10 Tips for a Successful Family Picnic

July 17th, 2013 posted by Rebecca Brea

10 Tips for a Successful Family Picnic - FamilyCorner.com

The summer picnic is a time honored way of bringing family and friends together with delicious food and the great outdoors. Whether it’s a romantic picnic for two or a rollicking family reunion, following a few simple guidelines can make this summer classic safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone:

1. Check out your destination: Know where you’re going, and if you need a park permit to enter the grounds. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines for grilling and cooking at your destination.

2. The comforts of home, outdoors:  Want to curl up with a good book or take a nap after a meal al fresco?  Be sure to pack picnic blankets (and plastic sheeting to place under the blanket if the ground is damp), an umbrella, folding chairs, cushions or pillows.  String up a hammock between two trees if you have one.  Also, throw in a couple of rolls of toilet paper – sometimes public bathrooms in parks and picnic areas can be lacking in this amenity!

3. Prepare for nature and emergencies:  Take along plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant, and remember that younger children have greater needs in the summer sun.  Citronella candles can help keep the insects at bay.  Along with the bandages and antibiotic ointment in the first aid kit, remember to include antibacterial gel and wipes, allergy medications and antihistamines, and an EPI pen if someone in your party has a prescription for it.

10 Tips for a Successful Family Picnic - FamilyCorner.com

4. Stay hydrated:  Nothing puts a damper on the party like a bunch of thirsty people and not enough drinks to go around.  Count up your picnickers and make sure to pack enough beverages, especially water:  determine how much water you’ll need and then increase your supply by freezing extra water bottles to double as ice packs in the picnic cooler.

5. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold:  Be sure to stow your cooler in the shade whenever possible, and don’t leave food out of the cooler or off the grill for more than two hours.  Perishables such as hamburger patties, hot dogs, cold cuts and chicken should be packed in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice (or frozen water bottles or gel packs).  Cooked perishables like fried chicken, potato and pasta salads must be kept cold too.

6. Don’t forget the condiments:  If you are packing already opened condiments straight from your refrigerator, remember that they also must stay cold; pack bottles of ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, salad dressings and other sauces in zipper seal bags so they don’t accidentally open and squirt all over everything!

7. Serving and eating your picnic feast:  Make sure there are enough utensils to go around – potato salad is usually not considered a finger food!  Pack tablecloths, plastic forks, knives and spoons; paper plates and plastic cups; several serving spoons for different dishes and salads; knives for cutting meats; bottle opener/corkscrew; napkins and rolls of paper towels.

8. Pack easy-serve desserts: Brownies, cookies, mini-pastries, bars and cupcakes are easier to serve than whole cakes or pies that have to be cut, plated and (usually) eaten with utensils.  Check out these Top 10 Summer Picnic Desserts for inspiration.

9. Everybody plays:  Whip up everyone’s appetite with a variety of outdoor games!  Along with the traditional frisbee toss, think about badminton, croquet, volleyball, football or softball.  If the kids (and adults) want to change into their bathing suits and board shorts, water guns, spray bottles, or a water balloon toss can be a fun way to cool off before and after the picnic feast.

10. Clean up time:  Bring trash bags to clean up and sort out recyclables at the end of the day, and pack a box of zipper seal gallon bags to store leftovers.

More You Might Like:
Picnic, Barbecue & Cookout Food Safety Tips
Create a Picnic Kit
Watermelon Cookies
Pinterest:  Picnic Eye Candy

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Rebecca Brea (9 Posts)

Rebecca began reading blogs to connect, learn from and share information with other moms about the parenting experience. This was a natural extension of her participation on community message boards during her struggle with infertility in the late 90s. Rebecca says “As I laughed, was moved by, and recognized myself in so many great blogs, I realized I had been ‘blogging’ in one form or another for most of my life – in diaries, notes on calendars and scrapbooks – so I decided to start one of my own.” Mom Meets Blog peeks in on this later-in-life mom with a fantastic son who’s faced his own challenges and is currently navigating tweendom, karate, middle school, and piano lessons, a workaholic husband overseeing a busy family business, and her role in managing it all - motherhood, midlife and a blog.

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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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