To help you plan the perfect picnic, here’s our picnic tips & ideas list, picnicking checklist, and a perfect-for-picnics recipes list.
Prepare for weatherYou needn't cancel your picnicking plans because the weather isn't perfect but, if need be, be prepared for the possibility of rain, high winds, or unseasonably hot or cold temperatures. Check the forecast before you go. Depending on the forecast, your take-list may include:
- Rain tarps
- Umbrellas/rain coats
- Jackets/wind breakers
Prepare for common picnic pestsConsider repelling critters, protecting food and guests, and what to do if the pests bite, sting, or scratch. Your pest-prep checklist might need to include:
- Insect repellent/fly swatter
- First aid supplies for stings or bites
- Insect netting to cover food waiting to be served
Plan for easy picnic food serviceThe best picnic foods will be hard to appreciate without these:
- Eating utensils
- Plates and cups
- Napkins or paper towels
- Bottle opener (or wine bottle corkscrew)
Take picnic clean-up suppliesDecide in advance whether you plan to clean dishes on site or pack them for cleanup back home. Depending on which, you may need:
- Dish soap, sponges
- Garbage bags
- Two tubs or large buckets, one for washing, one for rinsing
- Sealable bags or food storage containers for transportation home of the leftovers
- dish towels
- Towelettes or wipes for helping guests to clean up
- Grill cleaning supplies (scrubber, grill spray, a metal or other safe container for coals)
Remember comfort itemsEspecially for an all-day picnic, make sure you’ve got items such as these at the ready:
- Portable lawn furniture (folding chairs, etc.)
- Portable shade solutions (big umbrellas, tarp, etc.), especially if your picnic location has limited natural shade
- Skin protection, such as sun screen lotion and, just in case, sun burn lotion
- Tablecloth (or picnic blanket, if eating on the ground)
- Anti-allergy medication and any other prescription medications
Tips for better picnics
- For the more active set, consider planning a few physical activities. Good picnic activities to consider include Frisbee, horseshoes, kite flying, baseball, badminton, or volleyball.
- For the less physically active attendees, great picnic activities include board games, card games, sing-alongs, crafts, or drum circles.
- Good children's picnic activities include finger painting, insect exploration, making and flying kites, hiking, and relay races.
- Remember to be good with public lands. Leave your picnic area in as good, or better, condition than you found it. Be aware of local regulations designed to protect wildlife or vegetation.
- Know the water availability where you plan to picnic. If there is not a source of safe drinking water, bring water for preparation as well as cleaning.
- Be prepared to handle food safely. This includes keeping hot food hot and cold food cold, washing hands before food preparation, and having clean food service areas and containers.
Best picnic Recipes
- Bacon Baked Potatoes
- Baked Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches
- Strawberry Hand Pies
- Easy Refrigerator Pickles
- Three Bean Salad for Picnics
- Camper's Baked Potatoes
- Picnic Basket Fried Chicken
- Egg Salad for Sandwiches
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad
- Marinated Chickpeas
- Picnic Pot Roast
- Amish Potato Salad
- Apple Pie On A Stick
- Cream Cheese Jalapeno Hamburgers
- Campers' Skillet
- Easy Coleslaw
- Rhubarb Lemonade
Celebrate National Picnic Month