This holiday weekend, many of you will be enjoying the outdoors, hopefully with the notable absence of oppressive heat or menacing storms. The kids are off school, you’re off work, and it’s July. July, friends—smack in the thick of summer, with long days of sunlight, perfect for all kinds of backyard and front-yard and any-other-yard shenanigans.
We love picnics and outdoor barbecues because they fuel all that summer play without having to stop what you’re doing to head somewhere else for food. And picnic food is fun! Whether packing lunch for the whole family for an afternoon at the park, or a romantic basket for two as you sit and watch the fireworks together, there are so many ways to make a picnic more memorable. So tell us:
Do you have any tips for making a picnic extra special?
Maybe you have a signature dish that everyone looks forward to at picnics, or a favorite low-maintenance dish to pack. Or maybe you have a trick for packing and transporting the food. Perhaps you even have a special way of laying out the spread on a picnic table or on a pretty blanket on the ground, or favorite activities and games to play. Or maybe you have a few do-ahead tips to make the picnic extra special for you because it makes your work easier. Whatever it is, we want to hear it. Come share below!
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Lynne R on 7.2.2015
One event that was very memorable was when the kids and I had a picnic on the roof of our house. The grade wasn’t too steep, the kids were old enough and it was novel. (Bonus: it took the thrill/desire to get on the roof away from those curious buggers–I no longer had to worry about them wanting to climb onto the roof behind my back.)
We ate nothing at all special, but the different perspective made it a fun time.
Erika (TK) on 7.2.2015
Kim, I love that approach! Spontaneous picnicking. I’m going to try to do that this summer. Thanks!
kim on 7.2.2015
Big planned-in-advance family picnics are great fun, but why limit yourself to once or twice a year picnics? I keep a big rattan-like fold-up mat and some simple picnic supplies in my car all the time. That way if it’s a pretty day we can pick up some simple eats at a grocery store or even a fast food joint and spread out the mat in a park and have an impromptu picnic.
You’d be surprised how much fun a few burgers and a $.99 bottle of bubbles can be on a lovely summer day.
Beth B. on 7.2.2015
I have a really small home (and I love it). But, when it comes time for holidays and family gatherings, we have to move everyone outside on the deck (no room inside for everyone). I have learned to delegate the food which keeps the kitchen from getting so hot and crowded. So, my husband usually grills the meat and veggies on the grill outside and then my family bring the sides and desserts. This makes for an easy and enjoyable get-together with our family. And that’s really what it is all about – getting together! Happy July 4th!
Helena Mouta on 7.2.2015
I have two boys: a 5-year-old and a 9-month old. Their school has been having lots of picnics with the families of the kids and I love them, but with the two boys, two jobs and very little free time, I’m always looking for easy ways to satisfy everyone and not drive myself crazy. So, lately, my go to picnic foods are: wraps, any kind, any filling (as long as they’re packed properly in lots of ice) – people love them, including my oldest, and they’re dead easy to make; Puff pastry – buy a sheet, unroll it, cover in grated cheese and sliced ham, or brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar ans cinnamon, roll up, cut into slices, bake and wow everyone; Chocolate chip cookies – perfect anytime and everyone’s favorite!
Kate Sparks on 7.2.2015
Lots of stuff nestled in ice. And lots of ice!!! Remember you can substitute Greek yogurt for mayo!
C. L. ( Cheryl ) "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser on 7.1.2015
I am 75% ready for our annual 4th of July celebration with family, friends and fireworks. Many of the foods are prepared and frozen. I will make fresh salads, beans, grilling meats that day. I use very little mayonnaise based foods due to the intense Florida heat. Food safety is one of my most concerns. Happy 4th Everyone!!! Enjoy and be safe.