The warmer weather feels like it is finally here to stay and the summer is stretching out in front of us. With school holidays impending, it’s good to have a whole host of family-friendly activities tucked up your sleeve to make the most of time together, and of course, prevent dreaded school holiday boredom and blues.
Picnics are huge crowd-pleasers for everyone of all ages. Gather up friends and family, some good food and you can create endless fun for an afternoon. We think there are a few basics to cover before you set off, but with a bit of forward planning, you can play ‘host with the most’ al fresco at the drop of a hat - a vital skill to master with the way our weather changes!
Planning your picnic in advance
Whether we’ve just planted a picnic themed seed in your head, or you have a firm date in the diary, the best place to start is to create a plan. Any of our diaries contain ample notes pages for jotting down invitees, menu ideas and potential locations, but if you’re not already a proud owner of our clever stationery, and picnic planning is on your to-do list (alongside a hundred other things for the rest of the family, of course) we would highly recommend a Pocket Life Book Diary. With a week to view layout, there are helpful features such as a shopping list, weekly meal planner and to-do list, all of which lend themselves perfectly to picnic planning. All in a book small enough to pop in your handbag, perfect for when you’re on the go!
Before setting off on any adventures, we would highly recommend considering whether you’re going to bake and create your own food and drinks, or pop to the shops to stock up on supplies beforehand. Either way, the shopping list feature in the Pocket Life Book Diary is a great way to keep track of what you need to pick up in preparation. Also, a little investigation into any new picnic locations you have in mind can go a long way, we’ve jotted down our picnic planning essentials below, ensuring you set off with everything you need to enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
Tasty treats to take to a picnic
There are no rules with picnic food. You can stick to the classics and prepare an array of sandwiches, pastries, cake, and fruit, or use the opportunity of being out and about to try something totally new. However, there are a few things we’ve learned along the way. Don’t forget that although dining outdoors can be a great deal of fun, little ones still need to eat a nutritious meal in order to prevent you from returning home only to rustle up more food. Pasta salads, sandwiches, and pieces of fruit are easy to transport and filling before moving on to some tasty picnic treats.
Picnic location planning
Jotting down picnic locations as and when you come across them can be great to refer back to when planning where’s next on your list of places to visit. There are a few essentials that we look for in an excellent location. While we know we really can’t control it, we can go a little way to ensure we have perfect picnic conditions. Beaches can be beautiful, but they are also often a little windy, which can cause havoc if you aren’t fully prepared to pin napkins and paper plates down. Parks are lovely and safe for little ones to play, but always try and find a spot with some partial shade, should the afternoon sun feel a little too strong. Also, take note of the parking situation, your food, blankets, and kit can be heavier to carry than you anticipate. Most importantly, but often forgotten, double check there are some loos and facilities for everyone’s use nearby.
Easy activities to take to a picnic
While good company and great food can be all you need for an excellent grown-up picnic, children will often want to run themselves ragged, making the most of the good weather and new surroundings. A ball, any shape or size, a Frisbee or even just a pack of a favourite card game can be all you need to provide hours of entertainment and are the perfect size for little ones to carry.
Other essential supplies we couldn’t be without
After many a picnic, and many an improvisation, we’ve finally nailed the other essentials which we now can’t be without when organising a perfect outing. Alongside our usual cutlery, a small, sharper knife is incredibly handy for everything from peeling the skin off an apple for your fussy eater, to cutting off the packaging on the new ball you’ve just bought. We also take a bit of time beforehand pairing up our food storage container collection to ensure we can safely bring home leftover food - there’s no point bagging things up if it’s only going to get ruined on the journey! Finally, folding up a large bin bag will save rushed rummaging around at the end of the day making the tidying up and going home process so much easier when everyone is exhausted.
Looking for other family activity planning tips?
The Boxclever Press blog is a hub for ideas and articles when it comes to planning and organising family events and activities. We have a wealth of information answering your questions from experts in the field, alongside some of your favourite bloggers and influencers. But, if something is still puzzling you, and you can’t find the answers on our website, please just give our friendly customer service team a shout, they love to help! You can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you prefer, pick up the phone 01963 824199, we love to chat.