If your usual picnic involves lugging coolers for miles, throwing a blanket on the sand, and eating gritty sandwiches while balancing drinks between your knees, and then lugging everything home again, it's time for an upgrade.
Local companies are creating sumptuous, festive, and romantic picnics at picturesque locations across Long Island. They scout the spot, set up tables, comfy cushions, and elaborate place settings. All you do is arrive with your picnic basket and enjoy two hours of relaxed fun. When you’re done, just up and leave. They will do all the lugging for you.
Imagining your perfect picnic
Partners Nicola Herrera, 32, and Monique Powell, 38, of Jamaica, Queens, wanted to start a business together. "We didn’t want 9 to 5," says Herrera. "We both like decorating. Then we saw a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park and we thought, ‘There are so many beautiful parks in Long Island and Queens. We could do that!’"
So VibeNic was born in the spring.
After an initial consultation on theme, color scheme, and location, Herrera and Powell curate an experience for groups from two to 20. Want to bring it indoors or to the backyard? Absolutely. Daytime? Definitely. Sunset? Of course. A two-hour picnic package with cushions, table, and settings starts around $200. You can add a teepee or an over-the-table floral rod, charcuterie boards and extra time. "We make it really personalized," says Herrera.
Katelyn Stone, 35, recently celebrated a wedding anniversary with an intimate indoor VibeNic picnic. "Since our wedding colors were lavender and sage, they color-coordinated to that," Stone recalls. "They used lightboxes and a wooden table, real plates and nice big pillows. I’ve told all my friends, because it’s such a romantic way to have a picnic."
Booze is not provided, but you're welcome to bring your own depending on park and location regulations. Food can be catered or made and brought from your home.
VibeNic locations include Eisenhower Park and Prospect Park. Their metro coverage means you can picnic in the city with no lugging.
Debora Ferrante, 51, of Long Beach, also delivers pampered picnics. "I started doing it to create meaningful memories for family," says Ferrante. "Then I started thinking about it as a business."
She launched Perfectly Picnic this spring. Locations include Bethpage State Park and Corey Beach in Blue Point. Recent events include a birthday celebration for a 75-year-old grandmother, and a sunset wedding proposal on the beach for Connor Sofield, 27.
The Long Beach native knew he needed to make the proposal not just romantic, but meaningful. So he selected Washington Beach, where he grew up and where there is even a bench dedicated to his great-grandparents. He also wanted to incorporate the farmhouse, boho tastes of his soon-to-be fiancé, Lindsay Helmus, 27, of Hazlet, New Jersey.
"I was very particular," Sofield says. "I knew it had to be at sunset and close to the water, but not too close. In just one phone call, Debora got it. It was professional, but also personable. And she really hit it out of the park. The fact is, it couldn't have gone any better; all I had to do was show up and not mess up my words." And, Lindsay said "yes"!
Prices start at $249 for set-up, table and settings, rugs, decor and charcuterie from Broads With Boards, Oceanside, or Platters of the Heart, West Islip. The A-frame with lights is a popular add-on. Ferrante’s focus remains making memories. "It’s the stories they have," she says. "They’ll remember this event for the rest of their lives, and I am so proud of that."