A picnic is the best way to have fun in the sun with family this summer! So, here are 21 tips on how to plan the ultimate picnic.
We all want to go outside when the sun shines brightly, and flowers bloom! A picnic is one of my favorite ways to spend a sunny afternoon.
It takes more than a blanket, a basket, and food to plan a picnic. There’s a lot of preparation to be done. However, I am here to help you with my years of experience in planning picnics!
These 21 tips on how to plan the ultimate picnic will ensure you have a great experience, no matter where you are.
1. Make a checklist
There are so many things that you should bring to a picnic. Making a checklist is the most effective way to stay organized.
It will also ensure that you do not forget anything. You can use this checklist to plan future picnics or for unexpected picnics.
2. Think of the best spot
Look for a picturesque, lush, and grassy place with plenty of natural shade. I like to set up under a tree to ensure I can have natural shade.
Picnics on the beach are also great. However, if you have children, it may not be ideal if they will do everything they can to go into the water.
3. Don’t overstress yourself for the food
I prefer to keep things simple and bring food that I know my family will enjoy. I usually bring crackers, cheese, pickles, berries, cherries, and homemade bread as snacks.
It’s important not to overthink it. Take it easy and simple. Take whatever you have in the refrigerator.
4. Get your basket ready
If you pack your basket reverse, it will be easy to get to the things you need to get to your picnic spot. Put non-perishable food on the bottom, then serving items and tableware, and then the tablecloth on top.
5. Pack wisely
Wicker baskets are attractive, but they are not always the most practical choice. Choose an insulated tote or bag with compartments and handles and padding to secure your goods to protect soft food or glasses.
6. What to bring and what not to bring
What to bring:
- Sunglasses and sunblock
- Napkins or hand wipes
- Bug spray
What not to bring:
- Radio or music system of any kind
- Candles, portable barbecues, or anything that could cause a fire
7. Keep it light
Keep things light because many great spots for picnics require walking. You don’t want to carry heavy stuff with you. Nobody wants to carry a heavy basket or cooler around. Use paper plates and plastic cutlery instead of china plates to save weight.
8. Store food properly
You should store your food in containers that are safe and secure. You must ensure that your food is stored correctly, especially when traveling long distances.
Rather than using glass containers, I prefer to use acrylic containers. Glass is fragile, and I don’t want to break it while on the road.
9. Keep your drinks cool
We want to keep our drinks cool to beat the sun’s heat. If you’re not eating near your car, you’ll most likely use a non-electric cooler.
Keep in mind that these boxes will not constantly cool your drinks. You’ll need some pre-frozen ice blocks to surround your drinks to get the most out of them.
10. What foods should you not bring
Avoid bringing ice cream, sticky puddings, and cakes to picnics. They are hard to carry and attract wasps and other insects.
11. Think of alternatives to sandwich
Is a picnic complete without sandwiches? Maybe not. But if you want to try something different, make a salad or spaghetti in a tiny screw-top jar. Simple!
If you want to take your picnic to the next level, consider investing in a portable stove. This way, you can enjoy hot, freshly prepared meals and drinks.
Just be creative with your picnic menu! Here are some picnic food ideas that you can try.
12. Easy-to-carry snacks
Finger foods are a great way to keep things light at a picnic. You don’t need to use a fork, spoon, or knife set.
Sandwiches, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, and chicken drumsticks are classic picnic foods. You can eat them with your hands, which are easy to transport.
13. Pack enough foods
To avoid leftovers, estimate how much food your group will eat. You should throw perishable leftovers unless they can be kept very cold or hot.
14. Pick the right blanket
Choose a blanket that gives padding while also being washable in case of grass stains or food spills.
If you know, you’ll be heading somewhere with picnic tables. A checked tablecloth might be a better option.
15. Make some shade
Are you planning an all-day picnic? Take it further and hang umbrellas from a tree to provide shade.
However, if you can find a site with natural shade, that would be ideal. But, you should keep some umbrellas on hand if the natural shade disappears.
16. Picnic centerpiece
Prepare the main dish ahead of time that you can easily divide to make picnic prep easier. It is important to keep your main dish simple yet delicious.
17. Make desserts in a jar
Desserts in a jar are simple to pack, and there are plenty of no-bake options! Here are some of my favorite dessert in a jar recipes, especially for picnics.
18. Keep your utensils off the ground
You can use a small container or vase to hold utensils, napkins, and straws in an easily accessible area. We don’t want our utensils to get dirty because we’ll use them to eat.
19. Bring something to do
Even the most engaging conversation can become boring after a while. Prepare for boredom by carrying activities such as board games, sandcastle building supplies, books, and adult coloring books.
These are simple to bring in and out of the house. They make an afternoon of beautiful meals even greater.
20. Prepare for bugs
Flying insects and nasty crawlies will attack even the most urban picnic. Prepare a plan and strategy.
You can use closed containers to store and serve food and drinks and use mesh covers and plastic wrap. You can also use unused shower caps for covering bowls and keeping them cool.
21. Don’t forget a portable cutting board
A small, portable cutting board is great for slicing, dicing, and dividing your picnic treats. Bring some wipes or a roll of paper towels to clean it before you leave quickly.
22. Use a tray
If you have an outdoor kitchen and are having a picnic, you can use a serving tray to carry things from the kitchen to the lawn.
Or, if you’re going somewhere else, a tray can help you get the things you need from the car to the picnic spot.
23. Bring a small table
Are you worried about the fragile bottles tipping over? Bring a small folding table or picnic table stake to put bottles and glasses to avoid tripping on uneven ground.
24. Clean as you go
Bring some trash bags with you to leave your picnic spot as clean and litter-free as you found it. Environmentally friendly picnic supplies will make your picnic even greener, such as compostable plates, glasses, and napkins.
25. Have fun!
Have fun and spend quality time with your family and friends in the sun!
What’s not to love with picnics? It’s one of the summer’s annual joys.
Every summer, my family and I will go on picnics. We just did it last year in our newly renovated outdoor kitchen. We like to barbeque with the best barrel grill I got on Amazon. The oil mister also helped me in keeping my grilled dish juicy!
Where should we go on a picnic this year? Let me know in the comments!