Planning a Perfect Picnic

| December 2, 2011

Picnics have always been a great outdoor tradition. Whether you’re spending a summer afternoon relaxing on the beach or curling up under a warm blanket in the fall, having a picnic is an excellent way to take some time out to connect with friends and family. Share and create memories that will last a lifetime, over a delicious meal. Just follow these tips and menu ideas to plan the perfect picnic for you and your loved ones.

Keep it simple.

Picnics are for relaxing and getting away from stress – don’t pack meals that require a lot of setup and preparation. Consider getting together some finger foods – they’re quick, easy, convenient, and provide a broad range of choices for your picnic companions. Instead of packing pre-made sandwiches, put together a ‘deli bar’ with assorted meats, cheeses, rolls, and condiments so bread won’t go soggy before you even get a chance to eat. Pasta salads and other dishes dressed in vinegar-based marinades can be prepared the day before, hold up well in the heat, and continue taking on a wonderful flavor over time. Recipezaar has a wonderful selection of picnic recipes to browse through if you need some additional ideas.

Stay Organized

Create a ‘menu list’ of items to pack and keep it on your fridge. Just check off each item as you pack it to ensure that you’re not forgetting anything. Pack the foods that are to be eaten last at the bottom of the cooler or basket, so you won’t have to unpack everything once you’re ready to eat. Organization will help make your picnic experience much more enjoyable!

Be Prepared

Here’s a list of items that you may want to have on hand for a picnic. These things can help make your picnic a more carefree, relaxing experience:

  • A fully loaded picnic basket, backpack, or cooler pack for carrying all food and picnic necessities. There is a wide range of picnic sets available to meet the needs of anyone – whether you’re active and prefer the ease and comfort of a backpack, have a large group and need a large cooler on wheels to do all the heavy carrying for you, or prefer the romantic tradition of picnic baskets. Pre-packed, or ‘fitted’, picnic sets usually come with all sorts of convenient amenities such as plates, utensils, glasses, napkins, and insulated food compartments. Some even come with great extras such as salt & pepper shakers, corkscrews, cheese knives & cutting boards, insulated coffee mugs and thermoses! It’s little details like these that will make an unforgettable impression.
  • A quality picnic blanket can make all the difference in your comfort. It’ll provide a surface to sit on, warm you up on chilly days, and protect you and your food from ants and other insects. While you could use a tablecloth, quilt, or sheet it’s a good idea to have a portable picnic blanket that’s ready to use at your whim. We’ve got a great selection of picnic blankets available, including blankets with waterproof backing to provide a barrier against moisture, and even some with carrying cases.
  • Ice or frozen blue ‘cold packs’ to keep your food & beverages at just the right temperature
    Paper towels and/or moist towelettes
  • Plastic bag and plastic wrap for any leftovers that are not packed in their own container
  • A plastic bag for trash
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, sugar, etc.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and other sun protection
  • Insect repellant
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • A camera, so you can capture the memories of this perfect picnic!

Category: Picnic Planning

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