Picnicking… More Than Just Food on a Blanket!

By: Toni Cunningham | August 30, 2012
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Don’t let the summer pass you by without enjoying at least one fun-filled day outdoors. An easy way to accomplish this task? Pack up your lunch, grab a friend, loved one or acquaintance and go on a picnic.

To ensure you enjoy your day outdoors, follow the guidelines below for a fun, incident-free summer picnic:


  • Keep it simple: You may want to impress your honey by preparing stuffed tomatoes, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and tiramisu to nosh on, but a fancy, sloppy meal does not a picnic make. Stick to the staples: unfussy sandwiches, five-ingredient pasta salad, zesty potato salad and, if you must, mess-free cookies for dessert.
  • Be prepared: Like most things in life, expect the best but prepare for the worst. Which in this case, means pack plenty of bug spray, extra napkins, plastic utensils, ice, etc.
  • Stay healthy: One way to ruin a perfectly good picnic? Fainting due to dehydration. Keep plenty of H20 handy to avoid any unexpected trips to the E.R. On the same note, ensure that your lunch is kept cold, as food poisoning is not a delightful experience.
  • Keep Fido at home: Unless you are Cesar Millan or the owner of an extremely laid-back breed, your puppy is better off staying with a sitter. First of all, the park may not be dog friendly, and getting into a confrontation with a park ranger might put a damper on your day. Second of all, your dog might eat your lunch.
  • Be unique: Don’t be afraid to bring along a kite or knitting needles or whatever floats your boat. Enjoying your atypical hobby whilst taking in some of Metro Detroit’s skyline is much more interesting than just sitting and watching people power walk around a Metropark, no?
  • Don’t limit yourself location-wise: Who’s to say that picnics can only take place on park benches? If you’d rather pack up your basket and spread your blanket on a rooftop, or a boat, or in your own backyard, no one’s going to stop you!
  • Experience more than just food on a blanket: The party doesn’t end once your food is gone. After dining alfresco, take a hike along a river, through the woods, or along a hillside. While you’re enjoying as much of the day outside as humanly possible, be sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand.
  • Post-picnic activities: Once your lunch and walk are done with, don’t let the fun stop there. If you’re picnicking with the kiddies, bring along bubbles, a coloring book and a soccer ball to play with afterwards. Be sure to pack a camera to capture such scrapbook-able moments.
  • Things to avoid at all costs: Mayonnaise, alcohol and iPod speakers. Just because you enjoy the musical stylings of Rihanna does not mean everyone else at the park shares your taste (or lack thereof) in music. Add alcohol to the mix and this scenario will only worsen.
  • Most importantly: Have fun! A picnic is a great way to drink in the last few days of summer and enjoy the day outdoors.

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