Dining al fresco is often associated with securing outdoor seating at a local restaurant. However, anyone can enjoy al fresco dining at home, in a park or even on the beach.
Picnics make it easy to enjoy a meal in an idyllic setting. Though there’s no rules governing picnics other than those posted by local park officials, the following are some essential components of a fun picnic.
The menu for a picnic need not be elaborate, but there’s also room for foods that are a little more fancy than sandwiches. Sandwiches are still acceptable picnic fare, but those who want to expand their horizons can prepare cheeseboards, salads, fresh fruit, and other items that are easily prepared and packed in a picnic basket. It’s best to avoid hot foods, as they can be difficult to keep warm. Small grills might be allowed in certain parks, but it’s best to keep in mind that others may not want to deal with smoke from burning coals. So individuals who plan to grill during a picnic should choose a remote spot that won’t affect those around them.
Cold beverages, including water, can ensure no one is overcome by heat. Individuals who want to bring alcohol should only do so on private property, as many local laws do not allow consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces like parks and beaches. A cooler with cold beverages stored in ice can be a good idea if a lot of people will be attending the picnic.
Reusable containers decrease the chances of creating litter. All it takes is one stiff wind for single-use, resealable plastic bags to blow away, and it’s not always easy to track those bags down. Picnickers should aspire to take out everything that they take in, and reusable containers make that easier to accomplish.
Basket and Tablecloth
A tablecloth does more than just set the scene for a picnic. Tablecloths collect crumbs and keep them off the ground, which can decrease the likelihood that uninvited guests like ants will join the festivities. Tablecloths also ensure utensils can be set out and put down without getting dirty.
Though it’s entirely possible some guests will want to sit on the ground throughout the picnic, some comfortable seating can provide the perfect respite when the hard ground begins to feel a little less accommodating. Instruct guests to bring their own foldable lounge chairs, and don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket or two so anyone who wants to nap can catch a few winks. When hosting a beach picnic, look for blankets that dry quickly. Some are even made of fabric that filters out sand to keep it off of food.
Bug spray, sunscreen, a bluetooth speaker, biodegradable waste bags, some sports equipment and other items to keep adults and kids occupied, and even a portable fan to keep guests cool and repel mosquitoes are some additional must-haves for a fun picnic.
A picnic in the park or on the beach can be a great way to dine outside and relax in the summer sun.