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A picnic table

A picnic table (or picnic bench) is a table with benches (often attached), designed for eating a meal outdoors (picnicking).



Picnic tables are used for dining, resting, doing crafts, and other activities. Picnic tables can be found outdoors in many public parks, residential back yards, rest areas, campgrounds, amusement parks, and many other places. Picnic tables are also used indoors when it is desired to have attached seating to tables. This is most common in school cafeterias, community centers, and employee break rooms. Each table usually seats from six to eight people, though smaller and larger capacity tables are available.

Wooden table, circa 1964
Metal table, 2006
Concrete table, 2008


Picnic tables have been around for hundreds of years with few changes.[1]

Picnic tables are traditionally made of wood, but modern tables are often made from plastic, concrete, or metal.

Wooden tablesEdit

Picnic shelter with two wooden picnic tables in Yarramundi Reach Canberra

Wooden tables are constructed using lumber boards. Protection for the wood (stain, paint, or wood protectant that repels water) is necessary to protect it from cracking, warping, or rotting due to moisture. The table-top and bench-top boards are attached to the trusses or beams using wood screws or nails. The legs can be secured with carriage bolts fastened by nuts and washers.

Plastic tablesEdit

Blow molded plastic picnic tables are becoming more popular because they are lighter, stronger, and less expensive than wooden tables, and require no maintenance. They are also more durable than wooden tables, and last longer.

Metal tablesEdit

Metal picnic tables are becoming more popular in public parks because they are heavy and durable, and require little maintenance. Metal tables are sometimes attached onto concrete pads when theft is a concern.

Stone or concrete tablesEdit

Stone or concrete picnic tables are the most durable variety, but suffer from the drawbacks of high price, and being fixed in place and immobile.[1]

Children's picnic tableEdit

A children's picnic table is an undersized picnic table designed to be used by up to four children. They are almost always constructed of plastic or wood, and are used for eating and playing.


  1. ^ a b Good, Albert H. (1999). Parks and Recreation Structures. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 7–20. ISBN 9781568981710.