You know everyone has ‘Have a Picnic’ on their summer bucket list – I know I do – and as the summer winds down, you need to make that happen! Here are some things to keep in mind for planning the perfect picnic! You want to keep it simple so you’re not stressed as you’re planning the picnic and executing it and you want to make sure you have it ALL covered. Stick to these simple concepts for planning the perfect picnic and you won’t be sorry.
You need to have something to carry all of your picnic supplies in. If you’re me – you’ve got a vessel for the food, something for the drinks and then a bag or basket for everything else. Make sure you have a cooler for the cold food and drinks and something sturdy for the rest of the food. Wouldn’t it be a bummer if something got ruined because it wasn’t stored properly? (Speaking from experience here….)
Repurposing your old gift basket baskets is a great way to find new picnic baskets. They’re always beautifully designed and hold up in transit. Keep in mind with coolers – to fit as much ice in there as you can to keep everything cold, and remember that larger blocks of ice will keep things colder, longer. I always hoard ice packs in my freezer for instances like this – I keep them when I get meats, cheeses or cakes delivered. They stay frozen and cold so long and are perfect for picnics!
THE FOOD ITSELF
Nobody said you had to serve a five-course meal at your picnic! Having a combination of homemade items and store bought is a great way to cheat the system and save yourself a lot of time and stress. Maybe you make a homemade hummus dip and buy the freshly baked cookies? Maybe you make a variety of wraps and finger sandwiches and purchase gourmet meats & cheeses? Do whatever works for you. By the way – charcuterie plates are a great way to please a crowd and you can add cheeses, dried fruit, nuts or roasted vegetables. This Gourmet Meat & Cheese Sampler boasts a variety of artisan meats & cheeses and makes a great gift.
Picnic food ideas:
Also keep in mind that fruit does great in the summer heat and helps to keep everyone hydrated – watermelon really gets the job done here. Putting fruit on skewers is another great trick – saves on paper products and has less mess and clean up!
Tips to Keep In Mind
- Prep everything ahead of time! Cut all your items up so they are ready to serve. Portion out salads into individual servings and store them in individual containers
- Store your coolers and items that have to stay cold in the shade, or under a tree
- Keep in mind the allergies and dietary restrictions of your picnic guests
- Don’t forget the napkins! Or any paper products that you need
- Storing bulk drinks in a thermos is an excellent way to keep them colder longer
- Don’t forget a blanket, towels, a sheet or some sort of ground covering to protect against bugs and keep everything off the ground
- Popcorn is a great snack that can tolerate the heat and is a total crowd pleaser
Choose your location based on what activities you want to do and where all your guests are traveling from. Pick a park with a playground for kids, or a recreation center with a splash pad if it’s hot. You’ll want to pick a location with an option for shade and make sure it’s not too buggy.