International Picnic Day, observed on June 18, celebrates the tradition of gathering outdoors to eat and enjoy the company of family and friends. Picnics originated during the French Revolution when people looked for an escape from the restrictions of formality and etiquette. People could free themselves from formal mealtime rules when they were eating outside rather than in the confines of the dining room.
Family picnics provide great bonding opportunities. You can spread out a blanket and enjoy the view, the fresh air, the surrounding foliage, engaging conversation, and tasty food.
Here are a few ideas to make your next picnic a success:
- Pick the right spot – Find a flat patch under a shady tree with a nice vantage point.
- Make the best of it – If the picnic area is crowded and you can’t find a good place to spread out, keep a good attitude by focusing on the company. If you’re having fun, any location can turn into the perfect spot.
- Get the right blanket – Pick something old so you won’t be nervous about staining it. Size matters—the blanket should be big enough for all of your guests to sit on. You can get as sophisticated as you want; some picnic blankets have built-in speakers so you can enjoy your favorite music as you relax and eat. Lay a curtain liner or tarp down beneath your blanket to create a moisture barrier, especially if you are sitting on freshly cut grass.
- Invest in a good basket or pack – Get a picnic basket or backpack that can carry your picnic silverware, wine glasses, a corkscrew, and other utensils. Some baskets have special slots and pockets to make transport easy.
- Get your game on – Make sure to include a Frisbee and balls in your picnic stash. That way, you can burn a few calories and enjoy some friendly competition after eating.
The next best thing to an outside picnic is an indoor version. If you can’t get to an outdoor spot due to weather or time constraints, spread out a blanket in your backyard or even in the living room.