You don’t need to spend a fortune on a family vacation this spring. Sometimes all you need to do is get out of the house and enjoy some quality time with the folks you love, maybe kick around a soccer ball and munch on sandwiches and snacks. Plus, fresh air and sunshine is so important to your mental health. While the picturesque red and white checkered blanket and wicker picnic basket may be the first things that come to mind, there are many ways to have a successful picnic—whether you prefer the beach or a local park. Here are a few tips to help you plan a picnic in prep for National Picnic Day on April 23!
Pick a Good Spot
It’s no wonder real estate agents stress the importance of location—it truly is everything! You’ll want to post up on land that is flat and dry. (That normally goes without saying, but avoiding hilly areas and wet grass will save you complaints on the car ride home.) Be sure to consider parking availability, shade, and toilet facilities, too. If you’re scouting among popular neighborhood spots, try to claim the area earlier than needed—ie: sunset picnics will warrant sitting down and eating by 5pm, so that you can enjoy a glass of wine or dessert as the sun goes down. Time it accordingly.
Comfort is Key
We’re no stranger to roughing it by any means. However, spending a prolonged period sitting on the hard lumpy ground isn’t fun for anyone. Bring outdoor-worthy blankets and pillows. Don’t just grab whatever’s on your bed and high tail it to the car; opt for a sturdier blanket with a waterproof underside to sit on, and perhaps you already have pillows on your enclosed patio you can use for the picnic. Pack a cozier blanket in case someone gets chilly!
Finger Foods vs Fancy Foods
Never mind the picnic basket itself—what’s more important is what’s inside of it. A sub sandwich teeming with deli meats, lettuce and tomato is a solid go-to. You can make it at home or pick it up along the way. Your food selection is going to be dependent on the occasion and who you’re bringing along to the picnic. Kids in tow? Have foods sectioned into smaller portions. Think: pudding cups, and apple slices when it comes to snacks. If you’re hoping for a couple’s date, elevate the eats by bringing a simple DIY charcuterie board with meats, cheeses, and fruits. Ideally, aim for easy eating and to have as little mess as possible.
Plan for Fun
Entertain guests with a few outdoor games and activities. Classics like Giant Jenga and cornhole are popular lawn games that are sure to keep everyone engaged (and off their phones!) Some people prefer more intellectual stimulation and will want to play Scabble. Take advantage of your surroundings; maybe the beach site you chose has a net nearby to get a game of two-on-two volleyball. Wherever you choose to host your event please follow these tips to plan a picnic and you are guaranteed a picnic basket full of fun.