The warmer summer weather welcomes family, friends and neighbors over for an outdoor meal, but why not do something different and host an outdoor picnic? Here are five tips to consider when planning and preparing for a summertime picnic. 

#1 Pick a Picnic Spot

When selecting the ultimate picnic spot, do some research to find the best picnic spots in your community. Talk to family, friends and neighbors to get their recommendations or check out your local park district website. If you are living (or visiting) the Chicago area check out some of our favorite picnic spots including:

  • Anywhere along the Chicago lakefront
  • Lincoln Park (A personal favorite)
  • Millenium Park
  • Milton Lee Olive Park
  • Washington Square Park

Tip: Not located near a local park? Who says you can’t have a picnic in your own backyard!

#2 Plan a Menu

To prevent any food safety concerns, pack a picnic that is largely based on foods that are safe to eat and enjoy at room temperature like crackers, double chocolate protein bites, fresh fruit and vegetables from the local farmers market, granola bites, homemade hummus, popcorn, pretzels, trail mix (nut free of course), salads, sandwiches and your favorite jar of Chixi. Don’t forget beverages like plenty of water so your entire picnic party can stay well hydrated on those hot summer days. You can also get creative with some fun summertime mocktails for both adults and kids.

#3 Pack Accordingly

You can never be too prepared when picnicking, so be sure to pack extra utensils. After all, you can never have too many forks, knives, napkins and spoons.

Tip: Don’t forget items like bug spray, extra sunblock and fun activities like a frisbee or football for a fun game of catch.

#4 Something Sweet

Don’t get weighed down by heavy dessert dishes. Instead, keep things light with frozen fruit like berries and grapes or fresh apple slices with a delicious dip like Vanilla Bean Chixi. Enjoy a summertime favorite like fresh farmers market cherries or watermelon slices. Yum!

Need some delicious dessert inspiration? Try this recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

#5 Clean Up

Keep picnic clean up easy by packing a low-waste and/or plastic free picnic. By utilizing reusable cups, plates, napkins and silverware, you can greatly reduce any picnic waste. However, you should still come prepared with bags to collect compost, recyclables and garbage.

Incorporate these five tips the next time you plan a summertime picnic and remember to tag us @hellochixi so we can see how you and your family picnic this summer!