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How to Pack a Picnic: The Perfect Date

August 22, 2014 | By | Reply More

how to pack a picnic

One of my goals this year was to come up with novel date ideas that Mr. P and I could both enjoy. With the weather cooling down in our area, it’s been so pleasant outside that I thought we should pack a picnic lunch and head out to any of the several lovely parks that are a mere stone’s throw from our home to enjoy it. Sure, we could just eat on our deck and look at our own backyard which is very pretty, but we do this nearly every single day. We love our home and rarely feel the need to leave it.

Mr. President and I are not outdoors-y types. At least, not in the way that compels someone to hike the Appalachian trail with nothing more than a backpack or sleep on the ground under the stars. I love nature, but I feel no need to become one with it for an extended period of time. I do love to be outside working in the garden, taking a hike on a well-worn trail, and dining al fresco. A picnic is the perfect outdoor adventure for people like us. BTW, The Prez doesn’t know yet that we’re going (!).

A picnic is romantic and sweet – at least, if you do it right. Learn how to pack a picnic and you’ll have the perfect outdoor date for a sunny day.


Don’t buy a picnic basket if you don’t already have one. A basket is really cute, but it’s one of those things that takes up lots of space and rarely gets used. A cooler will do the job!

Don’t use paper plates and napkins or plastic cups. This puts your lovely picnic right at the same level as a family reunion BBQ, and this is supposed to be romantic and civilized, right? Instead, place cloth napkins between small salad plates or bowls to cushion them and pack them in your cooler, or use nice outdoor dinnerware.

Don’t use regular ice. Ice makes a big mess inside your cooler as it melts. Instead, pack reusable ice packs that can go right back in your freezer.

Don’t pack food containing mayonnaise. Even with a cooler, if you linger outside for any length of time, mayonnaise can be unsafe.

Don’t even think about looking at e-mails or social media on your smartphone during your picnic!

how to pack a picnicDo

Do prepare food tapas style. You’re not going for a four-course meal that will leave you in a coma in the middle of the park. Think small plates of imported cheese, briny olives, charcuterie meats, crusty French bread, chilled pickled shrimp, fresh fruit, and browned butter walnut brownies or blueberry bars for dessert.

Do pack champagne, prosecco, or a nice bottle of wine and some decent plastic stemware. Now, you have a special occasion!

Do bring a blanket that you don’t mind spreading out on the grass if a picnic table isn’t available.

Do venture away from areas of the park that are full of kids, playground equipment and noise. This is grown up time!

Do bring incense sticks to repel mosquitoes. My favorites are from Amazon Lights – they smell fantastic and really work.

Do watch the weather forecast and choose a day that’s sunny and not too hot. If the weather is a little cooler, you’ll be able to linger outdoors longer.

Do pack a centerpiece. A bunch of wildflowers stuck in a mason jar will do!







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Category: Enviable Ideas, General, Home and Garden

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