1. People. Who is going on the picnic? What age groups? By identifying your picnic party people you get some idea of the kind of place, food and activities that will be needed. How many people will be going? Who will be responsible for transportation?
2. Location. Once you know who is going to be invited on the picnic, you can choose a location that is suitable. For example, if you have children, a place near a play park, or with plenty of open space for them to run in is perfect. On the other hand, if you have elderly or mobility challenged people invited, then your perfect picnic place won't be too far from the car park, or in an area which is difficult to walk. We've researched a large list of picnic locations that include National Parks and State Parks. The beach is always an otion too.
3. Food. Knowing your location and who you are feeding will help you to plan your menu for the perfect picnic. Does anyone in the picnic party have food allergies? Is your proposed picnic venue somewhere that has picnic tables, or will you be eating while sitting on the ground? If you have tables then you can be more adventurous with your catering and set a picnic requiring the use of silverware. If you are intending to eat on a blanket on the ground then finger food (with a small amount of silverware) will make the picnic more relaxed. Save small packets of condiments such as salt and ketchup from fast food outlets to use on picnics. Take a variety of drinks to suit everyone, keep juice concentrates cool by diluting it with half water and then adding ice cubes. If there is nowhere to purchase extra drinks in the area you are having the picnic, take more than you think you'll need as people will need more fluid if it's a hot day and they are taking part in activities. Where possible use plastic bottles rather than glass ones so there's less change of them being broken in transit. No matter the occassion, we have a lot of picnic recipes that can help with menus.
4. Equipment. Take enough flatware and silverware for each member going on the picnic, plus a couple of extra settings just in case. Remember to pack a large picnic blanket (or a number of beach towels if picnicking on the beach), even if you are going somewhere with picnic tables, just in case the tables are all occupied when you arrive at your chosen location. Remember to pack a large garbage bag for collecting all the scraps and empty packaging so that you leave your picnic area the way you found it - or better!
Consider what you will do on your picnic, and ensure that you have all the necessary items - such as a ball, fishing line or magazines. Then add to this some supplies which could be handy such as sun block (waterproof if you plan to swim or play in the water), mosquito repellent, first aid kit, and a large parasol which can double as an umbrella should the weather change.
Although you can't plan for all eventualities on your picnic, by planning and organizing before the event, you can cut down the potential for disaster. The weather is outside of your control but as long as you have taken care of everything that you can think of, then your work is done and the rest is for the clouds to decide!
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