How to Pick the Perfect Gazebo for your Picnic

There is no better way to relax and unwind while enjoying the beauty of nature than a picnic. A picnic is a small, transportable party that you can hold almost anywhere and for any reason – birthdays, anniversaries, or just because it’s a nice day.

Happy Family Picnic. Photos on Flickr and Virginia State Parks

At its simplest, there are three elements to a good picnic: good food, good people, and good location. However, there’s a fourth element that you would be wise to consider. This would be a good picnic shelter or gazebo.

While the point of a picnic is to enjoy nature, you don’t want to put your guests at its mercy. Exposing yourself to nature also means exposing yourself to the elements and while everyone enjoys a little sunshine, no one wants to broil or burn. Rain and wind can also keep your guest from enjoying their good food. To make sure your guests enjoy themselves, you need to pick the perfect picnic gazebo to provide them shelter and a place to comfortably hang out and enjoy themselves.

The following steps should be taken when picking your perfect picnic gazebo:

Pick The Perfect Picnic Guests

The first step to planning a perfect picnic would to be deciding who will be at your picnic. Who will be there will play a factor in your enjoyment of the picnic and will also determine what sort of picnic gazebo you need.

Step 1. Make Up a Guest List

A list will help you determine how many people your picnic spot will need to accommodate and how big or small your picnic gazebo needs to be.

Making Guest List. Photos by energepic energepic and Natalie B.

Step 2. Determine the Special Needs of Your Guests

Look at your list and determine what your guests will need in terms of shelter.

Will your picnic guest include small children or infants? Then your picnic gazebo should have enough space for them to play or nap while protected by the elements.

What To Bring During Picnic Time. Photos by Chris and Tim Herrick

Will your picnic guests include elderly people? Then your picnic gazebo should be able to accommodate them comfortably. Maybe provide them with seats in the shade and shelter from the wind.

Step 3. Inform Your Guest About the Planned Picnic

Before you send out final invites, approach the people on the guest list and see what they think. Give them a list of tentative dates and locations so they can tell you if they can accept your picnic invite.

Fixing your guest list is the first step to a perfect picnic and will also help determine what gazebo you need. How many people are coming will also have an impact on your final location as you need to pick a spot – and a gazebo - that can accommodate everybody.

If you’re planning a really big party, it’s probably best to get a really big gazebo. OZtrail offers gazebos that have some of the widest ground and canopy coverage. They have several with 4.5m sides as well as the OZtrail Standard Compact Pavilion which is about 2.4 m x 4.8 meters.

For really big parties though, you should probably go with the OZtrail Deluxe Mega Pavilion which has a 4.5 m x 6 m ground and canopy coverage.

Pick the Perfect Picnic Spot

A picnic can be held practically anywhere – in a garden, at a park, near water or out in the country.

While picnic spots can be found anywhere, not all picnic spots will be right for YOUR picnic. When looking for the right picnic location, you need to think about how much space you need and what kind of weather your expecting.

Perfect Beach Picnic. Photos by Henry Burrows and YHA New Zealand

Step 1. Find Out How Much Space You Have

Most picnic grounds have rules as to how much space a group of picnic goers can take up. This is in order to accommodate everyone who might want to enjoy the day.

Some also limit the areas where picnics can be held. This is usually for the picnicker’s safety as well as to keep the environment from being spoiled.

Before you decide on a picnic location, make sure that they can accommodate the number of guests you have planned. You should also check that your allotted space can accommodate your picnic gazebo.

The average size of a gazebo is 3m X 3m, around the size of a market stall. A good example of this is the OZtrail Deluxe Gazebo which is about 300cm wide with an adjustable height of 117cm to 220 cm – ample enough to let the average person stand and move about comfortably.

Step 2. Find out What the Weather is Usually Like in Your Potential Picnic Spots

While there are many perfect picnic spots, not all times are perfect for a picnic - you need to take the weather into consideration.

Is the weather going to be warm? Is there a possibility of rain? Are you expecting strong winds? The kind of picnic gazebo you choose needs to be able to offer you the shelter you need.

While weather can never be totally predictable, many areas have certain weather trends. Try and figure out what the weather is like in general in your possible picnic locations and make your final decision accordingly.

If the weather is expected to be mild, you might want to get a smaller then average gazebo. Just enough to shelter the few people who really need or want it. The OZtrail Deluxe Compact Gazebo covers this need nicely. Only 2.4 m x 2.4 m it is lightweight but sturdy and can be adjusted to a height of 177 cm to 220 cm, more than enough to allow the average person to stand.

Pick the Perfect Picnic Date

After deciding on the guests and the location, it’s now time to decide when the picnic will be held.

There are three things to consider when deciding on the date for your picnic. The first would be the availability of guests – which you should have determined when making the guest list. The second would be the best picnic time in your location. The last consideration would be the weather expected during your chosen picnic date.

Perfect Place For Picnic. Photos by Jackie.Ick and Juanedc

Step 1. Check Out Local Weather Forecasts

You can narrow down the potential dates from you picnic by getting a copy of the local weather forecasts.

If it looks like a location will have perfect picnic weather on the date you’ve chosen, you’re lucky. However, just because the weather isn’t perfect doesn’t mean you can’t have a picnic. You just need the right picnic gazebo.

Step 2: Determine the Right Type of Shelter for the Expected Weather Conditions

If it’s going to be warm, you might just need a gazebo that will offer some shade for the hottest time of the days.

If it’s going to rain, you need a gazebo that can shelter everyone comfortably. Make sure that there is space for people to entertain themselves by playing games or doing other activities.

If it’s expected to be windy, you might want a gazebo with attachable sides to provide some shelter from the wind.

Knowing what to expect from the weather can help you determine what kind of shelter you need. With the right shelter, the weather can’t stop you from enjoying the picnic.

Choosing the perfect weather proof gazebo is made easy by OZtrail which makes sure that all their gazebo’s sport canopies that are not just water proof but silver coated to efficiently blockout the sun. OZtrail gazebo canopies have a UPF rating of 50 which means they block out 98 percent of UV rays.

Another standard feature of OZtrail gazebos is that the gazebo’s frame is equipped with hooks and velcro that are compatible with OZtrail wall kits. Ranging from solid walls, to mesh walls, to walls with windows, these wall kits give you the choice of an added layer of privacy and shelter.

Gazebo with Heavy Duty Solid Wall Attachment

Gazebo with Heavy Duty Wall with Window Attachment


Let's wrap it up...

Yellow picnic gazebo

You want the perfect gazebo for your picnic. Period. Here's a quick checklist to sum it up and help you get the perfect gazebo once and for all.

  • Choose a gazebo colour that suits your picnic theme. Will you settle for a tantalizing yellow gazebo, a vibrant red gazebo, or just a natural coloured gazebo?  The choice is yours.
  • Go for a gazebo with a UV rating of 50 or more. It has the ability to bounce off harmful UV rays to a tune of 98%
  • Take advantage of the gazebo accessories. Want a little more privacy? Use the gazebo walls to keep off lurking eyes from passers-by 
  • A portable gazebo with a carry bag makes transportation a breeze. The OZtrail gazebos are lightweight and easy to transport.
  •  Make sure you can easily access your gazebo's spare parts. Over time, you may need to replace a strut, a broken leg, or even a lost bolt or screw. 
  • Know the number of people you'll be hosting. You'll have to pick a gazebo size that fits them all in comfortably.
  • A good gazebo needs a sturdy structure against the strong weather elements in the outdoors. And nothing beats the OZtrail gazebos range.

Remember that, just because you’ve found the perfect picnic spot doesn’t mean that it will always be perfect picnic weather.

Also, some special days don’t necessarily happen during perfect picnic times.

While perfect weather and perfect times might be hard to come by, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have an enjoyable picnic.

Picking a good picnic gazebo can allow you to enjoy your perfect picnic spot even if the timing is less than perfect.



Originally published: March 2018

Updated September 2018: Added a quick wrap up summary of things to look out for when purchasing a picnic gazebo.