Picnic Essentials – Now that springtime is here and the weather is warm, picnic season is back. I love a good picnic – whether it’s a romantic date or a fun family outing.
Here in Calgary you can pre-book a location. For locations here in town check out this helpful post, Calgary Parks with Bookable Picnic Sites. Search locally for locations in your area.
I’ve written before about some games and activities for picnics. I’ve also discussed the best food to take on a picnic. Here’s the rest of what you need to make a picnic memorable.
Unless you know the park you’re going to has tables that will be free when you need them, you’ll want a blanket. You could grab any blanket that’s lying around but an outdoor blanket will serve you best.
The best options have a waterproof side and a fuzzy side. Lay the waterproof side on the ground and say goodbye to worrying about damp grass.
The waterproof side prevents insects from coming through the weave of the blanket too. The best part about using a blanket with a waterproof side is that the dirt will wipe right off of it!
When you think of a picnic basket you probably think of a wicker basket with two big handles. It’s the classic for a reason but that doesn’t mean you need to go out and get one.
You can use a small soft sided cooler with handles, a backpack, or even a cute shopping tote. So long as whatever you choose can fit everything you’re bringing and keep it from being squished it will work.
If you’re set on a traditional picnic basket, try searching at antique and flea markets for a vintage find.
Keep all of your picnic essentials together so you aren’t searching the house every time you want to run out for a quick picnic.
There’s a good argument to be made for investing in some reusable picnic dishes. For one, it’s better for the environment to wash reusable dishes rather than buying more disposable ones each time.
You can get some really nice unbreakable dishes in plastic, glass, or enameled metal that will look really classy. When it comes to utensils, bringing metal ones is both better for the environment and for your meal.
Trying to cut a sandwich with a disposable plastic knife is no fun. You may want to go with outdoor patio ware for your wine glasses – they won’t break if they fall to the ground.
A wood cutting board can serve a dual purpose – both for cutting vegetables or cheese and for serving. I always bring a small one; they come in very handy.
Don’t forget to pack any serving utensils you might need – such as a corkscrew or bottle opener if you’re having drinks or a paring knife for any cutting.
Whether or not you’re using a cooler, if you’ve got anything with a cream or milk base you’ll need an ice pack to keep things cool.
Soft ice packs won’t risk breaking anything in your picnic basket but will help keep your food at safe temperatures. Because you want to have memories of your picnic, not the food poisoning you got from warm mayo.
Picnic sites either don’t have garbage bins where you can find them or they’re gross and overflowing with trash.
Leave nothing but footprints by bringing a bag to take your garbage and recycling back home with you.
Cloth napkins are a great option for your picnic. They’re heavier than paper napkins so they won’t fly away with a breeze.
Another option is a roll of paper towels. They’ll help clean up a spill or a mess but won’t blow away either.
Location: You’ll want a spot with some shade so you can keep both you and the food cool. Try to find some flat ground so you don’t need to worry about glasses falling over.
Alternate location: even the best laid plans can fall victim to Mother Nature. Scout out an indoor location if you can’t postpone the picnic to another day. An indoor picnic can be fun, bring some cards and make the best of it.
With these tips and tricks up your sleeve you’ll be ready to make the most of picnic season! What’s your best picnic tip?
Comments & Reviews
Good ideas Tara!
Tara Noland says
Thanks Jill! Enjoy picnic season!!
Tara Pittman says
A picnic sounds so fun. These are must-haves for a great picnic in addition to the food.
Mama to 6 Blessings says
What a nice idea. I need to put together a basket like this and go on a picnic date with my husband!
I love taking my family on picnics. It is nice to be able to just take the day and get away from awhile. I love your essentials list! I almost always forget a trash bag! I need to keep your list handy!
Kim Grabinski says
You know as crazy as this sounds, the garbage bag tip is brilliant. I always forget one!
Kerrie Mendoza says
I love going on picnics. It’s a great way to be able to get the kids out of the house and play outside for awhile. Your essentials list is an excellent suggestion! I can never seem to remember a trash bag! I need to print it off and keep it nearby!
Brianne Tursi Manz says
Our family loves to go for a picnic when the weather’s great. I’ll be using your list the next time we go out for a picnic!
Stefani Tolson says
I have a picnic basket and I love picnics. I need to plan one soon or my family!
I and my family love picnics. We will use all these tips for our next picnic!
We love going on picnics in the summer! This is such a great picnic list. Love it.
Annemarie LeBlanc says
Picnics are so much fun! I agree with using reusable dishes rather than disposables. We have a cute picnic plates that I got years ago and are still in very good condition. I would really need to remember to bring garbage bags. Better yet, I should keep some in my car always so I don’t forget!
Beautiful picnic essentials. I would love to have more picnic experiences this summer.
Ruth I says
This is a great list! I like all of the ideas. W I hope we can go out for a picnic soon.