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Planning the perfect picnic

Happy family having picnic

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Whether you’re seven or 70, picnics are fun. Getting outdoors to enjoy some fresh air, great company and tasty food – what’s not to like? Last minute picnics can be brilliant but if you’re planning on spending the day and making an event of it, you may wish to put a little extra preparation into your picnic.

Check the weather forecast

Sure, it’s never going to be 100% accurate but if the forecast is for thunderstorms you may be better off organising an indoor dinner party. On the other hand, on a scorching hot day you need to be sure not to forget hats and sun cream and try to choose a location where you can all get some shade.

Location scout

The ideal picnic spot is in the sunshine with plenty of shade nearby, is close to (but not right next to) public toilets, has pleasant surroundings, isn’t too crowded and doesn’t involve walking too far from your car with a heavy picnic basket. If you’re planning to take a barbecue with you check that the site allows them before you set off. The beauty of a picnic is that you can take it anywhere you fancy but it does make sense to check what different locations have to offer before you set out.


Healthy picnicOf course the picnic experience is about much more than just the food but putting a little thought into your menu will help make sure everyone has something they like to eat. If you have a few kids with you then child-friendly foods may go down better than posh wraps and sushi. Think about how long the food will be sat in the car or out in the sunshine and don’t pack anything that will melt or go off by the time you get round to eating it. Ice packs and cool boxes can help keep your food fresh and your drinks lovely and cold.

Take something to sit on

Your favourite picnic spot may have a massive picnic table to spread everything out on but if someone else has got there before you then you’ll need an alternative. Pack some camping chairs in the boot of the car for older family members and those who don’t want to sit on the ground. Bring some blankets for people to sit on and a tablecloth to lay the food on – waterproof backed ones are perfect and can be picked up pretty cheaply.


The easiest way to ensure everyone has fun is to take along things that will entertain them. While adults will usually be happy enough sitting chatting and enjoying the fresh air, kids may need a few bits and bobs to keep them occupied. A football or bat and ball can be transformed into a team game involving adults and children.

Don’t forget!

When organising a picnic, it’s easy to get carried away by the food aspect and forget other bits and pieces. Don’t leave the house without sun cream, hats, hoodies/light jackets in case it gets cooler, hand sanitiser, napkins, cutlery, wipes and, of course, a plastic bag for all your rubbish.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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