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6 Ideas for Planning the Perfect Picnic in St. Charles, Illinois

Food just tastes better when you're enjoying it outside surrounded by all the beautiful nature. With July being National Picnic Month, this is the perfect opportunity to break out the blanket and the basket and spend a summer's day at a local park or forest preserve in St. Charles. If you need a little inspiration, we've got six great ways that you can have a memorable picnic out in the fresh air with your friends and family.


#1 - Sandwiches, Fishing, and Tunes at Delnor Woods Park

Photo #1 Courtesy of Smitty's on the Corner

When it comes to popular picnic foods, you can never go wrong with sandwiches. Before heading to Delnor Woods Park, grab some from Smitty's on the Corner - a staple in the St. Charles community. Their handhelds can't be beat, and they are made using the very freshest ingredients. Try their popular Turkey Berry alongside one of their famous pickles! The next thing you'll need to pick up is music (because what's a picnic without your favorite tunes playing?) and visit Hoarders Trading Post where they have CD's, Records, and Music Players galore. When you arrive at the park, you'll notice pavilions, a playground, and a pond with a waterfall that's ideal for a little bit of catch-and-release fishing.


#2 - Seafood and Disc Golf at James O. Breen Community Park

Photo #1 Courtesy of Chum's Shrimp Shack, Photo #2 & #4 Courtesy of the St. Charles Park District, Photo #3 Courtesy of Play It Again Sports

It's easy to spend a whole day at James O. Breen Community Park with all the amenities that it offers, like their 9-hole Disc Golf Course. Playing a round here is an absolute blast, as you'll have to navigate varying elevations and make some tight throws due to the course weaving through the woods. If you don't have any discs, there's no need to worry because Play It Again Sports is only a couple of miles down the road, and they carry tons of gently-used frisbees, as well as a great deal of sports equipment that you can use while at the park. For your cuisine, Chum's Shrimp Shack is on the west side of town on Main Street, and their fish sandwiches are second-to-none. Some favorites are the Lobster Rolls or their Shrimp or Lobster Po' Boys, which you can have under the large Hickory Knolls Discover Center pavilion.


#3 - Mexican Breakfast, Sculptures, and Exploring Nature at Mt. St. Mary Park

Nestled alongside the Fox River is where you'll find Mt. St. Mary Park, and for this picnic, we are going to shift gears to breakfast time. The Jalapeno Grill is just a stone's throw away, and you can indulge in a wonderful Mexican Breakfast (that they serve all day) with dishes like Huevos Rancheros or one of their Breakfast Burritos. Once at the park, set aside some time for a stroll, as there are sculptures scattered all around that are part of the Sculpture in the Park exhibit. If you're looking to do a little more exploring, Sammy's Bikes is conveniently nearby, and you can rent a variety of bikes that you can then use to navigate the Fox River Trail. If you have a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, you can bring it along and use the paddleboat launch to access the water, as well.


What's Your Favorite Way to Spend a Day in St. Charles, Illinois?

  • Shopping at the Local Shops

  • Trying Some New Restaurants

  • Catching a Show

  • Enjoying the Fox River


#4 - Asian Wings and Paddle Sports at Pottawatomie Park

Photos #1 & #2 Courtesy of Brigette Burgman of Nomadic Soul Photography, Photo #3 Courtesy of Rachel Kawate, Photo #4 Courtesy of Fry n' Wings

Pottawatomie Park - the park that has it all! It's jam-packed full of different outdoor activities just waiting for you to try such as miniature golf, sand volleyball, tennis, and that's just naming a few. If water sports is more your thing, you can rent kayak and pedal boats by the hour at the Riverview Miniature Golf Course. You'll access the Fox River right from the park, and you'll have a great time getting some exercise in while making a splash. For your picnic entrée, purchase an array of Asian-Fusion Wings from Fry n' Wings on Main Street that you can have while relaxing under the iconic Pottawatomie Park pavilion, or at one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the park.


#5 - Pizza, Soda, and Concerts at Lincoln Park

Photos #1 & #4 Courtesy of Billy Bricks, Photo #2 Courtesy of Brigette Burgman of Nomdic Soul Photography, Photo #3 Courtesy of Rocket Fizz

Stay downtown for this picnic and visit Lincoln Park on a Thursday evening. This is one of the more popular spots in town, and is home to many events throughout the year including Concerts in the Park - a free live music concert series that takes place from May 25th - August 10th on Thursdays at 7pm. The entertainment is all ready set for you, so all that's left to bring is the food! Right by the park is Billy Bricks Pizza - one of the best spots in town for some delicious, unique wood-fired pies, exceptional salads, and more. If that's what your taste buds are longing for, you'll have to pair it with some soda, too! Rocket Fizz is just across the way, and they have a multitude of craft sodas that will go great with the outdoor meal and the spectacular music.


#6 - Nature Education, Burgers, and Cool Treats at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve

For this picnic idea, you are going to head to LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. But first, you'll need to pick up some food from Urban Counter where they are serving up some mouthwatering burgers, hot dogs, wings, and more! Savor their delicious fare while you're soaking up all the sunlight, surrounded by woodlands, prairies, and grassy fields. It's also where the Creek Bend Nature Center is, which is a fantastic resource to learn more about the local eco-systems - plus, admission is free! After spending the day exploring, learning about, and appreciating the outdoors, make a quick stop at Fanny's Thai Roll Ice Cream to cool off with a cup of ice cream, smoothie, or bubble tea.


The number of ways you can picnic in this town is countless. There are so many parks and forest preserves around, and a variety of foods to eat and activities to take part in. Share how you picnic in St. Charles and tag us in a photo at @stcalliance and @travelstcharles for a chance to be featured on our social media.


Looking for more ways you can have some fun during your picnic? View our Outdoor Activities Page here to get some ideas on recreation out in the open air!

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