Family Picnic Tips {summer fun}

27 Jun

While I used to think of picnics as romantic endeavors involving little more than wine and cheese, family picnics have become a new favorite.  Parents can enjoy some relaxing time on a blanket while the kids crawl, run and play in an open grassy space.  It’s a nice way to enjoy an informal family meal together, and can even be an adventure depending on the spot you choose and how you choose to get there.  Here are some hip tips for getting your family picnic started:

Location, Location, Location

A picnic is all about the setting, so start your picnic planning by picking a great location.  Picnic venue options include a local park, rooftop, backyard, beach, meadow, garden, hillside or pond.  Choose a private spot for an intimate family picnic or a more open area for larger groups so you have room for frolicking or tossing a Frisbee around.

Gearing Up

Planning a good picnic involves packing the proper gear for the occasion. Some basics to include are: blankets (one with a pastic backing is ideal) , cups and/or sippy cups, utensils, a sharp knife (for adult use), a beer/wine bottle opener if you will be serving drinks, sturdy disposable or melamine plates, a cutting board, napkins, ice, a cooler or insulated bag, hand wipes, garbage bags, disposable bibs, sunblock, sun hats and bug spray.  Be sure to bring along some outdoor toys for the kids.  Bubbles, soccer balls, foldable doll strollers, toy trucks and a kite are a few options to keep kids entertained.

Picnic “Table”

Use a flat-topped cooler as a “table” for your food by draping a casual tablecloth or blanket over the top of the cooler.  By placing food on top of the cooler, you’ll free up space on your blanket.

Stay Hydrated

Be sure to pack plenty of water, which you can jazz up with slices of lemon or lime.  Sparkling water, iced tea (especially flavored), lemonade, wine and light beer are great beverage options for a picnic.  Be sure to transfer alcoholic beverages into plastic cups if you’re picnicking in a public area—getting a ticket for an open container is no fun.

Additional Hip Tips:

  • Pack your picnic goods in a backpack or canvas tote bag instead of a cumbersome picnic basket (though I do love my picnic basket!).
  • Prewrap utensils in napkins and secure with a rubber band or ribbon to make passing out sets a snap.
  • Bring fabric napkins for an eco-friendly alternative.  Dish towls are a nice option and very absorbent for spills. 
  • Use disposable bamboo plates, which are sturdier than traditional paper or plastic disposables.
  • Freeze plastic (BPA-free) bottles of water to use as ice packs for any items that need to stay cold, then drink the bottles of water after they thaw.
  • Pack cookies, brownies or another dessert in a plastic container and separate layers with pieces of parchment paper for a fresh-from-the-bakery look.
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