The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you know what that means. It’s picnic time on Hilton Head Island! May is the perfect month for picnics here in the Lowcountry because the sweltering heat and oppressive humidity of the deep summer hasn’t set in yet. Plus, the kids are out of school, and you need some new ways to entertain them. So pack a picnic and head to one of these Hilton Head parks for some fun in the sun!

What to Pack for Your Summer Picnic

Think of the sun and heat when deciding what to pack for lunch, too. Skip the soft cheeses that will melt into a mess and pack firm cheese that cuts easily instead. Keep it simple and skip foods that need extra prep when you arrive. Make sandwiches ahead of time or pack chicken wraps and pasta salads.

You don’t want to get all the way to the park with a car full of kids, unpack everything, and then realize you forgot something important. Here’s a quick checklist of everything you’ll need for your Hilton Head picnic to make the packing process a breeze.

  • Cooler, insulated basket, or backpack
  • Plates, cups, utensils, and napkins
  • Cutting board/serving tray
  • Corkscrew and/or bottle opener
  • Trash bags
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen and bug spray 
  • Blankets to sit on
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Frisbees, balls, bubbles, etc.

And off to the park we go!

Green Shell Park

Located near the north end of the island is Green Shell Park. This sweet little 3-acre park has a covered picnic area, two playgrounds, a basketball hoop, and a nature trail to explore once everyone is done eating. For history buffs, this park is also a known archaeological site dating back to 1335 AD and home to the historic Amelia White Cemetery and an authentic Native American shell ring known as the Green Shell Mound.

Jarvis Creek Park

The 53-acre grounds at Jarvis Creek Park have everything you could need for a day filled with fun and laughter for the whole family. Not only are there covered picnic shelters to enjoy lunch in the shade, but there’s a large pond with a fishing pier, open fields for throwing a football, a playground for the younger kids, clean restroom facilities, and even workout stations along a one-mile paved trail.

Squire Pope Community Park

If you’d like to include some kayaking in your day of picnicking. Squire Pope Community Park is the place to be. Enjoy a peaceful lunch on their waterfront picnic pavilion surrounded by moss-draped live oaks while the kids play on the playground before launching your boats off their floating dock for a leisurely day on the water.


All that’s left to do now is pick the perfect Hilton Head park for your summer picnic. You can add an extra level of family fun to your excursion by renting bikes and folding wagons so you can all ride to the park together!