On a warm summer's day, there's nothing more idyllic than a picnic with family and friends.
It doesn't have to be soggy sarnies and bruised fruit. The options to eat outside in style are endless and picnicking has never been so much fun!
If you are looking for inspiration of how to upgrade your picnic, look no further.
The Perfect Picnic Spot
It goes without saying that picnics are definitely more fun in the sun, so where’s the best place to put your picnic blanket?
In a meadow : Sit back and relax and watch the wonders of nature around you in a glorious wild-flower field. Be sure to place your blanket on a patch of grass, rather than on the flowers themselves.
Local Park : The benefit of a park is that there will be a play area for the kids, so you can have your picnic base and the children can let off steam.
The Beach: This has to be one of the best locations for children as they have the beach to play on, buckets and spades and they can paddle in the sea. Just be careful you don't get too much sand in the sandwiches! And plan ahead to avoid the busiest beaches during sunny weekends.
Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Your Garden: To make mealtimes more exciting with little kids, it's fun to lay out a blanket and eat outside in the garden, with specially invited teddies.
A Beauty Spot: You may have scaled a steep hill and your reward is a picnic at the top with a view, what greater incentive to get up that hill! Riverbanks, canals and babbling brooks also make good spots for children who are old enough to know the dangers of water.
National Trust: How about a luxury picnic with a stately home in the background, with acres of grounds for children to freely run around in? Check the National Trust's website for venues that are open this summer.
Here are some more places to have the perfect picnic.
Picnic Top Tips
Check the weather: Before you set off, check the weather as you may need a plan B if the skies open.
Be prepared: Make sure you do as much as you can the night before and then it's not a mad panic to pack the picnic in the morning while also trying to get the kids ready. Don't go for anything too complicated or messy, bearing in mind you will be carrying the food, so pack well. Don't forget to pack your anti-bacterial wipes, hand gel and possibly the bug spray!
Keep it cool: If you want to keep your food chilled, put it in a cool bag with ice packs.
Be seated: If you're not a fan of sitting on the ground, bring some fold up chairs, as long as you don't mind carrying them.
Beware of the dog: Some people like to walk their dogs off lead. Dogs will make a beeline towards your sausage rolls (which they will truly believe you have carefully prepared for them). Best to pick a secluded spot off the beaten track.
Check diets: Find out if any of your picnic party guests have a food intolerance or allergy, or if they are vegetarian or vegan and cater accordingly.
Share the love : Suggest everyone brings a snack for a picnic with family and friends.
Don't forget the drinks : Small juice cartons for the kids or, to save money, make up a water bottle filled with juice. Not forgetting the adults -- how about an elderflower cordial with fresh mint, a summer Pimms, wine or bubbles?
Extras : Make sure you bring napkins for kids to catch crumbs as they nibble on their food. While food waste will biodegrade, it will also encourage vermin, who may not be welcome in some outdoor settings like parks.
Recyclable packaging : Packed lunch boxes will cut down the need for plastic bags. You can also use eco-friendly paper straws, paper plates and bamboo cutlery to avoid using single-use plastic.
Pop-up tent : If the weather looks changeable, bring a lightweight pop-up tent for the kids to have a cosy, dry sanctuary.
Beeswax wraps for food: This is organic, washable, reusable and all of the packaging is 100% recyclable and fully biodegradable, and a fabulous alternative to cling film.
Bring a rubbish bag: Easily forgotten, but this will help to gather any rubbish ready to throw in a bin.
Top Favourite Picnic Snacks To Impress
The beauty of picnic food is it's a mixed platter of exciting, smaller, cold, snacks with minimal prep. Here are some favourites, without a sandwich in sight.
Salads: A few ideas include; vegetable couscous, three bean salad, pesto pasta and pine nut home-made chunky coleslaw and new potato and chive salad.
Beetroot or pepper hummus: With pitta bread or bread sticks, carrot and cucumber sticks (store in a cup) to dip, a perfect picnic snack for adults and kids.
Cheese and chive straws: And home-made mini quiches.
Chocolate brownies: Plus flapjacks , fairy cakes, banana bread or cookies.
Strawberry and feta skewers: Or if for children prepared as a salad.
Falafel wraps: A perfect picnic option for a vegetarian.
Mini cold pizza slices: Cook the night before, ready to eat the next day.
Fresh fruit : Watermelon slices, raspberries, pineapple chunks.
Sausage rolls : A real classic, even better if home-made (vegetarian substitutes are available).
Scotch eggs: Vegetarian Quorn alternatives are available, and delicious.
Sushi: Home-made or from the supermarket.
Gazpacho in a flask: The ultimate refreshing summer soup.
Cheese and biscuits: Including brie, camembert and roquefort.
Tear and share garlic bread
Summer orange cake
Yogurt and honey
Homemade cheese scones: Or plain scones with fresh clotted cream and jam.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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