It’s the perfect time to plan a picnic! Maybe you’ve got the itch to head down to your favorite watering hole. Perhaps you’ll throw some food in a cooler and grab your ITunes. Then you’ll spend the day enjoying a relaxing gathering with sun, great food and good company.
It always sounds so idyllic in our heads. And kind of looks like a dream, a little hazy around the edges. We see ourselves lounging on a blanket, sipping a glass of wine. The Summer breeze wafts through our hair and makes the tall grasses at the edge of a meadow dance…
But, my fab friends, nothing’s further from reality! It takes more than some food tossed into a cooler and good intentions to have a fabulous day outdoors! Read on and we’ll get started learning how to plan the perfect picnic!
I’ve really done a deep-dive into picnics this Summer! Before planning your next picnic, don’t forget to check out these two related posts to give you all the ammunition you need in your hostess arsenal this picnic season!
Here’s the 5 fabulous picnic dishes I shared in that article:
Once you’ve got the facts on how to plan the perfect picnic rolling around inside your head, you’ll need some help. There’s lots of planning to be done, and plenty of little details you’ll need to consider. And just wait until we discuss the perfect picnic guide’s rules for keeping your foods safe from your home, until its eaten by your guests.
That’s why I worked so hard to create an inclusive 9-PG Picnic Planner PDF that will come to your rescue! It’ll help you plan your perfect picnic from start to finish, and everything in between! As you can see in the image above, it’s got planning sheets, checklists and even picnic and grocery shopping list sheets.
If you want a convenient way to plan your perfect picnic, you’ll want to download your own copy of my Picnic Planner PDF after you finish reading this article.
When it comes to how to plan the perfect picnic, my Picnic Planner literally walks you through the entire process. As you work your way through each of the Picnic Planner’s pages, your perfect picnic will start to take shape.
I’ve also included shopping list pages for your picnic groceries and supplies. That way all your picnic planning notes and information will be in one handy place. How fab will that be?
DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE PERFECT PICNIC PLANNER PDF BY CLICKING ON THE COVER IMAGE TO THE RIGHT
Since I’ve been a professional party planner for so many years, I can’t imagine throwing a gathering without some kind of decor. It can be a theme, a palette of colors, or even some fabulous party printables! So that’s exactly why I’ve created a bundle of fabulous Perfect Picnic Party Decor Printables, especially for you!
I’ll tell you how to download your Perfect Picnic Party Decor at the end of this article.
The choice of venue for your picnic is a weighty decision that will dictate some of your planning details going forward.
Parks, mountain picnic grounds, beach pavilions, a lakeside spot, or even your backyard can make great picnic locations. Don’t forget to consider the size of your guest list when looking for the perfect picnic site. You’ll want to research your proposed location and find out exactly what facilities are available and any pertinent rules.
Do you need a picnic table? Is a permit required to have a fire?
Here’s a list of some questions you should ask and items you may want to have available at your picnic venue:
Is a specific occasion, holiday or event the reason for your picnic?
If you’re planning around a specific event, then of course, that will dictate the timing and duration of your picnic. When inviting families with children, you’ll want to start and end your day on the early side. (Except the 4th of July – no one want to miss the fireworks!)
But if I’m planning a picnic that’s exclusively for adults, I know it can start and end just about any time. I love to have late afternoon picnics that end just after sunset.
With a little pre-picnic prep, you can light a few trees or strategically place some lanterns or tiki-torches. It’s an absolutely magical ending to a fabulous picnic for both you, your friends and family.
As the Perfect Picnic hostess, you realize that it’s not just about fabulous food and beverages, right? A great picnic should always have some fun activities available for guests to enjoy.
Does your venue have trails for short hikes and adventure walks? Or perhaps there’s a creek that your guests can frolic in to stay cool after a long hot afternoon in the playground. But, if your chosen picnic spot is lacking in facilities, you’ll need to take your guests’ entertainment into your own hands.
If you have a plan of action, your guests will be well fed and well entertained throughout your perfect picnic.
Why not pack an activity box that includes items like a frisbee, soccer ball, or even a backgammon set? We’ve even played a rousing game of Twister at a picnic in the Everglades in South Florida! Just start rummaging around the garage and I’m sure you’ll come up with some great choices.
But, if you’d like some fabulous ideas for outdoor lawn games that are available these days, I’ve rounded a few up for you.
Turns out there are all sorts of cool and fun outdoor lawn games to choose from. You could go with an old standard like Croquet or Bocce Ball, both which provide lots of fun for groups playing together. But, you might want to have a paddle ball type game, especially if you’ll be at the beach.
The game that intrigued me most in my online hunt was the Giant Jenga set. It’s a fun game when played on the kitchen table, can you imagine playing the “life-size” game outdoors? I’m thinking of getting a set for my oldest son who lives in South. He’s got a raucous group of friends that would go crazy for Giant Jenga on a Saturday afternoon!
Don’t forget the power of music! If you’ve got great tunes playing, it’s always a great time to dance!
Just make sure you think about how you’ll entertain your guests during your party and you’ll throw the perfect picnic!
You’ve found your perfect picnic location, figured out how to entertain your guests, and now it’s time to decide who you’ll invite.
Maybe you have a huge family and want to do a reunion, or perhaps have just a dozen or so close friends. Take some time to consider what kind of gathering you want, then make your guest list. (USE THE GUEST LIST PAGE OF YOUR PERFECT PICNIC PLANNER!)
As I mentioned earlier, the size of your crowd will help determine where your ideal location is for your perfect picnic.
NAN’S TIP: IF YOU’RE HAVING LOTS OF GUESTS, CONSIDER MAKING THE MENU A POTLUCK, SO EVERYONE CAN BRING A FABULOUS DISH TO CONTRIBUTE.
(I’VE MADE A COLUMN ON THE GUEST LIST PAGE OF THE PLANNER SO YOU CAN RECORD WHAT EACH GUEST WILL BE BRINGING)
Picnic and barbecue season offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun with family and friends. But these warm weather events also present opportunities for food borne bacteria to thrive. As food heats up in summer temperatures, bacteria multiply rapidly.
Food safety begins with proper hand cleaning — including in outdoor settings. Before you begin setting out your picnic feast, make sure hands and surfaces are clean.
Grilling and picnicking often go hand-in-hand. And just as with cooking indoors, there are important guidelines that should be followed to ensure that your grilled food reaches our picnic guests safely.
Never reuse a plate or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for serving — unless they’ve been washed first in hot, soapy water. Otherwise, you can spread bacteria from the raw juices to your cooked or ready-to-eat food. This is particularly important to remember when serving cooked foods from the grill.
Keeping food at the proper temperatures is critical in preventing the growth of food borne bacteria.
The key is to never let your picnic food remain in the “Danger Zone” — between 40 °F and 140 °F — for more than 2 hours. Or, 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90 °F, as this is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly. You really don’t want to get you party guests sick, right?
Cold perishable food should be kept in the cooler at 40 °F or below until serving time.
Hot food should be kept hot, at or above 140 °F.
It’s not rocket science, but keeping your foods safe when cooking and eating outdoors is a matter to take seriously. Just follow the USDA guidelines set out above, and you’ll be all set for a perfect picnic celebration!
I’ve been following an incredible gal named Eve at her site, Organic Beauty Recipes for the last several years. She’s an absolute expert at formulating organic beauty recipes that I’ve enjoyed making and using ever since.
She recently shared her new recipe for a bug repellent that is both effective, and has a lovely fragrance. And, it only has 2 ingredients!
Eve also gives product resources so you can always find the exact ingredients she uses in her organic beauty recipes.
I thought you might like to make a batch for your Perfect Picnic! Bug bites are not much fun for you or your guests!
Click on this link for the recipe: ORGANIC BEAUTY RECIPE’S – Organic Bug Repellent Recipe
My parties are all about a theme, or decor that take my little get together’s to the next level. Just by adding a few special details to your party’s buffet or drink station, your picnic is off to a stylish start.
Here’s what I’ve put together for my “Perfect Picnic Printables” bundle that will help make your picnic extra-special:
Print these convenient guest name tags on AVERY FULL SHEET SHIPPING LABELS, cut out and affix to your picnic cups. Ask you guests to fill in their name on their cup so they won’t lose it during the party.
Beware of the characters on your guest list! I’ve got a friend that makes a sport out of giving himself an inventive name at our parties. My one consolation is that it’s usually a fun conversation starter among my guests!
NAN’S TIP: AFFIX THE GUEST CUP LABELS ON YOUR GLASSES BEFORE THE PARTY. HAVE A FEW PENS/SHARPIES ON THE BEVERAGE STATION FOR GUESTS TO FILL IN THEIR OWN NAMES.
These adorable Picnic Menu Tent Cards coordinate with the rest of the Perfect Picnic printables. There’s four different designs, so just print one for each of your menu items.
Using white card stock, fold the printed tent cards in half lengthwise, and fill in the dish’s name.
They’re especially useful for potluck picnics, where everyone is bringing a different dish. Let your friends and family fill in the name of the dish and everyone will know exactly “What’s on the menu!”
For outdoor parties, I really like to serve easy-to-eat desserts, and if I can individually portion them, it’s a win-win!
Over-sized sturdy cookies, miniature hand-pies, and one-bite desserts are just fabulous when served inside plain white paper sacks. But, if you take a few more moments and print out some “Picnic Treat” bag labels, they’ll be a showpiece on your picnic buffet.
Use the same full-sheet shipping labels for these stickers too. Cut them into squares with a paper cutter, affix them to dessert-sized bags, and fill with your picnic treats.
Now your guests can just grab a “treat bag” of the dessert they want. It’s one of my great hands-off hostess party hacks that I’ve used for years.
If you want to serve your condiments with a little more style, and in hostess-friendly serving containers, I’ve got the solution.
NAN’S TIP: FILL YOUR CONTAINERS WITH YOUR CONDIMENTS BEFORE ATTACHING THE HANG TAGS TO PREVENT THEM FROM GETTING DIRTY DURING THE FILLING PROCESS.
Just download and print the FREE PDFs, and you’re in business.
Do you want your own set of PICNIC DÉCOR PRINTABLES, but you’re not on our list yet? Why not join in on the fun!
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