The Blog

How to Have the Best Summer Picnic Ever

Picnics are a great way to get the family together for some quality time or just hang out with some good friends, of course while enjoying all the yummy food! Many of us do not have picnics all that often, so make it the best when you do.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

It is basically summertime, and what's a better way to enjoy the warm weather than to have a picnic with family and friends?

Picnics are a great way to get the family together for some quality time or just hang out with some good friends, of course while enjoying all the yummy food!

Many of us do not have picnics all that often, so make it the best when you do.

Here are the basic picnic essentials you will need:

1. Basket: for carrying all of your food, blanket, and other supplies.
2. Blanket: for lounging (if you're not using a picnic table).
3. Napkins: for the messy hands.
4. Utensils: for eating the delicious salad and pie.
5. Cups/glasses & straws: for sipping the refreshing tea and lemonade.
6. Umbrella: for keeping the sun off the food and/or you.
7. Speaker/radio: for entertainment.
8. Sunscreen & bug spray: for preventing sunburn and bug bites.

To save money, you can buy many of these items at discount stores like Christmas Tree Shops, dollar stores and Walmart.

Food is really the core of picnics, so everything must be delicious. Making foods that travel well and are summer favorites can make any picnic flawless.

Here are some picnic recipes to try:

1. Summer strawberry poppy seed salad. Make the perfect salad for summer with romaine lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, and mandarin oranges, topped with a sweet poppy seed dressing.
2. Fruit & dessert kabobs. Instead of setting out different treats, put different berries, brownie bits, and marshmallows on a kabob for fun and easy eating on the go.
3. Homemade cherry pineapple lemonade. Add cherry syrup, pineapple juice, lemonade base, and water to create a refreshing drink to help you cool off (find the full recipe here).
4. Pressed Italian sandwiches. Make these delicious sandwiches that everyone will love, containing Italian cold cut meat, provolone cheese, spinach, and basil pesto, all on a fresh ciabatta roll (find the full recipe on Pinterest).
5. Baked apple pie roll ups. Instead of bringing a whole messy pie, bake these easy to eat roll ups with apple pie filling, and cinnamon sugar coating (find the full recipe here).

Packing for a picnic can be challenging depending on what food and other items you decide to bring. Trying to save space, and keeping everything fresh and organized can become a huge hassle. However, there are some brilliant ideas to make picnicking a breeze for everyone.

Great picnic hacks to keep in mind:

  1. Use cupcake liners to keep bugs out of drinks.
  2. Use an empty egg carton to carry chocolate covered strawberries safely.
  3. Use a muffin tin to serve condiments and toppings for easy access.
  4. Use Popsicle sticks to hold watermelon slices to avoid sticky hands.
  5. Use plastic cups to keep salads fresh and carry cupcakes safely.
  6. Use a shower curtain under your blanket to avoid any moisture from the grass soaking through.
  7. Use frozen bottled water in coolers to keep food and drinks cold, then drink when thawed.

Picnics aren't just about the scrumptious food, they are for having fun! Bringing outdoor games can make the fun last for hours and make the day memorable for everyone.

Games to bring to your picnic:

1. Corn hole. If you are driving to your picnic destination, bring corn hole boards; teens and adults can play this game for hours and it can even be a competitive game.
2. Horseshoes. If you don't have a lot of extra room for games, bring horseshoes, an entertaining game for all ages.
3. Board games. If you're for having a more chill kind of day, play fun some board games to keep everyone occupied.
4. Ladder ball. Playing ladder ball at a picnic is perfect; adults and kids love the challenging game.
5. Soccer ball or kickball. If you have a large group of people, play a fun game of soccer or kickball in the grass.
6. Water balloons. A water balloon fight is probably the most exhilarating way to cool down with friends on a hot summer day.

Location, location, location. Where you choose to have your picnic sets the mood of the whole experience. Whether you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or just a beautiful day, the place you all get together is important. Make sure you pick the perfect spot for you, family and friends to enjoy the day.

Here are some beautiful locations to have your picnic:

1. Your local park. No matter where you live, there is probably a park nearby, which is a great place to spend the beautiful day, and maybe even meet new people.
2. The beach. If you live near the beach, or maybe are on vacation, the beach is the spot for a summertime picnic, just make sure sandwiches are the only sand you're eating!
3. Under a tree somewhere on campus. Picnics are not only for summer, it's nice to get away from all the stress of school, and enjoy a relaxing lunch outdoors with your friends and classmates.
4. By a lake or pond. Sitting by the water may be one of the most relaxing things you can do, and if you like to fish, this picnic spot can be perfect for you, family and friends.
5. Your own or a friend's backyard. You don't have to go to an extravagant place to have the best picnic. Setting up a picnic in your backyard is just as fun, and of course, it's convenient.

Now call up your family and friends, and go out to have to best picnic ever this summer!