Great picnic ideas for this summer

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picnic ideas

With spring almost here and the Easter holidays coming up, now’s the time to start planning ahead for a perfect picnic – so the moment the sun shines, you’re good to go!

Picnics are one of the cheapest yet most enjoyable days out you can have as a family. Here’s a step by step guide to creating the perfect picnic:

Make a check list

How annoying is a hotdog without mustard or tea without sugar? Don’t let the lack of planning spoil your picnic. Having a checklist also means you keep track of just how much you are likely to spend. If you find yourself having frequent picnics over the summer, then consider treating yourself to a fully kitted out picnic hamper.

Coastal Bamboo Hamper | John Lewis | £30

bamboo picnic hamper Presented in an attractive wicker bamboo design with twin lids, this empty hamper is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon picnic and has plenty of storage space inside. Lightweight and easy to carry with two convenient handles.

 

 

 

Four Person Picnic Hamper | Amazon | £37.85

amazon picnic hamper If you are feeling luxurious, then this four person picnic hamper might just be the thing for you. It comes packed with : 4 X 7″ ceramic plates,  4 stainless steel knives(which can be found at the All Knives site) – fork & spoon, 4 wine glasses,  4 napkins, 1 cork screw, 1 bottle opener, and a ceramic salt and pepper shaker.

 

Pick the right food

  1. Nuts are always a hit. Full of energy and protein they are also nutritious.
  2. Lemonade is almost compulsory. Try freezing lemonade and fruit juice cartons the night before and getting them out on the morning of the picnic.
  3. If out with friends, you can ask everyone to bring along ‘potluck’ dishes in Tupperware. Keep in mind what can be easily carried. It’s much easier for everyone if you choose just to bring finger food. This way you don’t really need cutlery.
  4. Where double chocolate chip cookies might be a good idea, an elaborate black forest gateau might not be a good fit to a picnic.
  5. If you want to, bring along hot food. If you do, it’s important that the food stays hot throughout. You will need to get a light grill with you to reheat the meal. In the meantime wrap the hot food in towels, then newspaper and finally place it in a heavy bag – or try a Thermos food container. Amazon does Thermos food containers starting from £16 with free delivery thrown in.
  6. Leave out food that will get soggy by the hour. So if you are packing a pasta salad, make sure that it is dry. Similarly, when packing bread, make sure that you pack ‘hard’ bread or baguettes.
  7. Bring plenty to drink. In fact, go overboard with water. You never know how long you will be out there and kids tend to get thirsty all the time. Carry alternative thirst quenchers like homemade smoothies and ice lollies.
  8. Flask for tea and coffee. Again, Amazon comes in handy with a range of ‘drink pods’ for £10.99.
  9. If it’s hot, don’t worry if your chocolate melts – it makes a great fondue for any pieces of fruit you’ve brought along.
  10. Freeze a bottle of water overnight and you can use it as an icepack to help keep food cool.

Pick the right spot

When the weather is good you will find the local hotspots jammed full with fellow picnickers. Some might like that sort of thing but if you prefer to have a bit of elbow space, you might to look for bright fresh ideas for picnic spots. I have nothing against having a picnic in a public park that allows dogs in but beware of where you spread your picnic cloth!

Carry along waterproof tarp or rubbish bags and lay them down on the ground before you spread your picnic cloth for a sit down. This will not only keep the cloth dry, but you will also be better protected against creepy crawlies.  Inflatable cushions are a nice touch and they save on space.

Recce the area for toilet facilities and baby changing facilities. Check out our 10 best places to have a picnic to find that perfect spot.

Pack smart

Bring along a cooler. Keep cooked and raw food in different compartments. Try using zip-lock bags. Pack the food and drinks snugly so that the cooler or icebox doesn’t rattle during the journey. If possible carry the cooler in an air-conditioned car instead of a hot trunk. You can pick one up at Amazon for under £8.42 with free delivery.

Precautions

Sunglasses, hand sanitisers and a high SPF sunscreen lotion are absolute musts. Pack cleaning wipes, disposable cloths and paper towels for cleaning surfaces. Make sure that you are sitting or have access to some shade. Heat-strokes have the nasty habit of coming on unannounced.

Kids’ essentials

Board games and Frisbees. If you are getting kids along, don’t forget to pack your first aid kit too. Check out our resident deals expert’s article on where to get cheap board games.

And lastly, just remember to clean up afterwards.  No one likes a litterbug!