Spring Creek Picnics: Offering luxury picnics in the PA Wilds

Spring Creek Picnics: Offering luxury picnics in the PA Wilds

Centre County | I-80 Frontier of the PA Wilds

Picture this: A perfectly curated tablescape alongside slowly flowing water, underneath the shade of a weeping willow. In the background, the sound of kids playing, ducks quacking, and even a summer concert being performed. 

It’s the scene that Renea Nichols creates almost weekly through her business Spring Creek Picnics, based in Bellefonte — part of the I-80 Frontier landscape of the PA Wilds. 

Luxury picnics and the companies that create them have been steadily gaining steam since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. All over the world, these companies work to create Instagrammable settings for special occasions — like proposals, anniversaries, date nights and other big moments. But for Nichols, it’s about something different. 

What makes Spring Creek Picnics different, she says, is her emphasis on supporting local businesses in Bellefonte. 

“You don’t need to have a reason to have a picnic other than that you want to,” Nichols said. “During the pandemic, we were relegated to eating outside or eating takeout — and that’s where this started.” 

Once Nichols had the idea for the business, she went right to work making it a reality. In early 2021, the business received funding from the SpringBoard Startup Challenge, a grant provided by Bellefonte’s business incubator and coworking space to help new entrepreneurs market their ideas. That support-local aspect of the business was what really set Nichols’ application apart from the rest during that funding period, according to Jennilyn Schuster, Main Street Manager for Downtown Bellefonte Inc. 

Nichols explained that, when someone calls her to set up a picnic, she really takes the time to get to know them and understand what they’re looking for. During that call, she promotes a list of all of the local restaurants that could be a good fit for their picnic. Renea then does the hard work of hauling and setting up the tablescape — crafted with locally sourced materials — and picnic-goers just show up with their takeout in hand. At the end of the event, there’s no packing up or lugging of items for attendees to do. 

As often as possible, Nichols encourages picnickers to enjoy their picnic during a Talleyrand Park special event, like Summer Sounds in the Gazebo — a concert series held each Sunday evening. 

While Talleyrand Park is the most popular setting for Spring Creek Picnics, Nichols has found ways to get creative and support local non-profits through her business as well. Picnics have been set up in places like Curtin Village, a local historical site, or in the gardens behind the Centre County Library and Historical Museum. For these special locations, a “travel” fee is charged — and that fee is given directly to the non-profit as a donation. 

Nichols noted that while Bellefonte residents have enjoyed picnics in the park, much of her business has been from travelers to the area — all wowed by Bellefonte, and particularly Talleyrand Park’s, beauty. 

At the end of the day, the business is all about being a part of the community, she said. 

“I’m just doing this because I love to do it, and who doesn’t love a picnic?”

How to book a picnic

To book a picnic with Spring Creek Picnics, phone: 814-321-5329 (preferred method) or visit springcreekpicnics.com.

Spring Creek Picnics is an Experience Maker member of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Spring Creek Picnics or leave a review/recommendation on the company’s Wilds Cooperative of PA profile here.


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