A picnic is more than eating a meal, it is a pleasurable state of mind – DeeDee Stovel
Come summer and it is a time to soak in the sun, sand and sea. A season for the outdoors, summer is synonymous with breaks, holidays and time with friends and family. And when it comes to spending time with loved ones, there is nothing more exciting than going on a picnic. A perfect combination of nature, food and the experience of being close to your loved ones, picnics can be a whole lot of fun and an ideal way to make some fantastic memories. Derived from the French word pique nique, picnics have always been a time-honored tradition and have existed from centuries. A great way to bond with your near and dear ones, here are some ways for you to plan the perfect picnic.
Decide the Location and Size of Your Group
Whether you are going to the park close by or the neighborhood beach or the hillock near your home, it is key to plan the location according to the convenience and needs of the whole group. If you are taking your children and their little friends on an outing, the park would be a good idea, considering it is fairly easy to manage and a safe option. If it is an adult group or extended family, having fun by the beach or even the mountains are certainly doable. Irrespective of the venue, it is important that you consider travel time and ensure that the everyone is aware of the location. Send out details beforehand and make a checklist. If it is a “kids-only” picnic, hand-made invitations could be a fun idea.
Depending on the size of the group, make sure you pack what you really need, including picnic towels, blankets, and/or tablecloths according to the size of the group. If it is a large group, you may have to get disposables; at more intimate gatherings, you can use reusable plates and cutlery. If it is a potluck, list who brings what – and this may not be limited to just food. Keep items like umbrellas, torches and even a change of clothes handy depending on the weather conditions. While the logistics of transporting food, seating equipment etc. needs to be taken care of, do not forget essentials like bug sprays, wasp catchers and emergency medicines. Finally, trash bags for bringing all the waste back are a must.
Arguably the most important aspect of picnic planning and one that everyone looks forward to is the food. Depending on the number of people and the age group, plan out the number of dishes, the packing and transport details. Always remember to keep things simple and not too elaborate for the essence of a picnic is to have a relaxing and enjoyable time. If the main members of the picnic are children, go in for simple and non-fussy foods like cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks, herbed potatoes and cupcakes. These typically survive the commute as well. Take in plenty of fruits like apples, oranges and even strawberries.
For adults, you can try a more elaborate meal with dishes like salads, bruschetta, toasted bread, crackers with dips and even pasta. And if you have some adults who are passionate cooks or die-hard foodies, you can consider having your own barbecue and enjoy grilled corn, vegetables and chicken with your loved ones. Pastries, chocolate chip cookies and lemonade are just some other dishes that form for great picnic ideas.
Packing is a crucial element when it comes to food. Ensure that you have all the perishables in a cooler. Always try to pack the food in the order you need to take them out. Keep cutlery and paper napkins handy while distributing the food. Avoid complex foods like decorated cakes and pies which are sure to break apart while in transport.
While food is the soul of any picnic, remember to plan for some activities and games too. If there are kids and it is a beach, make sure you pack some toys for the little ones. Plan for a game of beach volley ball for the adults. If it is a garden, you can indulge in a quick game of cricket or frisbee. Card games are also a good option. Dumb charades, scrabble and Pictionary are also good fun for adults and children alike.