Wondering how to take advantage of the summer months and spend more quality time with your friends and family? One activity to try is planning a picnic. Picnics have been around for hundreds of years from similar ideas such as potlucks in France to outdoor feasts in China. Now is a great time to have a picnic with the weather warming up and to celebrate International Picnic Day on June 18th. Since they can look a lot of different ways, you might be wondering how to plan the perfect outdoor picnic. Whether it be a casual date to a family get-together, devising an amusing picnic can be a piece of cake with these helpful pointers. Here are 10 fun, easy ideas for things to do on a picnic:
- Bring along your favorite people
- Have a themed picnic
- Stay safe and prepared
- Prepare snacks or a meal
- Explore new places
- Set the scene
- Put down your phone
- Play some outdoor sports
- Make some art
- Enjoy nature around you
Bring along your favorite people
What’s a picnic without hanging out with the people you enjoy? Like we mentioned earlier, a picnic doesn’t just have to be with family or your coworkers on a company outing. Picnics are also a great way to spend romantic quality time with your partner or catch up with old friends. You should organize the day around the other people you invite for the best time possible.
Have a themed picnic
Throwing a themed picnic is an excellent opportunity to express your creativity. The concept is to choose an idea that the rest of the picnic follows. It can determine how you dress and the activities you choose. For example, if you wanted to have a 4th of July-themed picnic, you could have everyone wear red, white, and blue, and grill burgers. The theme of your picnic could include what foods to bring, like having a Mexican fiesta and bringing tacos. Whether your theme centers around costumes, or drinking games, or different cultures, it’s a fun way to include new activities at your next picnic!
Stay safe and prepared
As much as picnics are fun for you and your friends, they can be just as fun for unwanted outside critters. The best way to prevent a spoiled picnic is to prepare ahead for the unwanted possibilities. Besides packing for food and activities there are some essential items to include for nothing to get in the way. Here’s a brief list:
- Hand sanitizer and baby wipes
- Bug spray
- Blanket/tablecloth weights
- Food covers
- Trash bags
The items on the list ensure you and your food will be kept safe for an outdoor picnic. When in doubt it’s better to pack extra, just make sure you don’t pack your backpack or picnic basket too heavy!
Prepare snacks or a meal
Easy is the key word when it comes to picnic food. Easy to prepare, easy to pack, easy to eat, and easy to clean up afterward. Typically this includes food that can be kept in a cooler and can be eaten with your hands or little silverware. Some picnic classics include fresh fruit, sandwiches, salads, and deli meats and cheeses. For drinks, the same rule of easy applies. The best drinks to bring to a picnic are bottled or resealable that you can fit in a cooler.
There are two main alternatives to packing cold, light meals for a picnic. The first is grilling or barbecuing on-site if available. The second is to order take-out either to your location or on the way to keep preparing food uncomplicated. Both options allow for more flexibility and the possibility of eating hot, ready-made food instead of traditional picnic food. Before you leave, do check that you leave your spaces cleaner than you found them.
Explore new places
If you are wanting to get to know a new area or just know your town’s environment better, arrange a picnic in a new place! You may just discover a new spot for hangouts, exercise, or a personal hobby. Public parks aren’t the only places for picnics, research if there are any state parks, rivers or lakes, beaches, hiking trails available for picnics. For some ideas on picnic spots in The Woodlands check out this list made by Visit the Woodlands Texas.
Set the scene
Other things to do on a picnic to make an area feel more special are to set the scenes. This should come after you have picked your location and a possible theme to determine a mood to set. The best way to do this is to make yourself comfortable where you are. Common ways to do this are to bring blankets, pillows, and lawn chairs for the most comfort.
Besides setting a scene by feeling your best, another tactic to make your picnic area look its best. Depending on the occasion, you could take attractive tablecloths and extra lighting with you for an enhanced mood. To go the extra mile, bring some flowers and other decorations to bring a plain picnic table to its full potential.
Put down your phone
As long as you are trying to enjoy the outdoors with a picnic, you won’t be making the most of the moment if you are staring at a screen. Pay attention to the company of those around you, not those pesky notifications. Ways to encourage no phones is to play games or have old-fashioned conversations to get to know each other better. It’s best to savor the quality time you have with your friends and family over a nice meal and friendly competition.
Play some outdoor sports
Outdoor sports are a fun way to break the ice or spend time waiting to eat. Let off some steam of a busy work week to compete in classic games. There’s a chance if you go to a public park they will have some pre-set games like ring toss, horse-shoes, or tetherball. For larger groups, some team sports like kickball and soccer are opportunities for everyone to get involved in a fun activity. An alternative to the high-energy team sports are some low-key non-competitive sports like catching hacky sacks and frisbees.
Make some art
If sports aren’t your speed, then try getting together for arts and crafts at your next picnic. No one has to be a professional when everyone is coming together for a good time. Some ideas for supplies include bringing colored pencils or crayons for sketching your surrounding environment or coloring in relaxing adult coloring books. The last creative activity to try is taking photos either on your phone or a Polaroid camera to make memories and share online.
Enjoy nature around you
Unless you’ve chosen an indoor theme, the last thing to do on a picnic is to take in the scenery as you spend time outdoors. Going outside is linked to lower levels of stress and an improved mood over time. With your phone out of the way, there’s a lot to appreciate from the sounds of running water and birds chirping to the feeling of sunlight on your skin. So take a walk through nature and enjoy a relaxing time off with a perfect picnic.
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