Rules To Follow For a Successful Picnic
With the warm weather, we tend to spend more time outdoors and this includes eating. Patio dining at restaurants, grilling with the family in the backyard and even going for a picnic.
While not as widely popular as days of old, a picnic is a great way to get outdoors and spend some time together as a family. You can make it as simple or as fancy as you want. But no matter if it’s with lots of food and friends or just sandwiches and the kids, you’ll want to get the best experience.
Make A List
I especially recommend this if you are going the bigger route. Remember you will not be in your home to just run and grab something you forgot. So think through your menu and what you usually have on hand. This is also a great time to think about extra water, trash bags and the like.
Even the simple can be made fun and special with a little planning. Don’t just buy regular old sliced bread for sandwiches, but specialty bread and fancy them up. Or do a ‘buffet’ style where everyone can pick and choose their meats and toppings. Just place the options in separate containers for easy access and packing.
If going to a big gathering style, don’t take it all on yourself. Let others help as it will be less stress on you and you can enjoy the fun too. Assign different dishes and responsibilities out: cups, plates, napkins, desserts, etc.
Not Just Any Chips & Dip
An easy and cheap idea is chips and dip. Pack potato chips and some different flavored dips. Tortilla chips and guacamole or salsa. Carrots and pretzels with hummus. Meats and cheese Antipasto style can be fun and classy looking.
I usually pack water for our picnics as it’s a sure way to keep everyone hydrated and with refillable bottles, easy to keep on hand. But if you want to jazz it up, you can go as far as to pack wine (be sure to check for outside alcohol laws/rules). Just be sure to also bring a bottle/cork opener.
I call this the extras because they may not always be needed but great to have on hand in case. Such as one good knife, aka not plastic. And don’t forget a small wooden cutting board to cut on. Bonus: Can be used for serving too. Another good thing is herbs, seasonings, and lemon wedges. Simple doesn’t mean boring in flavor.
Bring a Blanket
This is something you may or may not need. Some places have tables, or nice grassy areas with perfect sized rocks to sit on. But if not, you’ll need somewhere to sit and keep the food out of the dirt. I love picnic tarps for this reason. They have a soft side for sitting on but a waterproof underside to keep moisture and dirt away.
Mosquito Repellent and Ant Bite Sticks
Bugs come with being outside. But they don’t have to ruin the fun if you prepare. Sprays (applied away from food), bands, and even repellent candles can help keep those biting pests at bay. Another item I always carry is an anti-itch stick. These work on contact for pain and itch relief from rashes and insect bites. Another tip is to have a small first-aid kit for minor emergencies.
Young and older ones alike will enjoy being entertained in some way. Just be aware of games with lots of small, light pieces as these can get lost or blown away. Lawn games work best.
Remember the Trash Bag
The most often forgotten item and the most needed.
Everyone has their own picnic traditions and the food choices are as different as the people serving them. Remember, the idea of the picnic is to enjoy each other’s company surrounded by the beauty of nature. So get out there and make your own tradition.