Thinking of our family picnics brings floods of incredibly happy memories. We were picnic freaks. We had picnics everywhere we could think of including our back porch, the backyard, the family room, by the pool, at parks, and a hundred other places. Each was unique and we always had fun. Our girls loved picnics where we enjoyed lots of play, conversation, laughter, nature, people watching, and even a nap.
Basically, a great picnic involves choosing a good location, deciding who you want to be there, and finally deciding what you want to eat. Sounds pretty easy. The simpler you make a picnic the more spontaneous and fun your picnics will be. You can also make a picnic an epic event and create a more formal atmosphere and picnic menu. Use picnics to celebrate a holiday or focus on a picnic theme, like a popular children’s character.
Ideas for Your Picnic Checklist
Day and time
After you settle on a day for your picnic the time of day is important. Is it hotter during lunch or dinner? Is it easier for you and the others to get to the picnic at a certain time of day?
Your picnic menu can depend on the picnic theme and the time of day. You may want something simple like sandwiches, chips, and salad or grill food with more cooked vegetables and other choices. If there are more families involved in your picnic you may want to have each person bring a specific dish and share the work and cuisines.
Food safety and cleanup
Make sure you keep your food in a cooler for food safety. And remember to think about clean up as you begin to plan the picnic. Take some plastic bags and containers for leftovers.
You may want to use a basket or pretty bags to carry your food and essentials in. You may want to use silver or plastic utensils and cups, or paper plates and cups. Make sure you pack some paper towels, napkins, salt, pepper, condiments, and hand sanitizer. Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent or things could turn sour quickly.
Where will you sit and dine? Will there a picnic table or will you be on the ground? Where will the people or children sit? Do you want to take quilts, blankets, folding chairs, or chairs that sit on the ground?
Don’t forget an essential ingredient of a great picnic: equipment for fun. The games should depend on the age of your children or friends. Sports equipment is great, so try baseball equipment, a football, a Frisbee, a kite, badminton set, or croquet set.
The key to the best picnic ever is to remember you are creating family memories that will last a lifetime. Play, eat, laugh, walk, rest, and enjoy this time-honored ritual of love.