Essentials for the Perfect Picnic

It’s summer which means taking advantage of eating al fresco any chance you can get! Whether you are planning an extravagant picnic for a big group of friends or looking for some some quiet solo time, here are some tips for packing the perfect picnic

1. Location

Source: Sarah Sherman Samuel

Ideally you already have an ideal spot in mind: a public park with a picnic table and benches under a shady oak tree, a beach nook that is sheltered from the wind, or a hilltop with a view accessible by an easy hiking trail. Don’t have any of these prime places nearby? Set up the picnic in your own backyard—it’s a good opportunity to utilize your lawn for a personal picnic or for hosting your weekly supper club!

2. Picnic Basket

Source: Free / Man Brand

Opt for a large basket or sturdy tote to transport all your necessary goodies: blankets, napkins, food, drinks, plateware, glassware. According to Molly Sowers, Founder of Wine Camp California, a communal food and wine experience on the Central Coast of California, “It’s always a good idea to invest in a solid bag, backpack, or basket if you’re a regular picnic goer—and an even better idea if it has a compartment that’s insulated! Here are a couple of suggestions: Apolis + Kinfolk Garden Bag or Bamboo 21-Piece Insulated Picnic Basket.”

3. Picnic Blanket

Source: A Fresh Exchange

“A Mexican Blanket is essential. You can use it on the grass, sand, or thrown over a picnic table for a quick table cloth. The easiest way to picnic, in our opinion, is with grab-and-go eats from a market or an eatery. Just remember to pack a wine key, a sharp knife, and cutting board if you’re serving fruit, cheeses, and meats,” explains Molly.

If lugging around a bulky Mexican blanket is too cumbersome, try lightweight Turkish towels or an old bed sheet.

4. Shareable Spread

Source: Half Baked Harvest

Shareable finger foods are the most convenient for both consumption and clean up. A guaranteed home run is a gorgeous cheese board, but the possibilities for simple but delicious recipes are endless: bite-sized sandwiches, seasonal baked goods, or mason jar meals.

Here are a three to get you inspired:

Roasted Garlic, Salami, Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil Sandwich

Source: Say Yes

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Source: Gimme Some Oven

Strawberry Rhubarb Mason Jar Cobbler

Source: Inspired By Charm

5. Easy Cleanup and Shatterproof Glasses

Source: Lily and Val

“The 12 oz. Govino stemless shatterproof glasses are where it’s at in terms of glassware—timeless and affordable,” says Molly.

6. Games & Music

Source: Design Love Fest

Have a few hours to hang out leisurely? Bring along your favorite lawn games (bocce ball, croquet), board games (checkers, scrabble) or even a good old-fashioned pack of playing cards to keep you and your guests entertained throughout the afternoon. If you’re looking to combine all your favorite lawn games into one, Rollors is a fun option. Created by a vet in Afghanistan, the yard game brings together bocce, bowling, and horseshoes into one, and it can be played in sand or grass.

Don’t forget the music! It’s so easy to sync up your favorite playlists via your phone with portable speakers. Background music is the icing on the cake when it comes to creating the ambiance of your afternoon picnic.

What’s in your picnic basket? Share your recommendations in the comments below!