Plan the Perfect Picnic
July 18, 2022
Plan the Perfect Picnic
Hello, Summer!!! So after some weird-ish weather, it finally feels like summer is in full swing, and one of my favorite ways to spend a beautiful summer’s day is with a picnic. Here are some ideas and tips for planning the perfect summer picnic.
First up is finding the perfect picnic location. This really comes down to personal preference – if you’re up for a little traveling, the beach is a great summer location, or Wascana Lake for some waterfront views without the travel. The Landing at Grasslands is also a great option, or any nearby park that has some nice green space for you and your picnic blanket. You could even do this from the comfort of your home…or right outside your home, rather. A little front or backyard picnic is also a great option.
Helpful tip: When I take my little one out for a picnic, there are two things I need to consider when choosing a location.
Bathroom accessibility. If we are venturing away from our home for a picnic, I want to find a location that is near a bathroom, just in case the not-so-subtle reminders about going to the bathroom before we leave don’t quite land.
The other thing to consider when it comes to location is the position of the sun. Knowing where the sun will be throughout the day during your picnic is important as you likely don’t want to be directly under the sun. If you’re able to find a spot with some shade, this will make your picnic a lot more enjoyable (and a lot less sweaty!)
Probably the most important picnic essential: the blanket! Your picnic blanket plays a vital role. It acts as your seating and your table during your picnic, so you want to find one that is large, comfortable, and preferably waterproof (in case there are some spills!).
A couple of my favorites are from Bed Bath & Beyond:
Options like this are perfect because they are quilted, comfortable, water resistant, and fold into these compact backpacks, making them easy to store and tote around.
Helpful tip: Similar products can also be found at Winners and Marshalls.
I mean, is it even a picnic without the picnic basket?? Well…technically, yes! But picnic baskets definitely serve more than just an aesthetic purpose; they carry all of your essentials. There are so many options, from a traditional basket to a more modern version, and everything in between.
A few options that I love are the more traditional baskets that already come with a lot of your other essentials like plates, cups and utensils. Bed Bath & Beyond and Winners both sell beautiful – and useful – baskets like this:
While these more traditional baskets are incredibly adorable, they often are only ideal for small picnics (more like a picnic date) and they often are not insulated to serve as a cooler. If you’re looking for something that can carry a little more and serve as a cooler, this may be more of your style. Both of these are from Winners. Still very stylish for your picnic aesthetic, but opens up your options for food and drink a little more.
Helpful tip: If your basket comes without your dining essentials, find some eco-friendly utensils, cups and plates from Walmart or Dollarama to pop in your bag.
Don’t forget to pack some garbage bags, napkins and hand wipes or sanitizer. And always remember the bug spray and sunscreen!
Food and Drink
So now that we have our set up essentials, it’s time for the DELICIOUS essentials. The most important thing to remember with packing a meal for a picnic is to keep it simple. Setting up for a picnic is enough work, you don’t want to have to put in a lot of meal prep once you’re there.
A few of our favorites are buns from Cobs Bread, along with some deli meat and cheese from Walmart to make our own sandwiches. Add some crackers and some fruit and you have your very own charcuterie plate! Or you can always pick up some food from your favorite stop and bring that along. We love to bring The Chopped Leaf along on our picnics (the cranberry pesto and tuna melt sandwiches are SO good!)
Don’t forget to pack some picnic sips – some water, obviously, and maybe a little something bubbly. If you’re in the comfort of your own backyard, why not add some wine from Willow Park Wines & Spirits. A light rose would add the perfect touch to your summer picnic. If you’re out at a park or by the lake, kombucha or sparkling juice would serve as a great summer sip. Winners has a super tasty alcohol-free rose and it’s the prettiest shade of pink!
Helpful tip: Track down some mesh food covers to keep those pesky bugs away from the food. I found some at Marshalls, Winners and Bed Bath & Beyond. Dollarama has plastic food covers as well.
More Fun Ideas
Though it’s definitely not required, as the picnic may be entertainment enough, it might be a good idea to bring a few things along for entertainment, especially if you’re bringing kids.
An outdoor scavenger hunt – Have the kids look for things in nature that are different colours or shapes. This will keep them busy and they’ll enjoy running around searching for their items.
Bring along a frisbee, a ball, chalk, or some bubbles – These are all great summer activities that won’t take a up a ton of space in your picnic packing.
Bluetooth Speaker – Music is a great addition to any picnic. Having some tunes playing softly in the background as you chat away with your friends definitely brings those chill summer vibes.
Equipped with the smartest, chic-est essentials, a portable and delicious spread, and a cool spot, you are officially ready for your summer picnic. All that’s left is to sit back, relax and enjoy!
Written by Mal Schmitz