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9 Chicago Picnic Must-Haves

If you heard the big news about our 2018 picnic menu additions, then you know our culinary team is debuting some extraordinary dishes at Chicago picnics this season. And they aren’t the only ones who are excited about the fresh new picnic trends. Our whole Chicago catering team is proud to be putting their creative touch on the most astounding 2018 picnic ideas.

9 Chicago Picnic Must-Haves

Enjoy previewing these popular ways to develop unique picnic visions, and let our experts help you shape them to match your picnic theme.

9 Elevated Picnic Ideas

 1. Playful Picnic Games

American Metalcraft isn’t the only company who believes that some employees would like to unleash a little lighthearted revenge on their coworkers and managers. A dunk tank and grand slam batting cage like the one at their baseball-themed company picnic are popular ways to bond employees over play and laughter. Whatever picnic theme you choose, our creative event planners can help your find captivating entertainment options that match it. With decades of experience creating unforgettable picnic memories, we have picnic game ideas for all ages.

Dunk Tank At Summer Picnic

2. Unrelenting Entertainment

Bring in the balloon artist, band, stilt walker and any other elevated entertainers you can imagine. Before you know it, you may have transformed your picnic into a circus, and that’s perfectly fine. In fact, the continuous entertainment that a circus picnic theme provides makes it a top pick!

3. Premium Frozen Summer Drinks

There are lots of reasons to love summer picnics. One of our favorites is the brilliant sun that calls for frozen drinks in seasonal flavors. With alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties available, our margarita and piña coladas are a perfect match to summer beach bashes and are a festive alternative to other top summer picnic food and drink pairings.

4. Fresh Corn in the Husk

There is something about the sight and smell of fresh sweet corn being roasted that has guests relaxing and their mouths watering. And that’s even before taking their first bite of it decked out with butter, mayonnaise, parmesan and flavorful seasonings.

Fresh Corn in the Husk

5. Delicious Craft Beer

Go ahead and spoil your guests and depict your unique taste by setting out some of your favorite craft beer. From Summer Shandy to Anti-Hero, there is no shortage of tasty craft beers to pair with your delectable picnic menu. Can’t choose just one? Go ahead and set up a tasting!

6. Special Theme Picnic

Our chefs always cook with the freshest and highest-quality ingredients, and we love when we get to marry them together not only in dishes but also in complete menus. Designed to bring together complementary flavors and give your guests an unforgettable culinary experience, our chefs crafted five special themed picnic menus.

Baja Picnic Street Tacos

To simplify your picnic planning and guarantee a cohesive culinary experience, consider the following picnic menus:

  • Baja Picnic

Street tacos • citrus barbecue-glazed chicken breast • corn on the cob served street-style with mayonnaise, chili powder and lime • ranchero beans • mexicali rice • summer mexicali salad • corn and flour tortillas • onion cilantro • chipotle salsa • assorted cookies

  • The “Back of the Yards”

Dry rubbed 10 oz. flat iron steak • center-cut 10 oz. pork chop on the bone, basted with mustard barbecue sauce • grilled salmon fillets with maitre d’ butter • baked potatoes, sour cream, butter • grilled jumbo asparagus (in season) • apple waldorf salad with honey-lemon dressing • assorted dinner rolls • assorted cookies

  • Texas BBQ

18-hour smoked brisket • tequila lime chicken breast • smoked sausage • sweet potato salad • ranchero beans • chips and salsa • assortment of barbecue sauces • condiments • assorted cookies • rolls

  • A Very Mediterranean Picnic

Chicken souvlaki breast with lemon, garlic and oregano • grilled salmon fillets drizzled with lemon tahini and parsley sauce • rice pilaf • Greek country salad • red pepper hummus and pita bread • watermelon and feta cheese salad with mint and lime • assorted cookies

  • A Taste of BBQ Country

18-hour smoked brisket • Memphis-style pulled pork • smoked chicken quarters • barbecue baby back ribs • molasses baked beans • American potato salad • Piedmont-style coleslaw • assortment of barbecue sauces • assorted cookies

7. Fun Oktoberfest Picnic Foods

Let one of the biggest parties in Germany inspire your premium food and beverage selections. Perfect for a fall picnic but appreciated in any season, an Oktoberfest picnic theme is a great excuse to include beer barrels, bratwurst and large warm pretzels with mustards and melted cheese in your custom menu. Or really play up your Oktoberfest theme with a pig roast at Busse Woods. Our dry rub is as good as it gets, and our German potato salad is a surefire hit.

Want to set your Oktoberfest picnic menu apart? Looking for a way to bring this German celebration home to Chicago? Add in some unexpected fun foods. A popcorn cart, cotton candy and sno cones cap off the festive atmosphere and add an outstanding element to already remarkable Chicago picnic venues.

Oktoberfest Pig Roast

8. Build Your Own Burger

Who doesn’t love to deck out a perfectly cooked burger with all their favorite toppings? Give guests the culinary power they crave by setting up a burger stand with an outrageous array of custom toppings and sides for them to craft not only their dream burger but their ideal picnic plate.

Toppings Bar at Creating Your Own Burger Station

9. Add on a Surprise Sweet

When it comes to décor, entertainment and main dishes, you’ve stretched the bounds of your imagination. Keep your creative picnic ideas coming straight through dessert to give your guests a fun and memorable sweet treat. Ice cream floats available in a variety of popular flavors are a favorite among kids and adults. Let them choose between root beer and orange and cream sodas to be complete with vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream and cherries.

What about guests craving just a simple sundae? Give them so much more than that by setting up a build-your-own sundae bar. Guests of all ages love to step up to our staff-attended ice cream cart to add chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, crushed Oreo® cookies and nut topping to a 4 oz. vanilla bean ice cream scoop.

If you would like our friendly team backed by decades of experience to bring more delicious and creative ideas to your picnic plans, contact us online or give us a call at 847.593.2000.

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