A Guide to the Perfect Picnic

Picnic Basket on the GrassImage Source: nblxer; "Picnic basket with hat, book and grasses on the grass at the summer sunny day.", 2024. Accessed via https://www.123RF.com/photo_126048960, Standard License.

The perfect picnic offers simple pleasures that transcend the ordinary - sunlight dappling through leaves, a gentle breeze carrying the scent of wildflowers, and laughter mingling with birdsong.  It's a chance to disconnect from screens, reconnect with nature, and enjoy delicious food in a beautiful setting.

Why Picnic?

Beyond the idyllic scene, picnicking boasts a surprising number of benefits. Spending time outdoors has been linked to improved mood, reduced stress, and even boosted creativity. The fresh air invigorates, while the natural environment provides a calming backdrop for conversation and connection.

Planning the Perfect Picnic

When planning any event, there are three things that must always be considered: location, food, and supplies.  Special attention must be paid to outdoor events, especially if you will be away from home or will not have a place to purchase last-minute items nearby.

Your picnic planning checklist:

  • Choose the right location.  The activity or reason for your picnic will determine the general location – a beach, scenic park, a meadow in the country, or the parking lot of a stadium.  Consider factors like shade, accessibility (especially for young children or those with mobility limitations), and amenities like restrooms.
  • The food!  When it comes to food, keep it simple yet satisfying.  Pack finger foods like sandwiches, wraps, fruit skewers, and bite-sized desserts.  Don't forget drinks and plenty of water.  And keep in mind someone must carry all the food, drinks, and supplies.  Pack coolers, cases, and backpacks as they’re mobile and definitely more reliable than paper or plastic bags.
  • Essential necessities.  A blanket for lounging, plates and utensils (biodegradable options are a great eco-friendly choice), napkins, wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, first aid kit, and a cooler bag are all picnic must-haves.  If the picnic is centered around another activity, make sure to include those supplies, too.  Hiking boots, extra socks, bug spray, sunscreen, soccer ball, frisbee, swimsuits, a good book etc. may come in handy for some post-meal fun.

The Great Outdoors

There is one word to keep in mind when you spend time outdoors: unpredictable.  From the weather to untamed animals to the occasional patch of poison ivy, you never know what the great outdoors has in store for you.

If you’re planning to explore around your picnic site, or if you’re out for a hike, ensure that safety rules are explained to those participating.  Children should be given boundaries to stay within.  And everyone should know what critters, poisonous plants, and other dangers to watch out for.

Umbrellas are good to have on hand.  You never know when the weather can turn.  If you’re grilling or if fires are permitted, make sure – and for sure! – that anything burning is extinguished and covered before you leave the area.

One constant rule when spending time outdoors is that you leave nothing behind.  Bring trash bags and dispose of all rubbish appropriately.  

An Organized Plan

Picnics exist for the sole purpose of having a meal or snack with people you want to spend time with, while enjoying the outdoors.  When planning the perfect picnic, you can ensure the food, company and environment will be enjoyed with mindful attention paid to the details that determine the comfort and safety of those attending.

With an organized plan, your picnic is sure to be a hit!

You may also enjoy reading . . .