National Picnic Week will take place from 13 — 19th June this year, so why not celebrate this special event with an outdoor feast?
Enjoy a selection of delicious foods al fresco and make the most of the good weather this summer. Why not take your picnic on your next theme park outing if the weather is nice? Here are ten top tips to help make your picnic perfect.
1. Picnic Blanket
If you don’t already have one, it would be a great idea to purchase a good quality picnic blanket to take with you on your adventures. You never know if there will be tables or benches at your chosen spot and the last thing you want to do is sit directly on the grass. Maybe opt for a lovely red and white checkered design or select something a little less extravagant — the choice is yours. What’s more, you might even want to buy a piece of plastic tarp to protect your blanket from damp or dirty ground.
2. Cool Box
Cool boxes are ideal for picnic lovers everywhere and are great to use during the warmer months. Designed to keep your food and drinks cold and fresh throughout the day, the cool box really is the perfect way to stop your picnic turning to mush. They are also easy to carry around, come in all different shapes and sizes and will fit nicely in the back of your car. Perfect.
3. Keep it Simple
Picnics should be hassle free, so whatever you do, keep it simple. Avoid packing too much food — as anything you don’t eat you will have to bring back with you — and avoid unnecessary packaging. You really don’t need to wrap your fruit in half a roll of silver foil, when just a thin covering will do. What’s more, don’t worry about buying 50 different types of snack, but instead knock together a few sandwiches and choose five to six extra goodies that everyone will enjoy.
4. Food to Share
The best part of a picnic is laying it all out on your blanket and letting everyone help themselves, so make sure you buy plenty of things you can share. Try to select foods you know your family will like and maybe throw in a few surprises they will love. Crisps are an excellent option as well as breadsticks and dip, sliced fruit and even a selection of nuts. Why not also bake a few goodies such as scones or cheese straws, as these tend to travel well and let your family enjoy your home baking?
5. Food to Avoid
Enjoying a selection of tasty goodies outdoors is the charm of a picnic, however, some foods should be avoided. Don’t pack family sized chocolate bars or cakes, when you know only one or two people are likely to eat them. If left out uneaten for too long, they will melt, turn sticky and attract a host of nasty beasties including wasps and bees. Wrap sweet treats individually in silver foil, so you can throw the wrappers in the bin straight away, or leave them at home to eat later.
What to drink is highly important as it is essential to keep rehydrated, especially on a hot summers day. Avoid fizzy drinks as these may get shaken up en route and go all over you and instead opt for still drinks like bottled water. Drinks with lids are perfect as you won’t have to worry about them falling over and cheeky creepy crawlies won’t be able to crawl in the top without you knowing.
7. Wet Wipes
If you choose to enjoy a relaxing afternoon somewhere rural, the chances are there will be few places around to wash your hands, so why not take along a pack of wet wipes… just in case? Eating outdoors can often be very messy, especially with little ones and the last thing you want is to be covered head to toe in jam with no way of getting it off. Wet wipes are light and take up very little room in any bag, so make sure you carry some with you to avoid sticky situations.
8. Plastic Cutlery
Leave your posh dinner sets at home and bring out the paper plates, plastic cups and plastic cutlery which are simply ideal for a picnic. Highly convenient for outdoor dining, they are inexpensive to buy, won’t weigh you down and can be thrown in the nearest recycling bin as soon as you are finished with them. What’s more, they won’t break if dropped and are perfect to give to the kids while outside. They might not look glamorous, but they will perfectly compliment your cool box and picnic blanket.
9. Choose a Spot in the Shade
Sitting in the sun may seem like a good idea, however, overheating while eating is not at all pleasant. Finding a nice, relaxing spot in the shade is a much better idea, as your food will stay colder for longer and you won’t have to squint constantly to see if you are picking up a scotch egg or a bit of ham. You can always go in the sun after you have eaten, but until then, staying in the shade is a good plan.
10. Sun Cream
Even if it doesn’t look sunny before you set off it is always a good idea to throw some sun cream into the car. The weather can be very changeable and the sun might put its hat on later in the afternoon. You can even burn if it is windy or cloudy, so make sure you protect your skin and cover up where possible — especially if you are planning to be outside for most of the day.
So, there you have it, ten tips to make your picnic super awesome this summer.