What better way is there to ring in a season of warm, sunny days than to take lunch, dinner or even breakfast outdoors? No matter what’s on the menu or where you opt to dine, using just a bit of forethought, some creativity—and plasticware—is all it takes to dish out a little picnic perfection.
- Choose your picnic peeps.
Like any meal, the tone is set largely by the company. Decide what kind of picnic vibe you’re looking for. A family brunch in the park? A romantic lunch date? Dinner with the posse? Knowing the kind of experience you’re after will help you choose just the right picnic participants, whether it’s three of your buddies, a couple of kiddos or your number one squeeze.
- Choose your picnic destination.
Want a quiet place to nosh and chat? To admire nature in its solitude? To hone your frisbee skills? Think about what the meal will revolve around and select your locale accordingly. The middle of a crowded park might not be the best choice for a quiet picnic for two, but how about a public garden, the beach, or an open field? No matter the destination, opt for places away from heavy foot traffic where there’s plenty of room to spread out, eat and relax. That’s the whole point, right?
- Choose your picnic noshes.
Whatever your fare, two rules should apply: It should travel well and be easy to eat. Finger foods don’t mean you have to stick to PBJs and Doritos. Sliced ham, brie, a baguette and a bottle of wine makes a perfect picnic for two. Muffins, fresh fruit and a thermos full of coffee say “breakfast is served!” Overall, sandwiches, pita pockets and wraps make for an easy menu but kabobs, cold fried chicken and pizza work too. You’re only limited by your imagination. (And the size of your picnic basket.)
- Choose your picnic extras.
The little things can make or break your picnic experience. Like forgetting insect repellant when the mosquitos are, literally, out for blood. So think carefully about what you’ll need beyond blankets and grub, or what might just be nice to have. Such as finger wipes for cleanup, a wine tool, sunscreen, music, or a football to toss around.
Done all that? Consider your picnic prep complete!