Summer is the ideal time to grab your friends, head to the park and soak up the sunshine—especially with the 4th of July right around the corner. Nothing beats chatting under the shade of a tree and enjoying good food with even better company. Best of all? You don’t have to clean up your pad after the party’s over! Here’s how to plan the perfect picnic. Just don’t forget the bug spray!
- Forget about those old-school wicker picnic baskets and grab a cute one from Picnicfun.com instead.Check out the Metro Basket ($33, picnicfun.com), which is collapsible, insulated, lightweight and waterproof—perfect for those sudden summer showers!
- Picnics might conjure up images of clichéd red-and-white checkered blankets, but you can do way better than that. A bold and durable blanket that stands out in the field, like this Mega Picnic Mat ($24, picnicfun), will add a burst of color to your picnic, keep you off the damp ground and make it easier for your friends to find you.
- Speaking of color, why not make your picnic green? Avoid using plastic utensils and opt for reusable bamboo sets instead. To-Go Ware RePEaT Family Fun Pack () ($46.95 for 5-pack, to-goware.com) contains a fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks in a cute case made from recycled water bottles.
- Dish up pasta or mixed greens in take-out cartons for a great way to serve food minus the mess. Translucent cartons from The Container Store ($1.99 for 16 oz., containerstore.com) makes it easy to see what you’re serving without opening the top.
- Class it up a notch with a little wine. Easy-to-carry Alice White Tetra Paks ($4.99, alicewhite.com) are a re-sealable, shatterproof way to offer different styles of wine without having to open three bottles at once. Enjoy in Govino Shatterproof wine glasses ($11.95 for 4-pack, govinowine.com).
- Picnics are all about yummy sandwiches, fresh fruits, salads and drinks. Be sure to freeze any beverages the night before so they stay chilled throughout the picnic while keeping other food in your basket cold.
- Ask guests to bring cards or any board games they’d like to play. A cutting board could serve as table for domino players – because you know it’s just not the same unless you slam them down.
- Playing Frisbee, tag football or baseball are sure-fire ways to keep guests entertained and break the ice for those who’ve just met.
- If you want to bring out the child within, round up the troops for a game of hide-and-seek or freeze tag. Then bust out the jump rope for some Double Dutch. You’ll dread packing it all up and heading back to the real world once the party is over. But hey, there’s always next weekend!