When the sun comes out and the weather turns warm, everyone loves a picnic. It’s a chance to eat and socialize outside in the fresh air with relatively little fuss. Unlike traditional parties, you don’t have to prepare the house, worry about stains on the carpet, or deal with the after-party cleanup. So what’s the secret to planning a picnic that’s easy to put together and fun to throw? Check out these handy tips on picnic planning, preparation, and packing:
Location: Where do you plan to hold the picnic? If your picnic location has tables, bring a colorful tablecloth. If you’ll be sitting on the grass, bring a comfortable blanket. And if the picnic site doesn’t have trashcans nearby, be sure to bring along a few extra trash bags so picking up afterwards will be easy.
Transporting Food: A fancy picnic basket may look nice, but a simple cooler is the better choice when it comes to keeping foods at the right temperature. To set the mood, decorate the cooler with our Durable I.D. Labels that can stick to a variety of different surfaces. Print something that fits the occasion, like “The Beach or Bust” or “Johnson Family Picnic.”
Food Safety: A picnic isn’t any fun if someone ends up getting sick from the food. Make sure you keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
Beverages: Bring a variety of beverages, including lots of water. For large picnics, pack several coolers and place them around your picnic area so picnickers have easy access to refreshments during the event. Freeze some of the non-carbonated drinks a few hours or the night before the event, and put them in your cooler when you leave. That way, not only will your drinks stay cold, they’ll also keep your food chilled.
Food Ideas: For easy and innovative take-along food, check out picnic recipes at epicurious.com or recipezaar.com. If you’re not in the mood to make all the dishes yourself, take advantage of your local deli for some sandwiches or side dishes, or make it a potluck picnic. A picnic is an opportunity for everyone to relax, so remember to keep it simple.
Presentation: For a great presentation and no-fuss serving, pick up some take-out food containers to serve the food. You can put individual servings of food in each box, or organize groups of similar foods together. For example, fried chicken can go in one box, and potato salad in another. Then label each box with Avery I.D. Labels, available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Paper Goods and Plastic Ware: When choosing your paper plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery, keep in mind that everything doesn't necessarily have to match perfectly. In fact, using different bright and bold colors that complement each other is a fun way to create a festive vibe.
Cup I.D.: At picnics, it's easy to lose track of where you put your cup down, especially when all the cups look alike. And when in doubt, it seems easier just to get a new cup, which leads to unnecessary waste. At your next picnic, avoid cup confusion by labeling the cups with the person’s name.
Personal Touches: For a little fun, put together goodie bags for everyone, and label each bag with the guest’s name using our white I.D. Labels. You can fill each person's bag with a surprise treat, such as different kinds of candy (that won’t melt in the heat) or a nominal gift card for a cup of coffee… just some food for thought.
Don’t Forget Your Picnic Essentials: - Paper towels are a must. If you’re serving messy food like barbecue or corn-on-the-cob, bring pre-moistened towelettes and hand sanitizing gel.
- Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce. They’ll always come in handy.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and other sun protection. Bring extra for people who forget to bring their own.
- Fun stuff for activities. A deck of cards, board games, frisbees, and balls are like picnic staples.
- Trash bags for garbage and for recyclables.
- Insect repellant and a first-aid kit.
- Camera to catch those special moments.
There you have it—a picnic that’s festive, organized, and fun to put together. Now just add a little sunshine and enjoy!