Organization is the key to having a successful picnic. Be sure to lay everything out, check and double check that you have something to sit on, the perfect location, family and friends to enjoy it with you and please, don’t forget the delicious food and drinks. That is, after all what makes up a picnic.
Pick the perfect location. Consider the people you have invited along with you. For me, I would be considering my husband and 7 month old, so somewhere with a lot of shade would be ideal for us. If you have small children, perhaps a park with a playground nearby would be the perfect location. If you live near a lake or beach, that would also be a great choice. If you are wanting to host a romantic picnic with a loved one, pick an appropriate atmosphere.
Consider the time of day and pack your food accordingly. Are you going in the morning? Pack breakfast foods and don’t forget that thermos full of coffee, sugar and cream. Are you going for lunch? Sandwiches and carrot sticks are perfect for this time of day. If you’re going around dinner time or my favorite time of day – sunset – pack hotdogs or hamburgers fresh off the grill with chips, pasta salad, etc. It is summertime after all. It’s important to plan the perfect picnic menu for the people you are inviting. Consider their preferences, food allergies, etc.
I know I stated this in my first point, but don’t forget something to sit on. Consider the people who will be joining you. You may need to include a lawn chair for older people, or maybe bring along a bumbo or bouncer for baby to play in. My favorite thing to bring is an old quilt. I have a bit of a quilt obsession. I carry the quilt my grandma made me in my car most of the time because we always find ourselves needing it.
Pack your food well. Try to keep them at proper temperature and to bring foods that do well at room temperature for a little while. Pack everything in zip-lock bags, jars, tupperware, saran wrap, whatever will keep it fresh. I recommend bringing drinks in bottles. Bottled water, root beer, coke, etc. are all great options. Anything with a screw on lid will help with spills. No one wants to clean up a mess. If you have a small cooler or thermal bag, feel free to throw some bottles in there with an ice pack to keep the drinks cold.
Pack napkins, paper plates and plastic utensils. Depending on the number of guests you have attending your picnic, you may consider packing a roll of paper towels. They will be easy to dispose of when you start to clean up. Also, be sure to bring any condiments, salad dressing, salt, pepper, syrup, etc. depending on what you’re eating. These things can literally make or break a meal so be sure to remember to pack these in your basket.
You may want to bring bug spray, especially if you live in Alabama where the mosquito is our state bird. Sun screen is also a necessity, especially if you’re like me and bringing along a baby. Protect your skin, folks!
Think about entertainment. If you want to bring an Ipod for background music, a good book or magazine, or toys for the kids, be sure to pack those things.
Prepare for clean-up. Bring a trash bag, or two depending on the number of guests. Pack wipes for everyone to clean their hands with and maybe even some hand-sanitizer.
Have fun. Make good conversation, laugh, relax and enjoy the company and delicious food that you worked so hard to prepare and pack. Everyone loves a picnic. They are the perfect summer day activity for adults and children alike. Enjoy your time with the people you love.
Where do you like to go for your perfect picnic? Have you been on a picnic this year?