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Picnicking in the 209

In the same way that glamping changed how some people go camping, some savvy entreprenuers are changing how people picnic by offering an upscaled version full of luxurious offerings and delectable dining experiences that add a real element of style and pizzaz to dining al fresco. The 209 is home to several businesses that offer a complete picnic experience, from lovely views to plush accomodations topped off with menus to tempt many tastebuds. It’s a brand new way to picnic in the 209.

Valley Picnics 209

Contact: @valleypicnics209 on Instagram;

Areas served: San Joaquin County; surrounding counties come with a travel fee.

The idea of putting together a business that offered unforgetable picnics had long stewed in Alexis Garduno’s mind, so one day she finally just went for it and put the results up on social media.

“I got my first booking in two days,”Garduno said. “With that first booking, I became even more inspired to give it my all in the business. It has been a lot of work, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Garduno specializes in creating Bohemian and romantic style picnics.

“In every picnic, my imagination and creativity stand out when a client tells me what theme and/or colors they would like for their picnic,” Garduno said. “I put in a lot of time and effort to create an unforgettable picnic for each client.”

She also likes to make sure each picnic includes a fresh flowers.

“Flowers take the picnic to the next level and who doesn’t like to see and smell beautiful roses?” Garduno said. “I also think a must-have item is a wood arch add-on that hangs over the table with a choice of greenery or real roses hanging from it.”

Valley Picnic 209 offers a couple of picnic packages. The main package includes a two hour picnic for up two six people with a selected theme and decor of the client’s choice. The decor includes charger plates, ceramic plates, glass wine cups, real gold-plated utensils, napkins, rug or blanket for floor, and a pillow for each guest. Gurduno also offers multiple add-on items so that the picnic is exactly what the client requested.

“What I enjoy most about my business is seeing my clients’ reaction when they see their picnic set-up and their satisfaction,” Garduno said. “I also enjoy taking my creativity to the next level because I get to explore the many options of each client’s liking, so my creativity is always at work and expanding. Every picnic is different. I love meeting all my clients, making them feel special by making sure they know and see I’ve done my best to make their picnic beautiful and unique.

“I feel each picnic speaks for itself,” Garduno said. “I think letting your special someone or your loved ones know how much you love them by surprising them with a special picnic is a beautiful thing.”

An essential element for a beautiful picnic is the location and Garduno likes to use spots that add to the overall theme.

“My favorite spots for picnics are parks with a beautiful view, especially if there is water, like a lake,” Garduno said. “The set up always has a great view for my clients to enjoy their picnic even more. However, any place for a picnic is doable and beautiful.  I’ve done many of my picnics at a client’s home, in their back yard, front yard, and even indoors. Indoor picnics are also beautiful. And, clients get to have a beautiful picnic in the comfort of their own home.”


That Picnic Company

Contact: @thatpicniccompany on Instagram;; and (209) 604-4402.

Areas served: Central Valley

Marissa Titus took great pleasure in hosting events and parties. When she had the opportunity to experience a luxury picnic herself, she had one of those lightbulb moments on launching her own business.

“My love for hosting events and the boho esthetic really made it easy to jump in to the luxury picnic business after experiencing one myself,” Titus said. “I wanted to bring what I experienced and bring it locally and add my own personal touch to it.” 

Baby and bridal shower picnics have quickly become some of Titus’ specialities and she offers packages that range from a small, intimate picnic for a couple to party picnics for guests of 30 or more.

 There are several design and food elements that Titus thinks add special touches to a picnic, but she said the most important aspect of a perfect picnic isn’t anything that comes in her picnic basket.

“It’s having all your favorite people there,” Titus said.

In that same vein, Titus said her favorite part of the business is getting to meet new people and helping them make new special memories.

When planning her picnics, Titus likes to use places that highlight the simple beauty of the Central Valley.

“Ripon parks are my favorite for a casual day, but the lavender farms in Turlock have become one of my favorite places,” Titus said.


Perez Picnics & Platters

Contact: or (209) 252-1606.

Areas served: Central Valley

It only took one picnic to convince Viviana Padilla that this was the business for her.

“I had been wanting to start this for a little over a year after I threw my first girls night picnic for friends in December of 2019 and had such a blast,” Padilla said. “Then, I noticed picnics were starting to become popular in big cities, so I thought it would be nice to have something similar in the Central Valley.”

Padilla enjoys providing a place for the community to not only have fun with loved ones, but to get outside and enjoy the beauty around them.

Themed picnics are available for any occasion, from birthday parties and baby showers to anniversaries and bridal celebrations. 

“We customize every package according to the wants and needs of our clients which is what makes each of our picnics unique,” Padilla said.

Padilla likes to make sure the picnics she creates for her clients are stress free and operates on the motto: “We do the work, you have the fun.”

Perez Picnics & Platters uses parks and other areas for the picnic parties, with a special flair for turning backyards into something magical looking. And when it comes to having a memorable and enjoyable picnic, Padilla said there are two must haves: ‘good weather and great company.”


Lux Picnics

Contact: @Lux.picnics on Instagram;

Areas served: Central Valley from Lodi to Merced.

A simple wistful conversation between sisters Georgina Shull and Mari Green about the joy of picnicing inspired the business Lux Picnics.

“It started in 2019 as a conversation between sisters wanting to create settings where people could celebrate and be together in unique places,” Shull said. “The idea of a picnic is timeless and we take pride in curating a picture-worthy experience using beautiful California for our backdrop.”  

Lux Picnics specializes in romantic picnics, especially those that will include a proposal.

“We also pride ourselves on creating a luxurious picnic experience where our client can feel comfortable knowing that all they need to do is enjoy their special day,” Shull said. “We have been able to help our clients with their most important moments including bridal showers, birthdays, proposals and weddings.”  

Lux Picnics offers three types of picnics; The Pop-Up Picnic starts at $199 and includes the set-up and tear down of picnic, fresh florals, bluetooth speaker, rugs, pillows, tepee, and umbrella, along with a fresh grazing board as well as ice cold refreshments and a sweet treat. The Sweet Memories Picnic includes everything above along with a table upgrade and starts at $269. The Movie Night Picnic comes with all of the above and includes popcorn, candy and movie rental and starts at $329. All of our picnics can be customized to soirees and can be customised with extra items including charcuterie, photography and more. 

For Shull and Green, a perfect picnic is going to have three key items: a fresh grazing board, beautiful flowers, and good company. 

The sisters said their favorite part of the work is “being able to create a worry free environment where people can make memories that they will have for a lifetime.”

Lux Picnics likes to utilize spots around the 209 for the picnics, especially those around water, like River Islands in Lathrop. They also do backyard set-ups.