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Home / Events / Welcome spring with PICNIC + FLOWERS

Welcome spring with PICNIC + FLOWERS

by May Ruiz
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After the cold weather and rain we’ve had, one can’t help but wish for spring to arrive. And what could be a lovelier way to bask in the mild Southern California sunshine than with a picnic and a walk on a field of vibrant blooms?    

Pop Up Picnic Co. provides just that with their PICNIC + FLOWERS event when they return this year from March 23 to May 12, 2024. Against a backdrop of The Flower Fields in Carlsbad and the San Diego coastline beyond, picnickers will enjoy an elevated outdoors experience with curated bites, live music, and stunning views. The event will take place every Saturday and Sunday with seatings available between 11am and 2pm.

While several other picnic pop up companies have appeared in recent years, Lauren Kimmons is proud to have founded the original. She talks by phone about the origins of this popular event, “I created Pop Up Picnic as a promotional idea for Valentine’s Day 2012 to create buzz for the wedding + design business that I owned at that time. People loved it! We did them on request for several years and even when I sold that business in 2016, I never stopped getting requests for Pop Up Picnics. In 2018, I relaunched the service as Pop Up Picnic Co and we’ve been helping people get together ever since.”

Photo courtesy of Diana Rose Photography

Successful endeavors are usually products of an inventive mind, an entrepreneurial spirit, and serendipity, as PICNIC + FLOWERS proves. Kimmons explains, “PICNIC + FLOWERS was a nebulous dream of mine and it all came to fruition because of a great networking opportunity and a gracious, creative, fearless lady: Joni Miringoff of The Flower Fields. Joni happened to see my company included in press for the San Diego Tourism Authority Accelerator (Pop Up Picnic Co was an inaugural cohort member) and we just hit it off! That meeting set my business on a completely novel direction. I am forever grateful to SDTA and Joni for setting me on this new path.”

Kimmons says 1,195 people booked the weekend event in 2023, which encouraged her to return this year. And as she has always done, she does a lot of planning and prep work to ensure the event runs smoothly. She describes “I’m a big believer in systems. There are lots of details and  logistics that go into planning an event like this and the biggest thing is staying organized and starting early. There are a few key areas where we focus in the months leading up to P+F: logistics, guest experience, supplies, marketing, and staffing. Luckily, we have the blueprint from last year so we have the added benefit of seeing what works (and what doesn’t) and making adjustments from there. We’re a tiny but mighty team of just three full-time staff members. As the event comes closer we’ll add about five more team members.”

That’s not to say it was easy from the get-go. She says, “The biggest challenge was believing I could do it. But like anything, it’s just one foot in front of the other. That’s where my background in weddings really honed my talent for logistics and planning. We just take everything one step at a time. This year, I just hope it lives up to the success of last year! We’re adding new features and amenities for the guests like more shaded areas, increasing the menu, adding dessert, and including private parking. All these features come with new challenges but we’re up for the task!”

Photo courtesy of Diana Rose Photography

This pop up picnic isn’t only offered in Carlsbad. Kimmons clarifies, “We have picnics in several locations! Pop Up Picnic Co’s main service is picnics for parties of 2-25 guests throughout San Diego. We call them Pop Up Picnics, a term we coined way back in 2012. We have two styles – BOHO with low seating and ORIGINAL with farm tables and bistro chairs. We can pop-up at the beach, a park, your home and lots of other places.”

“We would love to have our guests come back again in 2024 and we’re offering a couple bonuses for our previous guests which will all go out to our email subscribers,” states Kimmons. “We’re adding some enhancements this year including a private entrance and dedicated PICNICS + FLOWERS parking which means more time enjoying the fields! PICNICS + FLOWERS guests will also receive free wagon rides, expanded shade structures, a family-fun zone with lawn games, and expanded pre-fixe menu with picnic-inspired tea sandwiches, an assortment of seasonal salads, charcuterie for the table and mini fruit pies for dessert. Moreover, we’re making the experience more inviting for families, on top of giving discounted kids tickets, we’ve created a really fun, picnic-themed kids menu with cheese sandwiches, fruit + kid-friendly, nut-free snacks. We also have custom PICNICS + FLOWERS activity packs with coloring pages and a scavenger hunt and lawn games in our family-friendly play area.”  

Photo courtesy of Diana Rose Photography

The culinary offerings at this year’s event are set to delight attendees. Guests will receive an individual box containing a tasting menu with a variety of options to choose from, including cucumber chive sandwiches, chickpea smash sandwiches, ham and tomato sandwiches, three seasonal side salad choices, mini charcuterie, and delightful fruit pies on a stick for dessert. Refreshing beverages will accompany the delectable bites such as hibiscus-lemon aguas frescas and mint-infused water. Children will be served a child-friendly meal comprising cheese sandwiches, fruit, and dessert.

While the charming picnics have limited seating times of one hour, guests are encouraged to linger and explore The Flower Fields at their leisure and enjoy their complimentary wagon rides. Games at the tables add to the entertainment, allowing attendees to savor the experience with family and friends. For those bringing their children, a family-fun zone will be open for play.  

It’s never too early to plan for fun things to do and new places to visit this spring. Make PICNIC + FLOWERS one of your exciting new adventures!    

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