Fun Food: Essential Picnic Items

Picnis are fun! Keep it that way by packing the right things the right way to avoid messes!

Picnicking is an essential spring and summer time activity. It can and should be worked into any family vacation, a busy work week, or a romantic weekend. Whether you are picnicking by day or by night, there are five items you shouldn't forget to pack and take along.

Picnic blanket

This one is a no-brainer. Picnic blankets provide you with a layer of protection against bugs, dirt and mud, itchy grass, and more. You can make a picnic blanket out of almost anything, a large beach blanket, a plastic table cloth, a big sheet, an old comforter, or quilt or afghan. But to make things even easier, you can buy a picnic blanket made just for picnicking. Try one that is plastic, nylon, or tarp- like on one side and soft and cushy like a blanket on the other side. The plastic or nylon layer should go face down on the grass and the cushy side should be facing up for you to sit on. This will provide maximum comfort, as the nylon or plastic side helps keep grass and twigs from poking through and irritating your skin, while the other side is soft to sit on. Also be sure that any blanket you buy especially for picnicking will fold and zip up and that it has handles. These features make for much easier carrying.

Drink container;

It is best to bring a drink container that can be re-sealed to keep out bugs, leaves, grass, and dirt. Also, find a container that is heavy enough not to get blown away, one that has a wide, flat surface area on the bottom so it doesn't tip easily, and something that won't leak during the trip. A thermos-like container is a perfect example of a great picnic drink container.

Airtight plastic containers

When you are packing up your home made picnic, there is no step more important than being sure that your items are packed in airtight, firmly sealed containers. If your beverages leak, your sandwiches come tumbling out of their containers, and your strawberry shortcake gets watermelon juice in it, you won't have an enjoyable picnic. Going through all that work to make, assemble, and pack the food only to have it ruined during its transportation to the picnic site it a huge let down and a huge waste of your time and money. So check the seal on your containers before you pack them into that picnic basket.

The basket:

It isn't completely essential that you purchase a real picnic basket for a picnic at the park. Certainly you could use a grocery bag, a cardboard box, a cooler, a small rolling backpack or so much more in place of a traditional picnic basket lined with red and white checkered linens. But it is best to bring a carrying container that can be close and latched, sealed or zipped to keep critters out if you plan to leave your picnic site unattended while you play family games or stroll in the park.


Bring a kite, a Frisbee, or a ball and play a game while you are there. Don't have kids? It doesn't matter! Even adults love to play nostalgic games, and a picnic is a perfect time to re-live childhood.

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