Summer isn’t quite over. August is typically the month for family reunions, last minute getaways and back to school frenzies. It’s the time to wrap up the hottest season of the year, so if you’re looking for some new ways to finish off your summer right, then a low key picnic with some close friends is the way to go. This past weekend, I hosted an outdoor picnic at an open park area right in my neighborhood.
The great thing about this small occasion is that you don’t have to travel far to enjoy it. As this isn’t my first picnic (I had one with my boyfriend before), this is the first with friends, so it was a cool experience for everyone. We had such an awesome time that I decided to share my very own tips on how to throw a successful picnic with the right foods, utensils, accessories and more. So, next time you decide to have a picnic, you should know just what to do or expect.
1. Decorate your picnic with patterned blankets and festive, decorative throw pillows.
Organizing your picnic’s decor and ambiance creates a great mood for your guests and enhances the feng shui of things. I decided to grab some of my decorative pillows to lay over a geometric soft blanket for an eclectic feel.
2. Serve room-temperature food
For anything done outside that isn’t a barbecue, make sure to bring food that would be fresh and good for the heat. With picnics, they are more casual-friendly, unlike cookouts that typically have a grill to prepare hot food. Picnics are more convenient, so it’s best to bring cold or room-temperature sandwiches, such as these salmon wraps I made and fresh sliced watermelon.
Package your sandwiches in foil or plastic wrap so that they are kept fresh and sanitary. This also makes it convenient for your guests to just grab one and take a bite. With my wraps, I covered them with foil at the bottom and kept the top open so that the sandwich wouldn’t fall apart.
Make a quick and yummy summer salad with fruit and veggies. In 15 minutes, I whipped up a large salad that included strawberries, arugula, spinach, red onions, feta cheese, cucumbers and poppy seed dressing. Tip: Wait 10 minutes before the picnic start time to drizzle the dressing on the salad. This ensures that your lettuce won’t get soggy before your friends start digging in. Have your guests bring extra things like cheese, crackers and baguettes.
3. Keep the drinks flowing
Who said picnics had to be boring with just fresh lemonade? While homemade lemonade is actually delicious and suitable, this is a grown up picnic; so make sure to have the wine and bubbly.
A good, inexpensive Prosecco would pair well with the cheese and crackers. Sweet Moscatos or red wines are also a great idea for a summer outing. These flavors are intoxicating and also keeps your family and friends mellow to prevent them from complaining about the heat.
For serveware, I brought my smaller short wine glasses to the picnic. We also had stylish paper cups for those who may want to keep it safe. Nice silverware is a great option too or you can buy gold plastic ware to keep things on the fancy side.
4. Encourage your guests to dress appropriately
Summer hats are probably a smart accessory for being in the sun. When you don’t have the sun beaming in your face, you can certainly enjoy the great conversations that are destined to be had at a sit-down function. Encourage your guests to bring their sunglasses as well to avoid distractions while socializing.
5. Keep it Clean
Bring along some hand sanitizers and wet wipes. Of course, plenty of napkins are a must.
6. Have fun
Invite a good mix of people to have fun and keep the topics exciting. My girlfriends are the best and I’m glad they did the outdoor thing with me. It’s good to step outside of your comfort zone from time to time.
- Have sunscreen for your guests.
- Although I forgot this, OFF! spray and any bug-repellent candles (citronella) are good to keep the bites away.
- Bring along portable music speakers for some good tunes.
- Good reads like magazines, crossword puzzles and books are good for entertainment.