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Dessert pizza.

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Fun Picnic Ideas

Break out the blankets and baskets, it's that time of year!

The sun is shining, birds are singing, summer is back and there’s no better way to celebrate than a backyard picnic. I’ve always been a fan of the classics—checkered blankets, chicken drumsticks, pasta salad—but true greatness comes from innovation. We’re here to help with three stellar picnic ideas to level up your summer celebration.

Peach Sangria 

Sangria has always been my summer go-to, but recently its acquired a mixed reputation⁠. Maybe it’s the sweetness, or maybe people are just tired of scrubbing red wine out of white pants. Whatever the reason, it’s time to spruce up this picnic classic. Try ditching the apples and oranges for ripe peaches and switch out red wine for white to make a perfect picnic pitcher that refreshes your palette without staining your teeth. Plus, adding white peaches instead of yellow gives this sangria a light, bright sweetness that’s the ideal complement to a lazy weekend afternoon.


  • 2 to 3 white peaches, sliced and separated

  • 3/4 cup peach or apricot brandy

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle white wine, chilled (Moscato for sweetness or try a Sauvignon Blanc for a nice complexity) 

  • 1 liter peach seltzer water, chilled

  • Fresh mint (optional)

  • Ice


  • Place 3/4 of the sliced peaches and brandy in a pitcher and gently muddle.

  • Add the Moscato and seltzer water and stir to combine.

  • Pour into ice-filled glasses and top with a couple of fresh peach slices and mint sprig.

Can’t find brandy? Peach schnapps work just as well! But be cautious and taste early, schnapps can be much sweeter than you expect.

Take it up a notch: Fresh mint sprigs add a refreshing aroma and make for delightful garnish!


Who says every picnic has to be during the day? Cool midsummer nights make for perfect stargazing weather and Grand Central’s famous ceiling can’t compare to the constellations you’ll find in your own backyard. Nighttime star parties are a great way to get kids interested in space and science (a stargazing app and a green laser pointer makes it easy to spot planets, constellations and more), but it can be even nicer to simply sit back and enjoy the scenery. Lay down a blanket, munch a tasty snack and cozy up for a tranquil starlit evening.

For a night that really shines, stay out late for the Perseid meteor showers. The Perseids put on a show all through July and August, peaking in the early hours of August 12th with more than a hundred shooting stars every hour. Keep the kids awake for a special summer treat, or leave them in bed and sneak out for a late-night date all your own.

Take it up a notch: The International Space Station orbits around the whole planet, and that includes your house! Look online to see when you can spot it in your backyard.

Dessert Pizza

In this time when people need human connection more than ever, it’s important to focus on the things we all have in common. An abiding love of pizza and desserts likely tops that list. Whether you like a classic pepperoni pie, or prefer to match a gluten-free quinoa crust with vegan cheese and basil, pizza has a special place in everyone’s hearts. And we all have a sweet tooth to some degree⁠. This picnic treat brings the best of both worlds together. Guilty pleasure? Maybe, but I think we’ve earned it.

What I love about this recipe is how adaptable it can be. Mix-and-match your favorite dough, spread and toppings to make your perfect pie, or do a whole batch! You can even get guests involved. A dessert pizza-making station is a hit with kids every time (and adults always manage to find their way in too). No matter what, it’s always a good time, and eating it is even better!


  • 16 oz refrigerated sugar cookie dough, packaged or homemade

  • 8 oz Nutella

  • 4 cups assorted fresh fruit such as strawberries, bananas, peaches, raspberries, etc.

Note: For station-friendly personal pies, halve all ingredients.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Roll out your cookie dough to a 12" circle about 1/4" thick. Bake for 18–20 minutes or until golden brown. Then allow to cool.

  • For the topping, Nutella is a family favorite that tastes great and is super easy. 

  • Finish with your favorite fruit. I like strawberries, banana slices, peaches, or even cherries if I feel like putting the work in to de-pit. You really can’t go wrong!

Take it up a notch: Feeling adventurous? Try tart fruits like kiwi or guava for an elevated bite.

  • Dessert pizza.
  • Peach sangria.
  • Peach sangria.
  • Stargazing