Dining out is fun, but can get a little tiring after a while. You may feel like you’ve been to every restaurant in town, exhausted all the menus, and nothing seems exciting anymore. Romance is all about excitement, so if you’re feeling like the local restaurants don’t have the same allure that used to work for you, perhaps it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Whether it’s a first date or a dinner with a long-time partner, getting creative can make all the difference. A romantic picnic for two could be just the breath of fresh air you need to reignite the spark in your relationship or put a new mate under your spell.

First, you’ll want to pick the right day. As fun and romantic as a picnic under the sky can be, it can also be ruined in half a second by bad weather. Become a scholar of weather forecasts in the week leading up to your date. You’ll want to pick a day that is warm enough to be comfortable during the day, sunny or slightly cloudy, no chance of rain, and not especially windy either. There’s room for compromise here, but nasty whether is the ultimate mood killer on a picnic date, so shoot for the ideal.

Find the best location–this may require a bit of scouting. You want your picnic spot to be relatively secluded. The added privacy will be more conducive to romance and intimacy, so heavily trafficked city squares and tourist destinations are out of the picture. Look for good scenery. Riverside locations are often beautiful, but make sure there aren’t many bugs around. Find a spot with enough trees to provide shade and enhance the feeling of privacy, but also enough open space to play around in, should the mood strike you.

Next, you’ll need to decide on your menu. Center your dinner around things that are easy to eat outside. Soups are almost impossible to deal with on a picnic blanket, and will leave you hot and soaking wet in the least romantic way possible. Foods that can be enjoyed at room temperature are ideal, as nothing here is going to be fresh out of the oven. Sandwiches are a great choice, as are certain pasta dishes–a nice primavera with pesto and fresh vegetables could be the perfect main course. Bring along a nice bottle of wine to accompany dinner and keep you both feeling at ease, and of course–don’t forget dessert.

The most important thing of all for your romantic date in the outdoors–surprise. Don’t let on to your partner what you’re planning. Keep the picnic backpacks hidden until the last moment. A surprise dinner like this is sure to make your love swoon, and the creativity and effort you’ve put into making the perfect evening will make you irresistible. Keep the fire burning in your relationship and try this plan on your next date night. You and your mate are sure to remember it for a long time to come.