At Purely Inspired, we know that it’s the simple wins and guilty pleasures that bring the most joy. And what better way is there to celebrate the start of summer than with a family picnic, a picnic date, or a picnic lunch with good friends?
Since we want to make sure that you do what makes you feel good, we’ve put together this summer picnic checklist with all the feel-good picnic essentials that you’ll need. So, get outside and enjoy dining al fresco this summer with your nearest and dearest.
SUMMER PICNIC CHECKLIST
Summer picnics are all about spending quality time outdoors with the people you love most, and, of course, the food. So, let’s start the summer picnic checklist with easy to make (and eat) picnic food ideas that you, your friends, and family will all enjoy.
Easy To Make (And Eat) Picnic Foods
The best picnic foods are ones that are easy to eat (and make) and don’t require a whole lot of setup once you arrive at your picnic location. So, here are some healthy, feel-good summer picnic food ideas for your summer picnic. And keep in mind, when it comes to choosing the food for your picnic, go with whatever you and your friends like to eat. After all, we’re all about you doing what makes you feel good.
Sandwiches: Easy to make and transport, as well as delicious, sandwiches are the ideal picnic food. You can also make specific sandwiches for certain people who will be attending the picnic. For example, if you or a loved one is vegan, you can make them this Vegetarian Club Sandwich, which is a vegan riff on a club sandwich. The ingredients that you’ll need for this vegan club sandwich are marinated tempeh, fresh veggies, avocado, and two spreads. You can also make any children who will be attending the picnic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, too. For a fresh take on the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you can make these Triple Decker PB & J Tea Sandwiches.
Salads: You can make a traditional garden salad to bring to your picnic, or you can focus more on crowd-pleasing side salads like pasta salad, fruit salad, or potato salad. You can also try this Best Egg Salad recipe, which uses less mayo than traditional egg salad and gets it bright flavors from capers, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. And if anyone at your picnic doesn’t eat eggs, you can swap in crumbled tofu to make it vegan.
Fruit: Fresh fruit is always a hit at any picnic. You don’t need to go overboard with any crazy fruit spreads either. All you need to do is cut up and mix together your favorite fruits in advance to make a fruit salad, or you can even simply hand out bananas, apples, or oranges to everyone.
A Cheese Board: A cheese board is definitely optional, but might be a nice touch for your picnic, especially since no-mess finger foods like bread, cheese, and fruit are ideal for picnics. A cheese board might also win you some bonus points if you’re on a date. Just saying…
Beverages: Make sure to bring along anything that you and your fellow picnic-goers would like to drink, as well. It’s always a good idea to have lots of water on hand at any picnic.
Food Storage and Transportation (And Serving Items)
Now that you know what you’ll be eating and drinking at your picnic, you need a place to store all that food, as well as an easy way to transport everything to your picnic, right? So, here are some ideas for storing and transporting your food to the picnic, as well as some environmentally friendly ideas for when it comes time to serve the food.
Mason Jars: Mason jars allow you to get extra creative with the foods that you can bring to your picnic as they’re great for storing and transporting food. So, if you want to make foods that aren’t necessarily finger foods, mason jars to the rescue! And if you don’t have any mason jars around, use cups, mugs, or whatever storage containers are available to you.
A Cooler: Depending on the food items and drinks that you’re planning on bringing to the picnic, it might be a good idea to fill a cooler up with ice and bring it along with you. You can also store any foods that need to be refrigerated in reusable freezer bags, as well.
A Picnic Basket (Or Tote Bag): If you’re going for style points, you might want to invest in a wicker picnic basket. They look cool and they’ll also be able to hold pretty much everything that you’ll need for your picnic. You can just pack all of your picnic essentials into a tote bag, too.
A Portable And Reusable Plates And Cutlery Set: Rather than buying new plates, bowls, and utensils every time that you host a picnic, a more environmentally friendly option is to get yourself a portable and reusable plates and cutlery set.
Other Serving Items: Also make sure to bring a cutting board, a knife (for cutting), napkins, cups, a bottle opener, and any condiments that you’ll need. When it comes to condiments, a pro tip is to use any extra takeout packets that you have around your house, and then pass them out as needed. You can also use metal straws for your drinks since they’re reusable and environmentally friendly.
Picnic Blankets: You can simply use a throw and surround it with pillows for everyone to sit on. Or, if you’re planning on hosting picnics all summer long, it might be wise to invest in a waterproof picnic blanket. This way you’ll know that your picnic blanket won’t end up wet and soggy.
A Picnic Table And Chairs: While part of the charm of picnics for some people is eating and hanging out on the ground, for others it’s a dealbreaker. So, if that’s the case, make sure that you have a portable picnic table and foldable chairs ready to go for your picnic.
Whenever you’re planning on being outdoors for a while, it’s always a good idea to have some outdoor essentials with you, including sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, and a flashlight (if you’re planning on being out after the sun goes down).
Optional Feel-Good Picnic Items
Some optional feel-good picnic items, which won’t make or break your picnic, but might make it a little bit more fun are portable speakers (as long as you have the perfect picnic playlist ready to go), card games or board games, and sport or activity equipment like frisbees, balls, bubbles, or anything else that your group likes.
Things To Clean Up With
At the end of your picnic, it’s time for everyone to pitch in and help clean up. After all, you don’t want to leave a mess behind. So, make sure that you have some paper towels (or wet wipes), dish towels, trash bags, and extra containers for packing up dirty utensils or leftovers.
The Perfect Picnic Spot The perfect picnic spot may change based on whether you’re having a romantic picnic, a family picnic, or a casual beach picnic. As long as there’s lots of space and a good view, you usually can’t go wrong with your picnic spot. So, get outside and enjoy summer picnics this year!