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What to Take to Ravinia

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Ravinia is a magical outdoor music venue located just north of Chicago in Highland Park, Illinois. If you’re planning an evening of listening to music under the stars this summer, keep reading for the ultimate list of what to take to Ravinia.

What to Take to Ravinia to Have the Best Picnic Ever |

Most Chicagoans will tell you Ravinia is special. There’s nothing like spending a summer evening sitting on the huge expanse of lawn, relaxing with friends, and listening to some of the best live music in the world.

Prior to moving to Chicago, I’d been to quite a few outdoor music festivals but I’ll tell you that nothing could have prepared me for the Ravinia experience. The first time I went, I was lucky that I remembered to bring a blanket to sit on. I might have thrown a water in my bag, too. I was pretty young at the time, but you can imagine my shock when we claimed a spot on the grass next to a large group of women that were really doing it up in style. Not only did these women have multiple blankets, but they had a table, candelabra, wine galore, carryout food, and real china. It was incredible.

To be honest, I felt a little self-conscious, though there was really no need as the women were happy to share. I know people say Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but I’d counter that Ravinia is right up there. It really is magical!

The outdoor music season is almost here and Ravinia tickets are about to go on sale. If you haven’t looked, the 2018 Ravinia concert schedule looks amazing! (The top concert on my list is Audra McDonald on July 15!) If you’re thinking about picking up Ravinia lawn tickets for the first time and aren’t sure what to bring with you, this guide will show you that there’s no such thing as too extravagant at Ravinia. But, on the other hand, you’ll be just fine if all you show up with is a blanket and bottle of water, too. At Ravinia, pretty much anything goes!

What to Take to Ravinia

Bamboo Cheese Cutting Board Set

A charcuterie plate is an easy option to bring to Ravinia, and with a cutting board such as this you will be eating (and cutting) in style!

4 Person Wicker Picnic Basket

This basket includes everything you need for an amazing spread at Ravinia, including wine glasses! Not only is the basket stylish, it includes entire place settings for up to 4 people. You can have a picnic and a party with this awesome picnic basket.

Portable and Foldable Wine and Snack Table

You shouldn’t be required to do any work, including holding your own glass, when you are at Ravinia! This table is a must because it holds your wine glasses and leaves plenty of room for all your snacks as well.

Extra Large Waterproof Picnic Blanket


Everyone wants to sit on something fluffy and comfy, right? Look no further than this soft and luxurious blanket that is large enough to seat numerous people and all your picnic goodies. It has a waterproof layer, which will help keep you dry in case it rained recently or there is dew on the ground.

Shatter Proof Wine Decanter

If you enjoy drinking wine, be sure to bring a bottle or two to Ravinia! And, if you’re bringing the wine, be sure to bring a shatterproof decanter, too!


Perhaps this should be the very first item on this list of what to take to Ravinia, but if you’re going to bring the decanter or wine glasses or anything like that, you’re obviously going to need some wine! If you’re planning on heading to Ravinia regularly, I recommend getting a Winc wine subscription. Their wines are seriously amazing. Winc offers a great variety of blends, they’re affordable, and seriously, what’s better than wine delivery?!

Gingham Napkins

Nothing says fancy like napkins that aren’t paper! And, if you’re eating under the stars on a warm summer night, gingham is a must!

Picnic Time Wagon

If you’re going to bring a picnic to Ravinia with you, you’re going to need a way to transport all of your goods. The lawn at Ravinia is ample, and I’m certain you won’t want to hold everything as you dodge other people who’ve already claimed their territory. This wagon is tough on all terrains and very solid so you’ll be able to carry everything you need at once.

Unbreakable Stemless Wine Glasses

I’m not saying anyone’s going to drink too much wine at Ravinia, but just in case, shatterproof wine glasses are never a bad idea!

Electric Wine Bottle Opener

Don’t you dare forget the wine bottle opener at home! There’s nothing worse than feeling the pressure to get the next bottle of wine open immediately only to do something dumb like get half of the cork stuck in the bottle. Instead, leave this task to electricity, the real pro.

Flameless Candles

If you want to set the mood at your fancy Ravinia picnic, flameless candles are a must. Yes, you can go truly over-the-top and bring a full candleabra with you, but flameless candles will set the mood just the same and provide a bit more light as the sun goes down, since I don’t believe you can actually light real candles out there.

Small Vase

What picnic would truly be complete without a vase full of fresh flowers? Do your best to find some wildflowers and place them in a small vase. They’ll add that little something extra to your picnic!

Multi-Use Cheese, Fruit and Veggie Knife

If you are going to go to all the trouble of packing a ton of great food to bring to Ravinia, then you are going to need a knife to cut it up.  Look no further than this one, as it handles fruit, cheese, and vegetables with ease!

Salt & Pepper Grinder

While salt and pepper may not be at the top of your list when you think of what to bring to Ravinia, if you’re going to effort to have a fancy outdoor picnic, you might as well pack some seasoning that will be very appreciated by some!

Eco-Friendly Disposable Plates


Here’s something I know to be true: Planning out what to bring to Ravinia is a lot of fun. So is packing your picnic and getting ready to go. Less fun, however, is lugging all of that food home. To make sure you’re not doing that, come prepared to share with everyone around you. I guarantee you’ll make their day and you’ll earn some good karma points!

When do Ravinia tickets go on sale?

Lucky for you, Ravinia ticket sales are coming right up! Tickets go on sale May 8 for concerts in June and July and May 10 for concerts in August and September. Yes, you’ll want to book early as some concerts do sell out. Pavillion seats and general lawn seats are available for purchase, but obviously, I’m partial to lawn seats to get the full Ravinia experience. If you miss out on tickets for the concerts you most want to see, it doesn’t hurt to check Stubhub!


What train do I take to Ravinia?

Take it from me: Parking at Ravinia can be a bit of a nightmare. After sitting in traffic for TWO hours just trying to get to Ravinia, I eventually turned around and went home. The best way to get to Ravinia is to take Metra’s Union Pacific/North Line, which stops right at Ravinia! Check the Metra schedule for inbound and outbound trains on concert days.

You know the nice thing about taking the Metra to Ravinia? You’re allowed to drink on the Metra, and believe me, people do!


Add Ravinia to Your Summer Plans

Listening to music under the stars at Ravinia is one of the highlights of summer in Chicago! Whether you live in or around the city or you’re visiting Chicago for a weekend, it’s definitely something you should include on your to-do list this year!


Do Tell: Would you include anything else on our list of what to take to Ravinia?



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