Ah, summer. The most elusive season in Chicagoland.
To quote the great Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The same goes for summer. It’s here and then it’s not, so it’s important to make the most of it.
One way is by having a picnic or 20. There’s something wonderful about relaxing and eating in the great outdoors. Of course, no great picnic comes without some planning, and in today’s blog post, we offer up some tips.
Choose a Picnic Spot
Location, location, location.
There are many options for a picnic spot, depending on the activities, size of your basket, and privacy. You can never go wrong with picnicking at the end of the park, where there are no dogs and wildly flying frisbees. Your picnic spot should have a scenic backdrop for selfies and pictures to post on social media to make your friends jealous…I mean…to store for a lifetime of memories.
If you don’t feel like schlepping, you can always set up shop in your backyard. Also, don’t rule out adult picnics with meat and cheese boards, and wine. Ravinia, anyone?
Planning The Food
At the center of any great picnic is the food (the same could be said about any occasion, really).
With so many different options, it’s more about deciding which types of food are going to enhance your experience the most and make the day more enjoyable. If being efficient and having easy cleanup is a top priority for you, then you may decide on snacks and finger foods that aren’t going to be messy. If it’s all about the flavor and texture, then you may want to drop any restrictions or limitations and go with whatever suits your cravings.
Whatever you end up choosing, make sure it is relatively easy to eat in a picnic setting, it can be transported without spoiling, and it’s something everyone is going to enjoy.
And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t bring pizza, because by the time you set up, it will be lukewarm and dull, and that is a culinary crime.
Choose a Good Basket (or More)
You may opt for a classic, sturdy picnic basket or a cost-effective duffel bag. Both carriers are viable options for your picnic. Remember to carry a cooler for your chilled drinks.
Make a checklist that includes paper plates, disposable utensils, a waterproof picnic blanket or vintage quilt, and napkins. If you bring wine or beer–which of course you should–you’ll need an opener and some glasses.
One more thing: Thou shalt not forget bug spray and sunscreen.
It’s always nice to work off some of that food with a little physical activity. Bring a game of bags, a football, paddle ball, baseball and gloves, frisbee, or hacky sack (if you must).
I feel like I’m forgetting something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I know it’s related to baskets that enhance the picnic experience that are great gifts for the important people in your lives. Oh yes, it’s coming to me. Sound the 🚨SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT🚨 because we have the perfect gift baskets for your picnic, like our Picnic At Home Gift Basket!
And oh yeah, check the weather first unless you enjoy picnicking in the rain or hail.