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It’s Family Picnic Time – 5 Tips to Make it Great!

Warmer weather means spending more time outdoors, and what better way to do that than with a fun family picnic! Entertaining outside does present a few challenges, but it’s worth it to be out in nature and experiencing the beautiful scenery and fresh air. Spring and summer or even the warmer fall months are all great for picnic time. Here are some ideas to help make family picnic time a success.

Picnic blanket with healthy food and human hands with drinks over it

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Tips for Planning A Great Family Picnic

Selecting a Picnic Location

What’s great about a family picnic is that it can be as simple as using your own backyard. Local parks and day trips can provide excellent choices for picnic time as well. Consider what works best for your family. Here are some ideas:

  • Create a fun picnic time in your backyard along with fun food & games
  • A local playground – if it has extra green space. This way you can watch the kids play while you enjoy your picnic.
  • Hit the beach or a local lake – the beach can be a great choice, but is not always relaxing if you need to watch little kids. Managing sand and food can also be a challenge. A beach of lake with picnic tables are ideal.
  • National parks or wildlife refuge – You may be surprised to find national parks or wildlife refuges nearby. They are a wonderful way to experience wildlife, nature walks and hikes before or after your picnic time.
  • Check the local news – There may be an event in your area where that is perfect for a family picnic. For example, a local music festival, farmer’s market, car show, etc.

What To Pack For A Picnic

Depending on the age range of your family members, make sure you take in to consideration their needs. For young kids, you may need to pack a change of clothing, diapers, etc. I recommend products like wet wipes, sunblock, and a first aid kit as well. Don’t forget about weather related issues. Always plan for rain, just in case. Have rain ponchos and contingency plans for quick weather changes. It’s always a good idea to make of list of special needs for each family member just to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience.

Simple Picnic Food Ideas

No need to complicate picnic food; just a little planning ahead will ensure that the food is delicious and easily packable with little to no fuss involved. Cold salads, sandwiches, wraps, cold meats, simple fruits and desserts are the way to go. Choosing foods that work well in warm weather should be your focus. Don’t forget the paper plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. Have plenty of water or refreshing beverages on hand to stay hydrated. While it’s tempting to just pack a lovely wicker picnic basket, you should probably think more in terms of a cooler with ice or frozen ice packs. Don’t forget a waterproof picnic blanket too. I have all of these:

Games to Play at a Picnic

While the adults might like to relax with a good book and just enjoy nature and some downtime, the kids will probably want to play. Make sure you’ve chosen a location that is kid-friendly and even pet-friendly if you’re taking your furkids, too. Energetic games such as frisbee, hula hoops, scavenger hunts, and games that don’t require a lot of gear are easier to manage. Choose activities that you know will keep the kids busy. While kite flying does require gear, it is always a fun activity if the weather and wind is cooperative. Some of our favorites:

What To Wear

Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather and activities you plan to do. It’s always a sound idea to bring an extra set of clothing to change into before leaving the picnic area so that the kids can get as dirty as they want to or to deal with unexpected spills or accidents. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to protect your skin. You can get sunburn even on cloudy days. 

A picnic is a great way to spend quality time with your entire family. It’s also an inexpensive way to enjoy a meal and time in a setting that you don’t normally frequent. Kids can explore and have fun while getting fresh air and sunshine. Pick a location and make some memories this summer with a fun family picnic!

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