Our summer schedule is always chock-full of events: fireworks for Canada Day and the Fourth of July, old-fashioned backyard barbecues, road trips, graduation parties, outdoor concerts, and long, languid outdoors meals shared with friends and family in the gorgeous summer sunshine.
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In the 19th century, picnics were considered a way of life for leisured people (think Jane Austen’s Emma), with set-up and cleanup often requiring many hours of planning and cooking, plus a half-dozen servants. Today, we’re a little bit more casual about things—no stagecoaches required—in preparing our outdoor meals. Still, a little bit of prep can go a long way. Read on to find out how to prepare a perfect summer picnic.
Gather your gear (see below). Apply sunscreen and don your big hats, funky shades, and flip-flops. Make sure everyone in your party knows when and where to meet up, and do a last-minute weather check.
We love parks and beaches for picnicking, but really anywhere with a flat surface will do just fine—including your own backyard. Urban dweller? Check your city’s parks website for a list of potential picnic locations.
Blanket or oversized mat, basket, cooler, utensils, paper towels, wet wipes, trash bags, and hand sanitizer.
Food and drinks.
Keep it refreshing with sustenance that’s light on the palate: We love noshing on cut-up fruit, yogurt parfaits, cookies, cheese and crackers, and salad. For beverages, chill out with some cold-brewed oolong tea (travel’s a cinch with the Chillaxer) or lemonade, or try an iced-tea-lemonade blend.
Pack the Frisbees, footballs, cards, kites, summer novels, and battery-operated speakers. Bam! It’s a portable party. (But don’t forget to clean up afterward.)
The clear blue sky is upon us, and the days filled with sunshine and breezes. Head out and enjoy summer with family and friends—and stay hydrated with your favorite refreshing cold-brewed oolong tea. Cheers to summer!