No sooner has spring arrived than we start seeing images of beautifully matchy families happily enjoying an artisanal meal in a meadow full of wildflowers. Yes it's that special time of year when we all get lured into the beauty of that Instaworthy and magical meal, the picnic.
Picnics can be great, but before you go overboard with the travel charcuterie and imported wicker basket, a few tips to make your next outing a success.
1. The Location
Ask yourself a few questions before you get too deep into the planning stages. Where do you envision this picnic happening? An alpine vista, tropical beach, the sidewalk near your house? Anywhere you eat outside can be considered a picnic and the best ones are often the simplest. Want that picture-perfect spot? Go for it. Prefer the mulch of your local playground? Also a great choice.
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2. The Food
Ok so you've figured out the perfect picnic spot, now what to eat? Nothing ruins a picnic faster than food poisoning so be cautious on the food safety front. And keep in mind that kids who don't eat kale under normal conditions, won't eat kale al fresco either. Remember the idea is fun together as a family. If that means a bag of Goldfish crackers and juice boxes all around then so be it. But if you do want to prepare something a little more substantial, these ideas can get you started.
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3. The Gear
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a picnic basket to have a picnic. A plastic bag or empty Lego bin will work just fine. Refer back to item 1, location? If you'll have to walk very far, plan accordingly with your gear. And because kids already require a ridiculous amount of stuff to leave the house, you'll probably want to keep your food transport as simple as possible and an uncomfortable basket handle over an armful of toys, water bottles, and diaper bags may not be ideal.
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4. The Entertainment
Wait, isn't being together in the great outdoors entertainment enough? Hilarious. After the kids take approximately 3.5 bites of food they'll be ready for a new activity. Keep this in mind when planning your location (there's a reason that's the first thing to think about when planning a picnic). If you haven't chosen a playground or park for your outing, bring a ball or some notebooks and pens, or try one of these activity options - anything to provide a little fun so you can at least eat before packing it all up to head home again.
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5. The Bottom Line
It probably won't go as planned, seriously this is family life after all. But you'll make some memories and hopefully have some good times along the way. And anyway, isn't that what it's all about?