Picnics are the perfect spring or summer activity for both adults and children alike. They allow people to enjoy nature and get away from the fast paced nature of modern life. Throwing a picnic sounds easy (just pack some sandwiches and go, right?) but in fact it can be much more difficult than you think. The next time you plan a picnic, don’t forget the following seven essential accessories:
The ideal picnic takes place on a beautiful sunny day. This is a great image, until you consider the implications of a sunny day. Constantly squinting at the sun can cause eye pain, so make sure everyone brings sunglasses. Add a stylish hat to make a fashion statement and protect your face and neck from burning. On that note, make sure to bring a high SPF sunscreen so that your picnic doesn’t turn into a burn ward.
With luck, you will be picnicking for quite a few hours-which can be great fun as long as no one becomes thirsty. In order to make sure that your drinks stay cool and refreshing, make sure to pack a picnic cooler full of ice. This cooler also makes it easy for you to keep cold foods fresh until you’re ready to eat-and make sure none of your leftovers go bad.
Picnics can be relaxing, but if you’re the competitive type, be sure to bring some fun outdoor games like bags or bocce ball. These games are easy to learn and fun to play for both kids and adults. If you want to make time for the adults to relax and talk, be sure to bring some kid friendly games to keep the children occupied.
Clean up materials
If you have kids with you, its almost certain that something will be dropped, spilled or smeared on someone. Make sure to bring along tons of baby wipes to make cleanup a breeze. In addition, include some trash bags so that when your picnic is over you leave a clean area for the next group of picnickers.
Easy to eat foods
A picnic is not the time for tacos or steak; both are too difficult to eat and can get messy very quickly. You want to make sure that guests can eat without using a table. Items like small sandwiches and chops are ideal for main course. Try to substitute a pasta or egg salad for one made of green, leafy vegetables as the can be time consuming to prepare and messy to put together (particularly with salad dressing). You want to focus on foods that are ready to eat and can be transported in a container easily.
Utensils and plates
The last thing you want to do is have people trying to eat pasta salad with their hands, so make sure to bring some plastic forks and spoons. A wooden cutting board and a sharp knife are also excellent ways to ensure that if you do need to cut something, it will be painless and safe. In addition, cups and plates are essential. Aim for reusable ones so that you can enjoy picnics in the future. And, of course, don’t forget the napkins!
No one wants to lay on the ground, so make sure to bring a blanket to sit on. If you are having a large picnic or want to lay down during the day, bring multiple blankets to ensure you have ample room.
This article is written by Alle Weil, a writer and editor, she recently created a comprehensive resource about the best rated coolers and ice chests for a successful picnic.