Hacks are clever strategies used to manage time, increase efficiency, or make life easier. While the weather is still agreeable, it’s time to take advantage of picnicking outdoors. Here are some practical hacks to enjoy a picture-perfect picnic:
- For transport: No picnic basket? Create your own using an old piece of luggage lined with fabric or use a backpack instead. Alternatively, carry food in a crate and turn it upside down to function as a table. Cover it with a tea towel and set a small vase of flowers on top. Traveling to your picnic by bike? Use the bicycle basket to transport your wine, cheese, and large French baguette.
- For cleanliness: Place an inexpensive shower curtain underneath your thick blanket to keep your seating area free of dirt, bugs, or dampness.
- For comfort: Bring throw pillows to create a cozy seating area.
- For beverages: Whether it be lemonade, fruit punch, iced tea, or an adult cocktail, you can custom make drinks so that everyone gets what they enjoy. Simply place individual servings of beverages in mason jars. Lids not only keep contents from spilling, but also eliminate messy pouring. Pack some paper straws for added fun.
- For serving snacks: Pack individual assorted treats such as Goldfish, mini pretzels, peanuts, raisins, and more into lidded plastic craft organizers that have dividers to separate content. Use different color containers so people can tell them apart.
- For keeping food cold: Freeze and pack frozen water bottles. Not only will they become drinks as they melt, but they will help keep food products cold during transport.
- Use a sturdy wooden cutting board to carry or serve food.
- For saving money: Save extra cutlery, plates, and napkins from takeout orders. Accumulate enough to use for your picnic.
- For thinking outside the box: Forget boring old PB & J sandwiches. Get creative and bring along wraps, cut up fresh veggies, and watermelon salad for dessert.
- For a clever recipe idea: Make your own no-cook caprese skewers by threading and alternating colorful cherry-size tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and lots of fresh basil onto sticks. Bring along a balsamic glaze and high-quality olive oil for dipping. Picnic guests can salt & pepper their own skewers. Pack the skewers into a plastic container for easy transport.
- For dessert: In a plastic cup, layer vanilla pudding, a slice of moist pound cake, and fresh chopped strawberries or blueberries on top. Seal individual portions with plastic wrap. Dollop with whipped topping before serving.
- For repelling ants: Make your own peppermint bug spray in a spray bottle. Use 8 drops of peppermint essential oil per 1 ounce of water. Shake before use.
- For getting things off the ground and in the shade: Hang an open umbrella by its handle upside down on an easy to reach tree branch. Use it to hold individual bags of chips, trail mix and fruit snacks, apples, bananas, and more.
- For lighting: Pack four battery operated lanterns. For an evening picnic, use them to light up your space and anchor the corners of your blanket in the wind.
- For fun: Pack activities such as ring toss games, decks of cards, water balloons, cornhole, potato sacks, a volleyball or badminton set, a whiffle ball and bat, frisbees, or anything that can up the excitement!
What are your favorite picnic hacks or memories? We’d love to hear from you!