Oh summer, why are you so short? Our Canadian summers fly by so quickly that we try to enjoy every last minute of it. And if you’re like me, I start to get antsy and a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out.) I want to attend every event, festival, fishing/camping trip, and backyard BBQ but life happens and we can’t be everywhere all the time, unfortunately. If your suddenly feeling FOMO and craving to get outdoors, a picnic is the perfect way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. And the best part is, it’s something you can do alone on a whim or plan ahead with some friends.
The other day, I had my first “official” picnic with my best friend Jessica. I definitely picked up a few tricks along the way and have improved my picnicking skills LOL. Here’s what I’ve learned so you can plan the perfect picnic this summer!
What’s a picnic without food? And although it’s probably the most important part, there are no specific foods to bring but there are certainly dishes to avoid. Ice cream is obvious but also those deviled eggs that look so pretty in the plastic container at home… they’ll look more like egg salad once the lid comes off at the picnic. You want sturdy, simple, and food that requires very little hands-on action at the picnic itself. You want items that won’t get soggy, that taste great at room temperature and that are either finger or fork foods. Here’s what we brought, plus some additional suggestions to bring to your picnic:
PRO TIP! Instead of packing a cutting board and knife, have everything cut in advance so there’s no fussing with it at the picnic.
Picnic baskets are not only cute, but practical for packing all the plates, cups, and cutlery as they usually have dedicated compartments that lock them into place. The basket we used was so beautiful, but I found it was quite heavy once it was filled up. It also did not have enough space to carry all the food we wanted to bring, so we also packed up a cooler with ice packs. The cooler worked out best for the food because it kept everything nice and cold, but it also had wheels! The distance from the car to our picnic spot was a bit of a walk so it was nice to be able to wheel it around and not have to carry it. This inspired me to search for a picnic baskets on wheels… and I’m not surprised to find that they actually exist!
So, I guess it depends on how much food your going to bring, but I do recommend you use both a picnic basket and a cooler (both on wheels.) Why both? The picnic basket can be used for your fragile items, like dinnerware and wine bottles, and the cooler can be dedicated strictly to the food.
PRO TIP! Pack the heaviest and sturdiest things on the bottom, and the lighter more fragile items on top. But put the picnic blanket on top — that’s the first thing you want to unpack!
THE PERFECT SPOT
Definitely put some thought into where you’ll be setting up your picnic! You’re bringing a lot of stuff and once it’s all unpacked, it won’t be easy to move your location. We picked a spot in the shade and knew it would be shaded for a few hours before the sun would poke out of the trees. Not only did we want a shaded area for comfort and to avoid sun damaged skin, but keeping the food/cooler in the shade is safer too.
PRO TIP! If you want to be in the sun, keep the cooler in the shade. Serve food quickly from the cooler and return it fast. In hot weather, temps above 32C(90F) food shouldn’t sit out of the cooler over an hour.
So, you’ve got your picnic planned and you want it to be perfect… if you’re like me, you’ll make a checklist so you don’t forget anything. Well, I’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and created the perfect checklist below!
- Picnic basket
- Cooler & ice packs
- Picnic blanket (preferably waterproof on the bottom)
- Dinnerware (plates, cups, utensils)
- Bottle opener
- Cutting board (also useful as a level serving surface, perfect for drinks)
- Sharp knife (even if you don’t plan to cut things, it’s still a good idea)
- Condiments if needed (mustard, mayo, ketchup, salt and pepper etc. TIP it’s a great way to make use of extra packets from a takeout place)
- Paper towels/napkins
- Wet wipes (for sticky hands)
- A couple of dishtowels (always handy)
- Extra plastic containers or Ziploc bags for packing up dirty utensils, leftovers, etc.
- Garbage & recycling bags (extra for dirty dishes)
- Drinks (including lots of water)
- Insect repellent
- Flashlight (if you plan to be out into the evening hours)
- Battery powered Bluetooth speaker (what’s a party without music?)
- Sport or activity equipment (frisbees, balls, bubbles, water guns, board games)
PRO TIP! If you don’t have a waterproof picnic blanket, put a vinyl shower curtain underneath a blanket to prevent any moisture from the grass getting absorbed.
I hope you can use some or all of these ideas for a perfect picnic with family and friends this summer. Thanks for reading! Xo Nicole
SHOP THE POST
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A PICNIC? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS AND TRICKS TO PLANNING THE PERFECT PICNIC? SHARE IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
I haven’t had a picnic in so long! After reading this blog I’ll definitely be adding picnic to this year’s summer bucket list!
Yayyyy! Definitely have a picnic with the fam jam! Have fun💗
Love the photos! Looks like you did find the perfect spot 🙂
Thanks Sara!!! Edmonton was so beautiful when all the cherry blossoms bloomed💗🌸