How to Plan a Picnic

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Picnics tend to be a very civilised affair where friends and family gather to enjoy being outside, sitting in a scenic location, eating good food and possibly enjoying a tipple or two.

Organising the catering and aesthetic for a picnic can be as simple or extravagant as you wish. Still, before considering any of those things, you must ensure the basics for planning a picnic have been ticked off.

So, let us break down the basics for planning a picnic.

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LOCATION / WHERE TO PICNIC

An excellent place to start planning is to look at suitable locations for the picnic to be set-up

Really you can picnic anywhere but traditionally picnics take place in leafy areas with a scenic outlook.

If that sounds like your backyard then that is a win but if you need to travel further afield then see if there are any of these locations nearby or within a short commute:

Prime Picnic Locations

  • Country Parks / Public Parks
  • Country Estates
  • Forrests
  • Countrysides
  • Beaches

Bear in mind that some country parks / public parks require permits to picnic so check before making arrangements.

DATES

When you have chosen your location, be mindful of the public calendar or the local events calendar, as some dates might not be available.

Also note that picnic spots will likely be busy on public holidays and weekends, which might make your dream of a tranquil picnic nothing more than a day of organised chaos.

WEATHER

Ah, the weather. One of our favourite subjects in the UK.

When planning any outdoor occasion you have to plan for the weather especially if you live somewhere that every season can be seen in one day!

You simply cannot depend on checking the forecast seven days beforehand, check right up to picnic day and make the necessary arrangements.

What you will need:

It is going to rain

  • Waterproof Pop up Gazebo (if your location allows)
  • Umbrellas
  • Ponchos

It is going to be sunny and hot

  • UV Parasols or UV Gazebo (if your location allows)
  • Sunscreen
  • Handheld Fans

SITE PROVISIONS

If you have opted to picnic somewhere that civilisation still exists then it is a good idea to see if the site or area that you have chosen has these provisions:

Toilets 

Not everyone likes the thought of having to go in the great outdoors so checking if the site has toilets and hand washing facilities is a huge plus.

Check the distance from your picnic site to the toilets so that older people or those with little legs know how far they have to walk.

Tables

Sites that have tables and benches sort the issue of having to bring your own table and chairs but if you are picnicking on a busy day then you may have to arrive early to grab one.

Car Parking 

Opt for the car park closest to the picnic site if there is one so that supplies can be transferred easily from the car to the picnic spot.

ESSENTIALS PICNIC CHECKLIST

Aside from the aesthetic floral centrepieces, teepees and bohemian style rugs.

Use our essentials checklist to ensure you have the basics.

Picnic Checklist

PICNIC FOOD IDEAS

Determining the picnic foods that will make it to the picnic table is based on:

  1. What your party members like to eat
  2. Can the food be transported without making a mess along the way
  3. Can the food get to the picnic table without being spoiled

If you are picnicking on a hot day you will have to keep food items cool so that you have food that can still be consumed by the time you arrive at your picnic destination.

Here is a list of food items that tend to travel well if adequately cooled and packed:

  • Tea Sandwiches
  • Sausage Rolls
  • Pies
  • Quiche
  • Salads
  • Pasta Dishes
  • Charcuterie Board
  • Fruit
  • Cakes, Muffins, Cookies

PICNIC DRINKS IDEAS

Again, choosing  which drinks to serve at a picnic is purely down to your friends and family’s preferences but the list below shows some options that are synonymous with a traditional picnic:

  • Pimms
  • Alcoholic Fruit Punch
  • White Wine or Rose Wine
  • Indian Pale Ales
  • Mimosas

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Spring Water/Sparkling Water
  • Homemade Lemonades
  • Cordials
  • Fruit Juices

PICNIC GAMES

Whilst some people enjoy nothing more than sitting and lapping up the sun’s rays, others will do anything to avoid the boredom of sitting around and doing nothing.

Outdoor games are a great way to entertain, bring fun to a day out and work up an appetite before enjoying your picnic feast. Or for those that like to eat first, they can then burn off the small mountain of sandwiches and cakes they have eaten.

Check out our list of Fun Outdoor Games 

DID YOU FIND THIS HELPFUL?

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DeMo

Hey! I’m DeMo

I am an Event Manager based in London that loves films, sneakers, hip-hop, disco and dance music.

Most of my days are spent creating party themes, surfing the web or walking about London searching for cool products and venues.

My dream is to spend every summer in Ibiza and one day live in New York City.

Urban Zoom is where you will find all kinds of party ideas that I hope will help create some fun times with family and friends

Thanks for stopping by.

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