3 Things You Need for a Great Family Picnic

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With longer days and better weather, summertime is ideal for a picnic with the family. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but there are several things that you can do in advance to set yourself up for success and make things easier.

When something is easy to do, we do it more often. And frequent picnicking is a good habit to get into, especially if you have small children. The kids can play and breathe the fresh air and parents don’t need to worry about the mess or noise.

Fresh air is good for parents, too.

1. Have the right gear.

Be prepared with the right items to make your outdoor meal a pleasant adventure. Tablecloths, disposable serving ware, sunscreen, bug spray, and some kind of shade are ideal. Sure, you can make a go of it without those items, but they do make things easier.

For those impromptu picnics, I keep a bag packed with picnic supplies, so that I don’t have to bustle about trying to find stuff when really we just want to get out the door.

2. Have the right food.

Picnic food doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simple food is usually better for packing and eating out of doors. The most important part is to bring along food that you know your crowd enjoys. Picnics aren’t usually the best place to experiment with recipes unless you’re bringing along a loaf of bread and the jar of peanut butter as back-up.

Some of our favorite picnic foods include:

I usually also pack along portable juices, chips, cookies, fruit, and veggies.

3. Have the right attitude.

Wind, rain, or bugs may put a damper on our picnic. Kids may fuss and argue. You might forget a crucial part of the meal.

A picnic in real life is never like those elegant affairs you see in British movies where all the children are dressed in immaculate white, and there are no bugs, and the butler is standing by to serve you.

But, it’s just a picnic. So keep perspective. Even if things don’t go exactly according to plan, you and your family can still have a great time.

What tricks do you have for a great picnic?

This post is sponsored by Mott’s. As a Mott’s Mom I have been compensated for my time spent writing. Participation in this program is voluntary; all opinions are my own.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Timely post! I’m having about a million of my daughter’s toddler friends over to our house for a backyard picnic on Saturday. I’ve been stressing about food and it’s a good reminder to stick to the crowd-pleasers. Love the idea of having a bag packed and ready at all times. I’ll definitely have to try that.

  2. Having a bag packed and ready to go is a great idea! I’ve got all my cups, plates, blankets, etc all in different places. I love this!

    Oh, to have a butler and a bug-free zone. LOL

  3. I love those covers you have in the photo for the food! Where did you get them?

  4. I always laugh at those picnics with the butlers and china dishes they packed up the hill like on Emma!!
    I was looking at backpacks that have all the dishes and stuff ready in it.

  5. I wanna go on a picnic now. Gotta get out my basket and dust it off.
    Games are a great picnic fun. Kites, frisbees, soccer ball or football.

  6. Thanks for your fabulous tips and for being a Mott’s mom with me!

  7. Stephanie says

    Been a busy week at our house, but the weather man says it s gonna cool off tomorrow so I think we’ll take our pizza night to the park! I was feeling bad that we hadn’t been doing fun summer stuff this week and was wondering what I could do. Thanks for the inspiration! Love the idea of keeping a picnic bag/basket packed all the time. I have wanted to do that so many times and just never get around to it. Gonna have to get on that. PS: I love that striped tablecloth!

  8. I keep a picnic/park bucket with hand wipes, sanitizer, paper towels, tp, sunscreen, waters, and our picnic blanket. Our picnic blanket is a blank canvas drop cloth. It comes in handy when it’s all together and we are much more likely to have a picnic or stay at a park if we have those.

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