Blue Suit Mom

Host The Ultimate Family Picnic

Great news, ladies. Picnic season is finally upon us. That means it’s time to dig out those checkered blankets and sun-stained wicker baskets. Got ’em? Good. Now throw them away along with all your other preconceived notions on how to host a drab family picnic, because you’re going to be the mom who throws the unforgettable family picnic — a picnic you and your family will absolutely love.

Location, Location, Location

Sure, you can go to the local park or nearby congregation of old splintery picnic tables, but why go somewhere so predictable and boring? Instead, pick a location that feels more like a day vacation, like the beach or a nearby lake. Mixing things up and taking your family to a place they don’t expect is a great way to inspire memories and frivolity.

Believe it or not the time of day matters too. If you go to the beach you can find a place to set up near the tide pools or just a big log for seating and bring an abundance of firewood for an early morning picnic when it’s still blustery enough for a fire. Or you can set up on the dock of a lake with the sunset falling in the background. Take advantage of mother nature and let her do half the work for you by adding these little bits of wonder to your family’s day.

Food & Drink

Now let’s get one thing straight, just because the setting should be spectacular doesn’t mean the edibles have to be. We all know that the essence of a picnic is a perfectly packed meal to eat and enjoy outside, but do you remember what I said about preconceived notions? You need to get crafty and resourceful — no one wants to spend hours of their day preparing and the best way to avoid this is to simplify and pack things that are easy but fun.

For food, it’s best to think creative instead of excessive, like presliced apples. You really don’t need to pack things too far removed from your daily fare, but you want to make them easily edible without accessories like forks and knives. Make cold pasta cups or even fruit parfaits with plastic straw lids you can use with utensils already poked inside of them. Not only are they convenient to eat, but they are even easier to stack and throw away. Make easy finger foods like pigs-in-a-blanket or pizza rolls with cheese, meat and sauce layered inside Pillsbury crescent rolls.

For beverages, you don’t need to bring a big bottle of soda, plastic container of juice or a glass pitcher of sun tea — all of that takes up room in your ride and can be a pain carrying it out to your location. Instead, mix up a family favorite lemonade or iced tea and pour it into large mason jars for easy transport and pouring. Mason jars are durable, strong and, let’s face it, pretty freakin’ cute, so throwing them in the cooler will save you space and give you peace of mind. If you have children, take some juice and freeze it in ice cube trays the night before to make the perfect, colorful addition to a plain ol’ cup of sprite.

The food and beverages are the bread and butter of your picnic. Without them, everyone will pile in the rig for a road trip to the nearest fast food joint and ruin all the fun. So buy a little insurance for all of your future family outings and get yourself something reliable and cool, like a YETI cooler.

Fun & Games

The aim is to avoid tech. Bring toys for all ages from a frisbee, kite or hula hoop, to fishing gear or corn hole. Plan little surprises throughout the trip to keep your family engaged and looking forward to whatever may come next. The best way to keep kids entertained is to offer multiple forms of entertainment at once, from a bubble station to burlap sack races. For teen and adult entertainment you can always throw in your family’s favorite board game or a deck of cards.

It’s relaxing and enjoying family time that makes a picnic special and memorable. Think about each person attending and include something they would enjoy. Doing this adds variety to your event and ensures a smile on everyone’s face.

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