers of Top 100 Hits both past and present, to ensure that all your employees hear a few songs they enjoy.
- Dunk Tanks: Getting the chance to dunk your boss, coworker or company president? Enough said! Many party rental companies offer dunk tanks of all sizes for daily rental, so it’s simple to make a splash with this lighthearted bit of entertainment.
- Animal Encounters: Petting zoos, goat yoga, horse rides for the kiddos—the possibilities are endless! You’ll have to clear it with your venue first, but selected wisely (and with all details in mind, like the potential for certain scents and visuals to crop up during your event) a live animal encounter can be fun for all ages.
- Live Raffles & Auctions: Everybody loves to win, and everybody loves to take home prizes, so why not incorporate a raffle or auction into your company picnic? Guests can be given tickets to bid on items, or purchase tickets with the proceeds going to a charity close to your company’s heart or brand ethos.
Tips On How to Plan a Successful Company Picnic for a Group
We know organizing a company picnic that will please everyone in a company can be difficult, but with planning and consideration, it can be done! Here are some additional tips and resources to refer to when planning your next corporate event, picnic or outing:
- Make a planning checklist—and use it!
- Use a space calculator to estimate how much room you’ll need to accommodate all your guests.
- Be sure to ask plenty of questions of your event venue before booking, including questions regarding any restrictions, parking availability, day-of timeline, food and beverage policies, etc.
- Consider exploring creative team building activities for large groups, and have several planned for the day. The same goes for entertainment options—really try to think outside the box while keeping overall enjoyment in mind!
- Keep COVID health and safety guidelines in mind as you plan and execute your picnic to prevent the spread of germs at your event.
Host Your Next Company Picnic at Earle Brown’s Courtyard
If you’re looking for the perfect place to host your company picnic, explore our facilities at Earle Brown. We have a beautiful outdoor courtyard space, ample parking, bathrooms, gourmet chefs who can customize your perfect menu, and more. Visit our website to request more information and start planning your extraordinary event!