Picnicking Paradise

Channel your inner Yogi Bear and grab the picnic basket, fixins and your favorite Boo Boo, too. Summertime means dining al fresco and Fort Collins is flush with fabulous foodstuffs and idyllic spots to lay out your spread.

Opt for the Whole Shebang

NoCo PicnicSave time and effort à la Yogi and book your perfect picnic with NoCo Picnics (pictured above), Foothills Picnics, or Mod Picnic Co.. They do the work, you have the fun. Choose your location, date, time and extras, these companies take care of everything else: full setup and cleanup (!), with luxuries including table settings with full décor, plus unexpected touches like lawn games (giant Jenga or Connect 4 anyone?), floral arrangements, music and more. Locations vary from City Park, to the Poudre river, to Horsetooth Reservoir, to your own backyard. Food and beverage options run the gamut.

… Or Go À La Carte

Perfect Picnic Settings: Popular for Good Reason

Old Town Square jkoko.photo

  • Picnic Rock Natural Area is a given for this category with its scenic setting along the Cache La Poudre river.
  • City Park is the oldest community park in Fort Collins, and beloved for its lake, swimming pool and recreational areas.
  • CSU’s Annual Flower Trial Gardens showcase over 1,000 different cultivated varieties of annuals; open daily and free for visitors.
  • Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is a veritable outdoor wonderland with day use options, hiking and biking trails, lake access and more.
  • Gateway Natural Area is a true respite where the North Fork of the Poudre river joins the main Poudre river.
  • Old Town Square, the heart of Old Town Fort Collins, is a national and local historic district chock full of boutiques, cafes and specialty shops. It’s also the perfect spot for an urban picnic.
  • Fort Collins is home to more than 20 craft breweries, many offering tasting rooms, tours and a regular food truck rotation. Who doesn’t love a draft beer with their picnic?

Perfect Picnic Settings: Off the Beaten Path

Date Night Music at the Gardens on Spring Creek

Perfect Picnic Provisions: Traditional

Snack Attack picnic

  • Snack Attack – Made to order and to-go picnic favorites, including specialty sammies, a full “Dilla” (aka: quesadilla) menu, salads and house-made cookies.
  • The Fox and The Crow – Pick up a Party To-Go box (crackers, cheeses, meat or jam), Cheese Plate To-Go (crackers, cheeses, pairings), Cheese and Meat Plate or sandwiches, salads and soups.
  • The Welsh Rabbit – Part cheese shop, part bistro boasting a cheese-based menu with charcuterie served sushi-style.

Perfect Picnic Provisions: Go Wild

FoCo DoCo donuts and flowers

  • Swing by Me Oh My Coffee and Pie in Laporte for The Fisherman’s Lunch (includes a bonus hand-tied fishing fly); the daily sandwiches, pastries and pies are also OMGood.
  • Raid the bevvy of FoCo food trucks – a thriving nod to the area’s craft culture – and nosh on a smorgasbord. You’ll find 70+ food trucks roaming the streets, with popular stops at the local breweries and the area Mecca: the summer Food Truck Rally.
  • Pick up a gourmet meal-to-go from a Fort Collins favorite: FoCo DoCo for gourmet donuts; The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm for rustic-inspired modern farm fare; Silver Grill Café for the famous cinnamon rolls; Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market for, well, everything…find picnic fare that strikes your mood right here.