Now that the weather has finally started warming up, it’s finally time for picnic season. There’s nothing better than bringing your kids out for some sun to enjoy a delicious spread in the park when the weather is nice. Planning a picnic is more than just taking the food you would normally be eating outside, though. Here’s some inspiration as well as our tips to help you plan the perfect picnic.
1. Get the right plates.
Don’t hurt the environment with plastic or styrofoam plates that might fly away. Enamel plates are light, easy to pack and carry, and practical—you can load them up with baked beans and salad and they won’t get soggy and collapse. They also look and feel cooler than plastic, and are way better for the environment than disposable dishes. Check out eco-friendly picnic gear here.
2. Bring something to do.
The last thing you want at your picnic is boredom. Stock up on board games, toys to make sand / dirt castles, books and coloring books, and don’t forget the playing cards. We recommend bringing smaller boards or memory games like Old Maid.
3. Take finger food.
Think foods that are easy to grab and pick up for you and your little ones. Chicken drumsticks, fruit or meat on skewers and corn on the cob are all good ideas. You can always rely on good old sandwiches, too. As much as you can minimize forks, spoons, and knives, you want to.
4. Plan for bugs.
No matter where your picnic is, when you’re eating food outdoors there are bound to be bugs. We recommend packing and serving food and drinks in containers with lids like Mason Jars, packing mesh covers, and bringing plastic wrap. Shower caps can come in handy for covering bowls and keeping things cold.
5. Go for salads.
Make and pack as many salads as you think you and your kiddos can eat: and they don’t all have to be green. Try out a fruit salad, chopped salad, corn salad, or even a delicious potato salad. They’ll make you feel lighter and fresher than if you try to inhale a whole meal. Bring your dressings in jars and add them on site to minimize sogginess.
6. Travel light.
You don’t need to bring folding chairs and a table and an entire set of silverware. You aren’t going to want to carry it! Keep your picnic gear as minimized as possible. If you choose the right location, it’ll be easy to spread out a blanket or loose tablecloth and all of your food atop it.
7. Invest in a good cooler.
Even if you’re going to bring a vintage-style picnic basket, you’re going to want the cler. We recommend splurging on this one: after all, you’re probably going to use it summer after summer. Make sure you get one with a handle for easier toting around.
8. Pack wipes and garbage bags.
Don’t just pack them, pack more than you think you need. You never know what kind of spills and accidents might happen when your little ones are eating food outside. As for the garbage bags, be kind to the environment! Ask your kids to try to leave the space cleaner than it was when they arrived, so they can do their part too.
9. Bring blanket weights.
Make sure you know it isn’t going to be too windy outside! There is nothing more frustrating than setting up your delicious spread, only to have it all start flying and floating away. If you know it’s going to be breezy, bring something to weigh down your blanket or tablecloth.
10. Don’t forget drinks.
You don’t want to get to the park, and then suddenly realize how thirsty you are. Make sure to pack not just water, but also juices for an extra energy boost if you’re planning on staying out long. We recommend taking reusable water bottles, so that if there’s a fountain where you’re going you can carry less.
11. Enjoy yourself!
Pandemic picnicking doesn’t have to be any less fun than it would be at any other time. The weather is so nice out that it’s almost a crime not to enjoy a nice spread in an outdoor space near your house. What you choose for your picnic comes down to personal preferences, but we hope these tips inspire you to head outside!