Picnic season is here! We love them: the breeze in our hair, the grass (or sand) between our toes, a frosty beverage in hand, and a delicious meal in front of us. We’ve gathered 10 picnic tips to help make your picnics better than ever this year!
1. Bring bug spray. For the best protection, spray everyone in your party and spray a barrier around your picnic blanket or table as soon as you settle on a spot.
2. Be prepared for spills. Bring extra paper towels, an extra bottle of water to clean up sticky spills, and if you have room, bring baby wipes to keep hands and surfaces clean.
3. Maybe this is TMI, but it’s important: expect a less-than-ideal bathroom situation. Be sure to go before you arrive at the park, carry extra tissues in case there’s no toilet paper, and keep some of these handy soap sheets with you (which are also AMAZING for travel) or hand sanitizer.
4. Pack a trash bag for garbage, in case your picnic site that doesn’t have trashcans. And pack a few extra sturdy ziplock bags to isolate dirty dishes that you need to take home with you. This will ensure that your entire picnic basket doesn’t end up covered in a layer of salad dressing.
5. Make the picnic blanket a no-shoes area. (This is a Japanese trick that we think is brilliant!) Keep your dining area clean and as free of bugs as possible by taking your shoes off before you get on the picnic blanket.
6. Pack food that is best at room temperature or cold. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning! There’s a reason that sandwiches and salads make great picnic food. Try our grilled chicken, almond, blueberry and feta salad, curry chicken salad, or ham tortilla wraps. Here are some great salad dressing options while you plan your meal. We also love raw zucchini “pasta.” If you are packing salads, keep the dressing separate until just before serving to keep the lettuce from wilting. For delicious sides, our spinach with sesame dressing, Thai cucumber salad, and our carrot and cilantro salad are perfect picnic foods.
7. Always keep ice packs or frozen water bottles in the freezer so you’re not caught off guard. Ice packs aren’t very helpful for a picnic if they’re not frozen, and impromptu picnics are usually the best kind!
8. On that note, don’t forget to bring separate ice for your drinks in a ziplock bag. Your beverages will get warm quickly on a hot day, and it’s helpful to bring ice cubes so you can keep those drinks nice and cold. For bonus points, bring our vanilla bean lemonade or watermelon aqua fresca.
9. Don’t be afraid to go on a picnic by yourself! A picnic for one can be really lovely. Bring a notebook, a sketchbook, or a book and take some time to relax. Or even take a nap.
10. Finish with something sweet. A piece of fruit is the obvious healthy option (unless you make them extra-special with cream cheese and graham crackers), but we love to pack cookies. You should avoid chocolate, however, which can melt and get really messy. Try our oatmeal nutmeg lacies, oatmeal dulce de leche sandwich cookies, or cinnamon chewies.