Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Picnic by the lake. Basket with berries, bread with ik. Nobody.

One of my favorite romantic things to do is have a picnic. I love creating the menu, shopping for all the food and items you need for a picnic, and best of all, figuring out where the picnic will go down.

Picnics aren’t just for romantic dates, picnics can be fun for family reunions, friend and family get togethers, or even a company or office celebration,

The picnics I’ve headed up normally happened at a local beach in the late afternoon or early evening. I am not a fan of sitting in the hot sun, so I go when it cools down.

In the past, I’ve made fried chicken, created delicious sandwiches and salads, made huge thermoses of iced tea and other cold beverages, and even added a bottle or 2 of wine or champagne for those romantic encounters.

Here’s a list of things other than food to bring along to create the perfect picnic:

Blankets and/or chairs, coolers, ice, plates, utensils, bowls for serving, cutting boards and knives, glasses for wine or champagne, cups for other beverages, bottle openers, napkins, a couple of rolls of paper towels, wet wipes, disinfectant wipes, sponges, picnic baskets or other vessels to carry food, and don’t forget to bring trash bags to clean up after you and your guests.

There are so many places in Ocean County to have a picnic gathering. Here’s a list of some of the best places, big and small to do your next picnic,

  • Cattus Island County Park - 1170 Cattus Island Boulevard Toms River, NJ 08753 - 732-270-6960

    Hour are : Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4pm
    Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm, excluding major holidays.
    The Center’s first hour is reserved for Seniors and vulnerable populations.
    Nature trails, scenic boardwalks, birding, photography, conservation area, environmental education, cross-country skiing, picnic area, playground, scenic overlooks, and accessible environmental center with restrooms.

  • Winding River Park - 50 NJ-37 W, Toms River, NJ 08753

     There are baseball fields, playgrounds, an ice skating center ,miles of paved path stretching across the entire park, river access, a nature trails. No Alcohol is permitted here.

    There are a few nice picnic areas, including tables and pavilions. A few are very close to playgrounds for the kids as well.  As with most parks, you may need to reserve the pavilions for group outings.

     

  • Island Beach State Park - 2401 Central Ave. Seaside Park, NJ 08752

    It’s free to enter. Please keep in mind that there’s a construction project going on within swimming area 1 parking lot until September 2023.  Please note the new traffic pattern in the lot and obey traffic signs, which are in place for your safety and to allow for emergency vehicle access.

    Biking, hiking, and picnic gatherings are just a few things to enjoy at Island Beach State Park.

     

     

     

  • Funtown Beach - Seaside Park

    Located at the corner of Stockton Ave & N Ocean Ave in Seaside Park, Funtown Beach is loaded with fun for the entire family. Featuring cabana rentals, locker rentals, chair and umbrella rentals, a playground, tiki bar and much more! Funtown Beach is a privately insured public beach for all to enjoy And YES!! Its BYOB. Lifeguards On Duty.

     

     

  • Beachwood Beach NJ - Club House Rd Beachwood

    Unfortunately, due to a lack of lifeguard employment, there will be no swimming during the 2023 season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a picnic and the kids can play on the small playground. NO alcohol is permitted.  You do need a permit to park here, $5 for residents, $10 for non-residents. Info can be found on the Borough Of Beachwood site.

    Borough of Beachwood

    Welcome to the Borough of Beachwood

  • Island Heights Boardwalk - Island Heights, N.J.

    I have had a handful of picnics with my friend Sharon who used to live in the area. She absolutely loved being here eating her tuna fish sandwiches and  enjoying the beverages and snacks that were always a part of our picnics.

    Sharon was blind and was able to find peace and tranquility at this lovely spot. I haven’t been back since she passed away in 2021.  We used to enjoy the experience of people walking the boardwalk as we sat on the benches to eat our meal and enjoy each other’s company.

    Experience this 3.1-mile loop trail near Island Heights, New Jersey. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 56 min to complete.  The homes across the street and surrounding area are as breathtaking as the views of the water.

     
    Photographers love this place, especially at sunset.

     

     

  • Brick Beach 3 - 440 NJ-35, Mantoloking, NJ 08738

    Brick Township operates three ocean beaches and one riverfront beach at Windward Beach Park. All beaches are open from Memorial Day – Labor Day and are staffed 7 days a week from mid-June through Labor Day. Beach hours of operation are 9:30am – 5:30pm. Beach badges are required for access to all beaches.

    Season Badge (after May 15) $45.
    Daily Wristband $10.
    Season Parking (after May 15) $45.
    Daily Parking $10.
    Senior Citizen Parking $15.
    Children 12 and Under FREE.

  • Jakes Branch County Park - 1100 Double Trouble Rd, Beachwood, NJ 08722

    Park opens 7am and closes at: 8:00pm, as of 8/26 closing time is 7:30pm. 9/9 7pm, 9/23 6:30pm,
    10/7 6:00pm, 10/21 5:30pm, 11/6 5pm
    Nature Center Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:00pm Saturday & Sunday 10-4pm except major holidays.

    The picnic area can accommodate up to 75 people and is available for a nominal fee. Reservations must be made a minimum of three weeks prior to your requested date.

     The tot lot, picnic grove and open playing fields are sure to appeal to children of all ages.

     

     

  • John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island - 399 Brennan Concourse, Bayville, NJ 08721

    Park closes at 10:00pm from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Situated on a scenic peninsula jutting out into the calm waters of Barnegat Bay, John C. Bartlett, Jr. County Park’s location provides possibly the best view of the Bay in Ocean County. It also features a family-oriented spray park, playground, walking paths, small picnic areas, bait stations and more. The crabbing/fishing pier at the park is one of the County’s most popular. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day sunning, fishing, or crabbing from the 100′ pier.

     

     

     

  • Cloverdale Farm County Park - 34 Cloverdale Rd, Barnegat, NJ 08005

    The photos do not do this park justice. According to the website: “Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the park is its natural beauty. Besides cranberries, the bogs are home to wildflowers, birds, and a host of other flora and fauna. This provides an opportunity for photographers and nature enthusiasts in any season. The 1.4 mile self-guided nature trail meanders through the farm into undisturbed woodlands that offer an escape from everyday life.”

    Facilities:
    Visitors Center, restrooms, fishing, bird watching, photography, hiking and walking trails, cross country skiing, environmental education and picnic area.

     

     

  • Riverfront Landing County Park - 71 E. Water St, Toms River, N.J. 08753

    Park Opens 7am and Closes at dusk.
    This “pocket” park is located on the Toms River in downtown Toms River amidst a beautiful and tranquil environment. For those employed in and around Toms River, a picnic at this meticulously manicured park overlooking the Toms River is a great lunchtime alternative.

     
    For More Info: Call toll free:1-877-627-2757 or 732 506-9090

    Facilities:
    Benches, crabbing, fishing, handicapped accessible and picnic area.

    Riverfront County Park - Toms River

     

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