Looking for a fun date night or a romantic gesture? A picnic is just the ticket. If you’re trying to impress your date, not just any picnic will do. You need to put in some leg work. Let us help! Here are five out-of-the-ordinary spots for your next date.
Night Canoe/Picnic Dinner
If the best things come to those who wait, then a little labor will make the end product even sweeter. If you are looking for an adventurous picnic, Peoria has you covered. Head out to Lake Pleasant and rent a kayak for two. With more than 115 miles of shoreline, you can work up an appetite searching for the perfect location to dine. Any time is a perfect time for a picnic, but if you are looking for a romantic adventure, then the sunsets at Lake Pleasant are beyond beautiful.
Plus, you don’t have to let the night end with a picnic. Jump back in the canoe to do some stargazing! Removed from the city lights, Lake Pleasant is a great place to see the Milky Way. Finish your picnic date at one of Lake Pleasant’s campgrounds or head back to civilization and have a cocktail at North Peoria’s Squid Ink or another fine restaurant.
Looking to work up a sweat before your feast? Take a hike. Many of our super-secret picnic spots are off the beaten path. Calderwood Butte, located in North Peoria, has the perfect hidden spot for a picnic. Start your hike at the main trailhead off of 99th Avenue. Don’t stop at the top, keep going. Your journey will be rewarded with the perfect picnic spot. There are several park benches near the peak with a brilliant view of the city and a quiet place to have a meal.
Old Town Peoria/Peoria City Hall Campus
Is your picnic partner a little artsy? We’ve got a spot for you. The Old Town Peoria area and Peoria City Hall campus are home to so much public art it’s impossible not to see one of the great pieces! You can take a tour of the West Valley Art Museum and then head outside on a walk around the campus. A self-guided tour is available so you don’t miss a thing. End with a picnic at the community garden, or one of a dozen sports around the campus that will make the perfect place to dine.
Rio Vista Recreation Center
Rio Vista Park has sooooo many places for a picnic. You can have the good old-fashioned picnic in the grass, rent a ramada, reflect at the Memorial, or just set up by the water and relax. But the title of this article says super-secret spots so let’s head a little west of the park near the entrance off of Thunderbird Road. There is a unique rest area that is a perfect place for a one-of-a-kind lunch stop. It's just a few feet away from the main roadway, but sunken in and surrounded by the greenery and desert of the adjacent wash. Enjoy the covered seating area, beautiful view, then head back to Rio and grab a day pass for the rock climbing wall and gym.
Finally, one of the best-kept secrets is a place people drive by every day. Windrose Park, located at 83rd Avenue and Sweetwater, has an adorable picnic spot under a man-made tree that screams out to be enjoyed. This sculpture is dubbed the reading tree and provides shade during the day and glows brightly at night. The adjoining play place, basketball and tennis courts, and soccer fields make this the perfect spot to spend the afternoon.