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Tips to Plan the Perfect Picnic

Updated on July 4, 2018
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been writing for HubPages for a long time. She is an expert about a variety of subjects she writes about.

Group enjoying a picnic
Group enjoying a picnic

Whether you are planning a picnic for your immediate family or for many more people, here are some guidelines to follow to make sure everything is organized and your outing is a success.

Check the Weather

Check the weather reports even though sometimes they can be wrong. There is also the chance that they can be right. Find out what the weather is expected to be on the day you schedule your picnic.

To be on the safe side, choose a location where there is shelter just in case there is an unexpected drizzle while you are out in the opening.

Location

Choose a location that is spacious enough so people will not be cramped. Make sure it is a place where there is an option for both sun and shade.

More than likely you will have children along with you. Make sure there is plenty of space where they can run and play and have fun.

The beauty of planning a picnic is that you don't have to settle for what you don't want. Here are some choices for the perfect picnic location:

  • your local park
  • in the forest
  • at the beach
  • up a mountain
  • in an urban area
  • your own backyard

Food

During your pre-planning, you should have an idea of how many people you will be serving. While it doesn't have to be the exact number, have an idea so you will know how much food to carry. You don't want to run out of the main dishes and neither do you want to take enough for an army when you have only a few people.

Speaking of food, there are some foods that are ideal for picnics and outdoor eating. If a grill is on the property, you can prepare hotdogs, hamburger, chicken or steaks. If there is no grill available, then you will have to take foods that can be eaten cold such as sandwiches, pasta, salads, crackers, chips, and fruits. Watermelons are good for picnics.

Chicken is good hot or cold. Perhaps you can pick up a bucket or two of chicken from KFC or another favorite chicken place.

A neat tip is to freeze bottles of water and juice packs to be used to keep foods cold and then can be consumed after they thawed. Remember to keep the cooler out of the sun.

If you have a small group of picnickers, you can pack individual bag lunches and hand them out when guests arrive.

If you have enough of those packet of condiments on hand that come with your takeout food from fast-fast restaurants, take them with you instead of big bottles of ketchup, mustard, and other condiments. It a good way to make good use of the packets that have been taking up space in your drawer. If you don't think you have enough packets to go around, then you shouldn't take any of them.

Table Setting

Remember to take plates to put your food on and something to eat with. These days, people are environmentally conscious so it is best to take reusable plastic plates and cups and utensils instead of paper plates and cups. It is even better to take a cloth tablecloth and cloth napkins.

Don't Forget to Pack These Items

Remember to take wet wipes and trash bags. Take one for trash and one for dirty items to carry back home.

Sunscreen and insect repellent should be on the list of things to carry with you to the picnic. In fact, make sure everyone is sprayed when they first arrive. Spray the area around your table and chairs to let the pests know that it's your territory during the time you are there.

Entertainment

Entertainment can include what your group likes. If they like outdoor activities, plan something that most people can participate in such as volleyball or some other sport. Cornhole is a big and fun activity these days. Horseshoes is a game that will never go out of style and is a game for people of all ages.

There are others who might like board games. Pack some board games or play some card games that won't take long to end. After all, there will be so much to do that you don't want your guests to spend all their time on one activity.

Safety

Make sure you give your guests and kids a pep talk about safety when they arrive. Encourage everyone to look out for others and not to wander out of the designated area.

Be careful when grilling and handling foods. Use the two-hour rule. Do not leave perishable food out for more than two hours. Keep perishable foods in the cooler when you are not serving it.

If a swimming pool or another body of water is around, kids should be watched at all times.

Do you like going on picnics?

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Comments

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    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      2 years ago

      Except during the hot bug season picnics are fun stuff. Nice tips to consider here, especially food safety.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Margie Lynn, It has been a hot summer here in Virginia as well. Having a picnic indoors is a great idea; one I hadn't thought of until you brought it up. Thanks!

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      3 years ago from the USA

      I love eating outdoors, seems like everything taste so good! Here in Texas, most days are over 100 degrees, so this Grannie has her picnics indoors! Ha, ha. Great hub, thanks for the great tips for a perfect picnic!

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