The weather is warming up and that means it is picnic season! There is nothing quite like taking some time to relax outdoors and enjoy some casual dining with your loved ones. If you’re hoping to plan the perfect summer picnic, here are some tips to help you do just that!
Planning the Perfect Picnic This Summer
Make sure you pick the right spot. Ideally, this will be a place that is somewhat secluded so you can enjoy each others company or if you like being around other folks, a place that has some fun already there such as a city park or a campground. Some shade is great as it will be best for dining out in to make sure that potato salad doesn’t go bad sitting in the hot sun. You also want to pick a place that has some grassy areas for laying down a blanket or one that already has tables.
For an eating surface, if you are going somewhere without tables, bring a cheap dollar store shower liner to throw under your blanket if you suspect the ground will be wet. If there are tables, it is best to bring a tablecloth as you can’t really count on it being clean enough to eat off of.
Bring some stuff to ward off pests. This means giving yourself a good spray down with bug spray and making sure you have a way to keep your food and drinks covered. If you are in a bind, muffin liners make great covered for drinks. Just slip one on a straw upside down and place on top of your drink. Additionally, you will want to bring garbage bags so you can tie up your waste when you are done to keep things neat and tidy.
Plan a simple menu. You don’t want to get overly complicated and everything should be prepared before you get there. Some suggestions are cold sandwiches or fried chicken, various salads, cut up fruit, potato chips, and for dessert, cookies or brownies. Make sure nothing you bring will melt because it could turn into quite a mess if that happens.
Bring along some sunscreen and hand sanitizer. You will likely spend at least an hour in the sun so it is a must you pack some sunscreen. Also, since where you are going may not have running water, it is a good idea to bring along some hand sanitizer for cleaning up before and after.
For plates, it is really up to you. Some folks use paper ones and some prefer ones you can wash and reuse. Obviously, you would want to bring plastic plates if you go the second route. It is generally the cheapest way to go if you picnic many times a year. A great way to find these for cheap is to wait until season end sales and pick some up. They are usually less than a quarter each at that point! Also, check thrift stores as you can often find them there for dirt cheap. If you do bring plastic, rinse off your plates well and bring a separate bag to store them in until you can get them home to wash them.
I hope you have a fun summer picnic! I would love to hear all about what your favorite spots are to picnic at and what you like to bring along.