Family Fun September 10, 2020

Packing a Perfect Picnic in the COVID era

an autum picnic on a basket with fall colored leaves behind it

Summer is winding down as fall approaches but we are still having great weather! With social distancing keeping us from frequenting restaurants as often as we might normally, packing a perfect picnic is a great way to get your family outside for some meal-time adventure.

Here are some tips in packing a perfect picnic and making it extra fun for the whole family

Large coolers vs Small

Instead of packing one large cooler that might be cumbersome to transport to your picnic spot, use smaller coolers for food and drinks, and totes for supplies. Let each family member be in charge of carrying one item so mom and dad don’t bear the brunt of the work.

When packing a perfect picnic, make it fun for the kids

Pack some playthings. Kids get bored fast, so bring games, balls, bubbles, or outdoor toys to give them more to do than just eat. This way, they aren’t trying to drag you back into the house (or if they are older, go back by themselves). Don’t forget, just bringing fun items outside won’t make it fun. Kids love to have fun with their entire family, so that means you too! Sip on that iced coffee and get your energy level up so that you can keep up with them!

What about your four legged friends?

If you have dogs, bring them too as they are a part of the family! Packing a perfect picnic would demand their presence or else it wouldn’t be perfect, now would it? I know mine would stare out the window whining if he was stuck inside looking at us outside since he always wants to be near us. Be sure to have plenty of water for them and don’t forget the bowls and some tasty treats! Remember, your furbabies are going to be running around in the grass so be sure that they have their flea and tick treatments as well as check them for any hitchhikers when you get home. I personally use Seresto, but use whatever you feel is best for your pup.

Yorkshire Terrier standing on its hind legs while person behind it on a picknic

Don’t forget protection

Keep everyone comfortable with sunscreen, insect repellent, hats, and sunglasses. Remember that as you play and eat throughout the afternoon and the sun goes down, you might need to switch from sunscreen to sunshades. You won’t want the fun to be forced to an early end due to an onslaught of mosquitoes, a bad sunburn, or the sun shining in everyone’s eyes.

When packing a perfect picnic, you gotta make it comfy

Make your picnic spot more comfortable by bringing a small rake. A child-sized rake is easy to pack and will allow you to quickly clear your site of prickly pinecones, pebbles, or seashells.

A nice large picnic blanket is a great idea and makes for pretty pictures, but camp chairs and a small folding table are more comfortable and keep you away from the ants.

group of people having a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park overlooking lower Manhattan.

It can be a learning experience

Make your outing educational. Even if you are only going to the backyard, you may be able to find some teaching moments among the trees, plants, insects, or critters that live nearby. If you are headed to a park, visit their website first and find out a little about the history of the area or the plants and animals in the area. For nighttime excursions, a location away from artificial light will make stargazing easy. Bring a strong flashlight to point out constellations.

A great picnic site in Chester, NY would be Knapp’s View! Check out some amazing photos of it here.

Got any other great ideas? Share them in the comments!