Different is good, especially when it comes to planning a company picnic.

Traditional picnic food, games and venues are boring and do little to encourage employee attendance. So why not take it up a notch? Check out these unique ideas to make your next company picnic a party to remember!


A little extra planning and thought can make a big difference for your company picnic. If you’re tasked with organizing a party for your staff, take a look at these unique ideas:

Company party venue

Cool company picnic

Skip the typical event center or reception hall and find a place that’s a little offbeat. Try a beach or lakeside setting. State parks often have a variety of accommodations. You can set up tents or use public shelter houses.

If you have a small, adult-only group you might want to check out a local craft brewery or winery. Most have a laid-back, rustic atmosphere that can make guests feel at home. Venues like these often have package deals to accommodate large groups.

Other off-the-wall options include a golf course, bowling alley, farm field or barn, a historic site, a zoo, aquarium, casino, museum, botanical garden or boat. Use your imagination!

Employee celebration themes

themed company picnic swag

Are you envisioning a theme such as the company picnic episode of “The Office”? I think you can do better.

Choose a theme that is fitting and fun for all your guests. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Company picnic themes

  • Hollywood
  • Zombie Apocalypse
  • Fairy Tales
  • Magic
  • 50s Sock Hop
  • Orange You Glad (everything orange)
  • Gangsters
  • Captain Marvel (from the newly released movie)
  • Star Wars (Episode IX, the final installment of the sequel trilogy, to be released in December 2019)
  • Spring Break
  • What happens in Vegas … (casino games and the works!)
  • Wizards (Harry Potter style)
  • Gone Fishin’
  • Gold Rush
  • On Safari
  • Down on the Farm
  • Rodeo
  • Murder Mystery

Add a fun photo booth

company picnic photobooth

Gather props for your theme and create a photo booth where guests can meet and socialize. It’s a great way to break the ice and get people mingling! It also gives workers something to do instead of planting themselves at a table all night.

Bring on the food!

company picnic bar

It’s easier to plan a company picnic menu if you have a theme. For example, a taco bar is a big hit for a Mexican fiesta theme. Corn dogs, funnel cakes and anything deep-fried is perfect for a festival theme.

A theme-less picnic meal doesn’t have to default to grilled burgers and hot dogs. I recommend serving finger foods for your main entrées such as mini sliders and kebabs. A “Wrap Buffet” is another fun and healthy alternative that allows guests to select their favorite meats, veggies and toppings.

Step it up with novelty snacks and desserts such as shaved Italian ice, customized gourmet cookies, individual popcorn tins and an ice cream sundae bar. Check your local area for places to rent machines for serving ice cream and cotton candy.

Create a self-serve beverage station that includes basics such as bottled water, lemonade and soda. If you decide to offer alcoholic beverages, be sure to have bartenders on hand to serve the beer, cocktails, wine or mixed drinks. Keep appropriate types of drinkware with your company logo nearby.

To plan your food and drink menu, form a committee with your staff or hire a caterer several months in advance.

Company party activities and games

company picnic scavenger hunt

Face it. Some of your employees are physically fit and others are not. It’s important to offer different types of activities that will work for everyone. Here are a few fun suggestions:

  • Scavenger hunt
  • Trivia contest
  • Karaoke
  • Laser tag
  • Bouncy houses
  • Painting class
  • Sports (volleyball, softball, etc.)
  • Tug-of-war
  • Face painting
  • Carnival-style games
  • Bean bag toss
  • Cornhole

Be sure to have prizes on hand for the winners. High-quality, customized gifts with your logo are appropriate as prizes for a company-sponsored event.

Suggested prizes include personalized lunch bags, can coolers, custom bottle openers, branded water bottles, promotional cell phone chargers, logo flying discs and sunglasses with logos.

Show employee appreciation

company picnic gift ideas

Everyone loves a surprise and a genuine show of gratitude. Let your employees know how much you appreciate their hard work all year long by gifting them with something special before they leave the company picnic.

Here are a few suggestions that won’t bust your budget:

  • A $10 gift card to a local car wash or coffee shop is something everyone can use and a great way to drive business to area retailers.
  • Personalized umbrellas are a gift your staff will love and use for years. The cost is about $11 each for 100 Golf Panel Umbrellas when buying in bulk. By placing your logo on each you will promote unity among employees while branding your company. It’s a definite win-win!
  • What’s a company get-together without giving away branded picnic blankets? These roll-up blankets can be used for many outdoor activities, showcasing your brand outside of work!

Benefits of company picnics

Hosting a unique company picnic does much more than just reward your employees. It builds teamwork and reduces stress. Workers will feel appreciated and are likely to say positive things about your company. This can help drive job candidates to your door.

The bottom line: Everyone wants to work for a company that promotes fun and goes that extra mile for its staff. If you want to be that business or that boss, start by creating a buzz with a few extraordinary company picnic ideas.

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Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.


  1. My dad’s company plans to have a team building, but we would like it to be unique this time. That’s why I like your idea of coming up with activities wherein laser tag and tug of war are included. That seems fun, although I’ve been thinking since most of the employees are into go-cart racing, I wonder where could we find a corporate event service that offers this type of activity.

    • Hi Rachel! Sorry for the late reply. If you haven’t already found a company to fill your go-cart racing needs, I would contact your local chamber of commerce, tourist bureau or economic development office. All of these will have listings of businesses close to you that might offer recreational activities. I hope this helps!

      Let me know if we can help make your event extra special with customized products.


      Shelley Grieshop
      Totally Promotional

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