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Plan the perfect picnic at these Lakeland locales

Whether you’re looking for a spot that’s surrounded by nature or bathed in the shade, consider one of these spots next time you’re looking to dine al fresco.


Is there anything better than a picnic lunch on a summer day?

Photo by @kimberlylynno

Ah, sweet summertime. The sun might be hot, but that doesn’t mean we need to neglect going outdoors entirely — and what better way to get outside than by having a picnic?

No matter what type of picnic you prefer, the next time you’re looking to dine outside, consider one of these spots to park your blanket + basket.


Picnics are just one of the many date night ideas we have for Lakelanders.

Photo by @carlycashman3

When you want to stop and smell the roses

How do 10,000 flowers, shrubs, and native trees sound? While Hollis Garden doesn’t allow picnics within its premises, you can take a stroll through the gardens and then set up your picnic on the grass overlooking Lake Mirror. City Editor Amelia’s favorite spot is just outside the Magnolia Building.

When you’re looking to become one with nature

Bald eagles, white-tailed deer, and otters, oh my. These are just a few of the animals you might encounter if you set up at one of the two designated picnic areas at Colt Creek State Park — just remember to keep the food to yourself.

Woman walking a trail through trees.

Take a walk after enjoying your picnic in the shade at Peterson Park.

Photo courtesy of @matthewcummiskey

When the sun gets to be too much

Shaded pavilions abound at Peterson Park. While the screened-in pavilion at the park is available for rental only, the rest are all first come, first served. There’s also a playground + boardwalk nearby.

When you want options for other things to do

A picnic is great, but it’s even better when you can make a whole day out of it. After enjoying lunch on the lawn at Bonnet Springs Park, take a stroll through the Crenshaw Canopy Walk, visit the Butterfly House, or, if you have the kiddos in tow, stop by the Florida Children’s Museum.

Have any other go-to picnic spots? Let us know where else to go.

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