Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Picnic
Location, Location, Location: Consider what type of picnic you want in your plans. Is this a party, small family event or date? For parties, consider venues with playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball nets, etc. to keep guests entertained. For a date, visit the websites of local botanical gardens or arboretums to make sure they allow picnics on their grounds.
Plastic or vinyl tablecloth: Picnics almost always involve spills of some sort, especially if you’re eating on the ground. A vinyl tablecloth is easier to clean dirt and soda off of than Grandma’s hand-knit quilt. Even if you plan to eat on a table instead of the ground, bring a plastic tablecloth along. A colorful tablecloth will brighten up your meal and keep the table clean for other visitors.
Large basket, bag or cooler: Sometimes you need all three! Keep drinks cold in a cooler or insulated freezer bag. Carry everything else in the basket.
Plastic knives, forks, spoons, cups, plates, napkins: Pretty basic to picnics, but easy to forget. Also bring your own trash bags if you don’t think the park will have trashcans. For a classy and eco-friendly date, bring your own silverware, pick up some fully biodegradable bamboo plates, and throw in (not literally) the wine glasses.
Wet-wipes: Finger foods are popular at picnics but leave you with sticky hands. Even if you know your site has public bathrooms, bring the wet-wipes for easy clean up.
Cutting board: This is an item I almost always forget on spur-of-the-moment picnic plans with friends. You can bring the watermelon and the knife, but without a cutting board or a picnic table you’re in for a mess.
Simple, well-made foods: Sandwiches, chopped fruit and veggies and soda are easy to pull off for the family picnic. For a date, step it up with a cheese board and water crackers, a green salad (don’t add the dressing until you sit down to eat!), fresh, seasonal fruit, and a bottle of wine.