Food & Drink

Simple picnic ideas

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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family enjoying a picnic
What better way to spend quality time with the ones you love
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Picnics are a terrific way to enjoy the outdoors and do something fun and out of the ordinary. Here are some simple picnic ideas to get you on your way.

Picnic Equipment The first thing to consider when planning a picnic is the equipment you will need. It's much easier to purchase a picnic hamper, equipped with all the necessities than to pack up plates, cups and utensils from the kitchen. Hampers come with all of these as well as napkins, thermoses and extras such as bottle openers all neatly stored within an attractive and festive package. All the items are washable and reusable, making your picnic not only easy to put together but also environment friendly. At the end of the day simply pack up the basket and any trash and take it with you. If your idea of a great day includes a picnic, purchasing one of these handy items is a must.

Choosing Your Destination Next, turn your attention towards your picnic destination. Parks are always a family favorite, especially for those who have small children. Mom and Dad can relax and finish their lunches while watching the kids play on the slides and swings. The beach is another great venue for a picnic. Kids can make sandcastles or swim and soaking up the warm sun and cooling off in the water is a beautiful way to spend a summer day. Even the grounds of a stately building can provide a beautiful setting for a picnic; just make sure there aren't any "no trespassing" signs nearby!

Food Preparation One of the most obvious but all to often overlooked simple picnic ideas is to prepare the food before you leave the house. Taking ingredients and trying to prepare food out of doors is anything but convenient and you'll be happy you took the time to get everything ready beforehand. Foods such as sandwiches and cold chicken make for great picnic cuisine. Make sure to put any wet ingredients, such as sliced tomatoes in a separate plastic food container to avoid soggy sandwiches later on. Include easy to eat items such as rolls and bagels or cut up veggies and dip. Cookies, tarts or even fruit kabobs with marshmallows make tasty desserts and will be sure to thrill the kids. One of the best simple picnic ideas is to bring a watermelon. This delicious summer treat will be enough dessert for the entire family and is a festive part of any summer picnic. The best part is that you don't have to worry about the mess the kids will make, simply bring along hand wipes for easy clean up. Other simple picnic ideas include remembering the bug spray and sunscreen to ensure your kids can enjoy their day without getting a sunburn or bug bites.

Fun Activities Activities are an important part of any fun picnic. Sack races, treasure hunts, baseball or Frisbee, all require minimal equipment and will provide fun for every family member.

Picnics Aren't Just For Summer! Picnics aren't only for summertime. Simple picnic ideas include having a winter picnic. Go for a hike through the forest and bring along hot soup or hot chocolate in an insulated flask or thermos. Bring sleds and scoot down nearby hills or engage the kids in a snowball fight. Winter picnics can be just as much fun as those held in the summer.

Other Picnic Occasions Not every picnic has to be a family affair. Blanket time for two is one the most romantic and simple picnic ideas. Bring some pretty cushions for extra comfort and a cozy blanket to snuggle up on. Have your picnic in a secluded area for privacy and bring along some champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries. Light tealights in glass tumblers and bring along a portable music player to enhance the mood. Hold your picnic at sunset or sunrise to further increase the romance. If the weather isn't cooperating, don't worry; a picnic on the living room floor is just as romantic, especially with a fire in the fireplace or sensual candles burning for added ambience. Consider surprising your partner by setting up the picnic without their knowledge. It's an easy way to show that you care and they'll appreciate the work that went into your planning.

Whether you hold your picnic in the winter or summer, or if your event includes the kids or just the two of you, simple picnic ideas are plentiful and fun to come up with. Be creative and most of all have fun.

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