A picnic is one of the easiest and most economical gatherings to throw for those who enjoy dining outdoors. The location of a picnic can be the beach, a forest preserve, the park, or even in your own backyard. If you pack a few common household supplies and prepare simple main dishes or snacks, you’ll be ready to picnic for a fun group outing or on a romantic date.
If you plan to eat lunch, make finger foods in advance such as sandwiches and sliced fruits and vegetables. Crackers, trail mix, bread and cheese are easy, portable snacks. And, single serving desserts including doughnuts and cookies are easy to pack. If you won't be bringing a cooler, beware of condiments, frostings and any other food that could start to melt if it’s hot. Do not bring any meats or other ingredients that need to be cooked unless you have confirmed in advance that your picnic destination has a grill or bonfire setup.
Once you’ve prepared the food, finish packing your basket with enough disposable plates, cups and napkins for all guests. If you bring any dishes that need to be eaten with forks, knifes or spoons, include those utensils. Adults planning to enjoy wine should pack bottle openers and stoppers. Remember to fill a large thermos with drinking water in addition to any other beverages you opt to bring.
Find a backpack or duffle bag for supplies. The first supply you need is a blanket or towel to sit on while you eat. You also likely want to bring sunscreen, bug spray, flash lights and trash bags. If you are picnicking with children, consider including a playtime item such as a Frisbee or jump rope to keep them entertained. And, bring sweatshirts and hats if your picnic will run into the evening and you think it may get chilly.
All it takes is a simple menu and some handy gear for a memorable picnic experience!