Summertime is in full swing in Seattle! The Emerald City is shining, dry season is upon us and a feeling of hope is in the air. July also marks the start of picnic season, many outdoor events are taking place all across the area and people are thrilled to gather once again. Today we are bringing you a guide to outdoor events in Seattle, specifically for picnics and similar events! In this guide you will find the best times to have an outdoor event in the pacific northwest, why you should consider an outdoor gathering, and our favorite vendors that can help take your plans from concept to execution.
Why You Should Consider an Outdoor Event
After a year of isolation, there is a strong desire to bring events back and gather in person. It makes sense! The pandemic is finally slowing down, we’ve seen tremendous improvements in infection rates much thanks to vaccines. However, we aren’t quite out of the woods yet. As event professionals we must design events that have our guest’s safety in mind, outdoor events can help you provide the opportunity to meet again with less risk. In fact, according to the White House “less than 10 percent of documented transmission, in many studies, have occurred outdoors.”
Hosting outdoor events will greatly reduce transmission risk and create a safer environment for your guests. Almost any event can be transformed into an outdoor event. The most common outdoor events include company picnics, team building events, concerts, and even weddings.
Best time for Outdoor Events In Seattle
The Pacific Northwest certainly has earned the reputation for being the rainiest place in the country but don’t let this stop you from hosting your next event here. There are an average of days of sunshine in Seattle. The trick is to time your event during the dry months. The best time to have an outdoor event in the region is between May – September, there is less rain during these months and temperatures averaging in the 70s.
Create a Backup Plan
In events it’s always smart to have a plan B, and outdoor events and picnics are no exception. Outdoor events are subject to weather. Planning during optimal months greatly reduces the chances of a rain storm interrupting your plans but it’s always important to create a backup plan.
Consider looking for a venue that has an alternative location such as an indoor venue you can switch to in the case of inclement weather. If the venue does not have an indoor location, consider renting a tent. If weather makes a turn for the worse you may need to postpone the event, or relocate to an indoor location! Leading up to the event, monitor weather, let it guide your choices.
Our Favorite Outdoor Event and Picnic Vendors and Venues
Now that we’ve covered the basics it’s time to talk about vendors and venues. Behind every successful event is a great team of vendors. They will help you execute your event and achieve your goals. Below we’re diving into our top vendors and venues for outdoor events in Seattle. We’ve carefully curated these vendors and venues to save you the time and effort of researching yourself. From delicious catering options to spacious outdoor venues, there is something for everyone on this list!
When it comes time to choose a venue for your next outdoor event or picnic look for an option with plenty of space for guests to spread out. Tap into the beautiful nature surrounding the north west it will help set the tone for your event. Below are our top picks!
Source: Argosy Cruises
Take your guests on an adventure they aren’t soon to forget at Blake Island State Park. To get to the park guests will take a 45-minute ferry ride through the Pudget Sound. Blake Island State Park is home to Argosy Cruises Longhouse event space where guests can host a wide variety of group sizes and event types. The 7,000-square-foot Dining Room can hold from 150 guests (seated classroom-style) up to 500 (seated banquet-style). There is also lots of land for outdoor gatherings.
Catering at Blake Island State Park features their famous fire-roasted fish, cooked slowly over alder wood fires within the Longhouse. Activities on the island include SUP or Kayak Rentals, guided nature walks, and cultural presentations.
Source: Lord Hill Farms
Lord Hill Farms offers multiple, private sites to choose from making this a great venue for outdoor events, corporate picnics and more. Surrounded by 450 acres and complete with breath-taking views of the Cascade Mountains, Snohomish Valley, and it’s own landscaped grounds the farm provides a stunning backdrop for gatherings.
Lord Hill Farms also has all the amenities you need for your next event including picnic tables and shaded tents. Many activities are available onsite for your guests to participate in including volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, outdoor chess, connect four, and tetherball. Plus there is a driving range, large water slide, paddle boats, moonwalk, climbing wall, and much more onsite! The options are limitless at this spacious venue.
The Nile Golf and Country Club can accommodate events from 20-2000 attendees. The property spans approximately 93 acres including over 3,000 feet of waterfront on Lake Ballinger.
At this venue, you’ll find an 18-hole golf course and immaculate picnic grounds. The country club also has a covered tent, so even if it does decide to rain in Seattle mother nature can’t rain on your event here!
Dogfather Catering serves hot dogs, wood-fired pizzas, and salads for parties ranging in size from 30 to 300. Their inclusive menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian menu options and there is something for everyone on your list. This caterer is a great option for outdoor events and picnics because their outdoor carts are completely self-contained. No additional power or water is required and you’ll only a level 10×10 space to set up!
BBQ and outdoor events go hand in hand. We know just the place if you are craving a cookout. With over 700 BBQ awards, Famous Daves will delight guests and provide an authentic BBQ experience with meats smoked up to 14 hours over real hickory wood. Warning- their hand-crafted sides and desserts are just as delicious!
Their catering services make an event professional’s life stress free. They will bring everything you need including tablecloths, chafing dishes, and high-quality disposable paper products. Famous Daves also offers delivery, set up, and will help keep your event and dining areas clean and organized. Go on and make your next event “famous”!
homegrown catering is sustainably sourced, ingredient by ingredient, farm by farm. They carefully choose what is best for all stakeholders – people, animals, and the land. This is a great option if you want to be more sustainable. Outdoor events and picnic catering options include fresh salad bowls, sandwich platters, and individually boxed event lunch options. With menu items like smashed chickpea sandwiches to Matcha Chicken Avocado, there is something for everyone on your guest list.
Nutty Squirrels Italian ice creams are made one small batch at a time, locally. Their flavors are nothing short of exquisite. Discover true artisanal gelato made with wholesome ingredients, you must try the Minty Road, and Vegan Forest Berries Sorbetto created from NW Berries home-blend to perfection! With a rotating seasonal menu, Nutty Squirrel provides you with only the freshest gelato and sorbetto. They have many on-the-go catering options but our favorites are the micro-truck above, Caramello. This truck is ideal for large celebrations and corporate events. Offering a full Gelateria Experience with up to 10 flavors of gelato, espresso, topping, and dessert bar. YUM!
Food trucks are a perfect on-the-go option for picnics and other outdoor gatherings. What could be better than a food truck? A food truck that serves ice cream! Street Treats is Seattle’s first custom ice cream sandwich builder and a great addition to your next event. Sweet Treats brings fun to every event. They make their premium ice cream, cookies, and treats from scratch with the highest quality ingredients. The results are delicious. Serve your guests ice cream sandwiches, cones, and other desserts with a wide range of flavors including their most popular, chocolate chip cookie with a vanilla ice cream center.
This is an incredible gourmet ice cream option for your next event. Attendees will love watching billows of fog as the ice cream flash freezes with the help of 321 degrees below zero Liquid Nitrogen. Every serving of ice cream is flash-created right on the spot, in front of your guests. Talk about a creating a memorable experience! There are endless combinations of ice cream and Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream will help you create signature ice creams for your event that your guests are sure to love.
This family-owned and operated, event rental company has been serving the Puget Sound since 1991. Their knowledgeable consultants are experts in all facets of the event planning and can offer suggestions on décor, layouts, quantity selections, and more. They are the go-to when you need tenting, their tent crew undergoes extensive training on installation and technology to keep your attendees safe! Alexander Party Rentals also offers staples for outdoor events and picnics such as dance floors, tables, chairs, and staging making them a great partner for your next event.
If you are looking for a one-stop-shop for your entertainment needs look no further than National Event Pros! Their services range from event management, production, staffing, entertainment, and rentals. They offer limitless options for entertainment at your next picnic. Their wide range of experiences and activities cover something for every personality at your event. Notable rentals include inflatable obstacle courses, carnival games, ax throwing game stations, airbrush face painting, bungee trampolines, and even carnival rides like their Ballistic Swing Ride for the thrill-seeking guests!
Seattle Outdoor Events Recap
That’s A Wrap on the Seattle Outdoor Events Guide. Below is a summary of the key points of the guide.
- The best time for outdoor events in Seattle is during the dry season May – September.
- Outdoor events are safer than their in-person counterparts and are the perfect way to bring back in-person events with less risk.
- Weather plays a big role in outdoor events, monitor it closely and have a backup plan prepared.
- Your vendors are your partners and will help you create an exceptional event, choose them carefully – they are a big part of your team!
If you follow these tips and keep your event’s vision in mind you are sure to have a successful picnic or event!