Return to Previous Page

Picnic-Planning Tips

Picnic-Planning Tips

One of the joys of summer is to pack a picnic lunch and head for the beach, mountains or even a nearby park to savor delicious food in the open air. These tips will help make your outing safe and enjoyable.

Equipment Checklist

  • Soft blanket plus a plastic tarp or sheeting to place underneath if the ground is damp.
  • Picnic basket filled with unbreakable plates and glassware, flatware, serving utensils and napkins.
  • Tablecloth.
  • Cutting boards for slicing or assembling foods and serving cheeses.
  • Sharp knives.
  • Corkscrew and bottle opener.
  • Salt and pepper shakers.
  • Folding chairs or stools.
  • Sunscreen, sun hats, insect repellant and first aid kit.
  • Trash bags for cleanup.
  • Sealable plastic bags for leftovers.

Packing Food

  • Cut desserts, such as brownies and bar cookies, into serving sizes and pack in sealable containers.
  • Pack hot foods in thermoses.
  • Pack foods that require refrigeration in one cooler and drinks in a separate one. The drink cooler will be opened frequently during the picnic, preventing other foods from staying well chilled.
  • Pack coolers just before leaving home. Be sure that foods and drinks are already well chilled, and surround them with plenty of ice and frozen gel packs.
  • When driving to your destination, place ice chests inside an air-conditioned car, rather than in the trunk. At the picnic site, set ice chests in the shade and keep food in the cooler until serving time.