Summer brings with it so many opportunities for spending time outdoors, eating delicious food and enjoying time with loved ones. And picnics are the perfect way to incorporate all three!
Now that summer is (sadly) coming to a close, whether you have yet to plan your first picnic of the season or have been toting your picnic basket around frequently, you’ll find our tips for packing the perfect end of summer picnic extremely helpful.
Choosing the Perfect Spot
What type of picnic do you envision? And will it take place before or after another activity? Even though you can technically set up your picnic just about anywhere, knowing the answer to these questions will help you choose the perfect spot to match the vibe you want your outdoor feast to have.
Will you be taking a picnic break during a nature walk or hike? Then you’ll want to plan to set up your picnic in a picturesque spot along the trail so you can be rewarded with some beautiful views while you dine. Knowing your picnic will be part of an outdoor adventure will also determine the types of food and drinks you bring along and what you pack your items in.
On the other hand, if you’re planning the perfect picnic date with your significant other after work, you may want to set up your picnic in a more romantic, private area of your favorite beach, in which case you’ll want to have oversized, cozy towels to sit on and maybe your favorite bottle of wine.
Other great picnic spot options include an outdoor concert or movie, a park with picnic tables and, the most convenient of all, your own back yard!
Great Food & Drink Ideas
The most important characteristic of the best food for a picnic has is that it travels well. Sandwiches, fresh fruit, charcuterie, and pasta salad are a few great options. Check out even more food ideas for a picnic here, including three delicious variations of chicken wraps and yummy fruit pizza.
Of course, refreshing drinks are a must! Bring a thermos full of flavored iced tea or lemonade – or one of each! If you love Arnold Palmers, DIY your own with a thermos of half iced tea and half lemonade. Enhance your tea with some fresh fruit when you use our fabulous Fruit Infusion Tea Pitcher.
What to Pack for a Picnic Other than Food
Once you’re all set the food and drinks you’ll be packing, you’ll want to be sure to also include a few supplies. Having these items with you will make your picnic much more convenient and enjoyable.
An old-fashioned picnic basket is not only picture-perfect but is highly functional. If you get the right kind, it will fit everything you need. Pack more perishable foods in an insulated bag that will fit in your basket.
Of course, if your picnic will be part of a hike, it’s best to leave the basket behind. In this case, you’ll want to pack your food in small insulated bags that will stow in a backpack.
A large, soft blanket or oversized towel is another must-have item in our books. Even if you’ll be picnicking on a table at a park, it never hurts to have a blanket on hand. If you don’t have a good blanket or towel, an old bed sheet will suffice in a pinch.
Last but certainly not least, be sure to pack enough food storage containers, reusable outdoor dishware, cups, utensils, and napkins. Without these items, your perfect picnic can easily turn into a less-than-fun experience.
Add Some Finishing Touches
If you’ve checked off all of the items listed above, you’re all set for a perfect end of summer picnic! But if you want to jazz your picnic up a bit with some nice-to-haves, we highly recommend bringing a speaker so you can listen to your favorite tunes while you nosh.
And, if you plan to hang out at your picnic spot after your meal, bring a frisbee and a deck of cards – both are easy to throw in your bag, take up little space and offer casual fun.
Let us know what your favorite picnic foods and drinks are, along with any must-have picnic supplies, in the comments.