Summertime is for long, lazy weekends. Sleepy afternoons spent outside, lazing about in the heat while the kids run through a sprinkler or splash in the waves. Summer is simply the best for family time. During the summer people take all their activities outdoors: playtime, downtime, and mealtime. This roundup of picnic themes will capture the spirit of summer and inspire family fun in the sun.
Perfectly Packed Picnics for Summer
1. Coastal Inspired Picnic
Whether you’re enjoying a coastal picnic at the beach, at the park, or in your backyard, include plenty of easy finger foods. When dining at the beach don’t get bogged down with formalities like plates and flatware. Choose simple, chic snacks like chopped veggies with hummus and babaganoush, fresh-cut fruit, and cheese and crackers. When selecting cheeses, choose soft cheeses like brie or camembert which will turn deliciously gooey in the heat versus cheddar which will become oily in the sun.
Keep your cooler packed with plenty of ice. Avoid foods like raw fish. Ceviche may go with the “coastal” theme, but you have to really trust your cooler to allow it to sit in the sun. If you’re set on seafood, consider cooked fish, like shrimp salad sandwiches, and be sure to overpack your cooler with ice packs.
2. Vineyard Inspired Picnic
For a picnic to inspire a “Napa Valley” atmosphere, naturally you will bring the obligatory wine, grapes, and cheese. If you’re considering a wine pairing, don’t overthink it. Here are a few basic rules of thumb you can follow:
Reds like pinot and Cabernet will hold up against earthy flavors like mushrooms and cured meats like sausage and salami. Whites such as chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio pair with a variety of fish as well as tangy citrus and bittersweet berries such as strawberries. Popping bubbly? Champagne pairs beautifully with salty foods like prosciutto and rich cheeses, making the bubbles extra refreshing.
3. Grillmaster Picnic
For those of you who live in an urban setting, grilling is not a part of your family’s weekend routine. However, many parks have grilling areas. You don’t need to go overboard and haul a 50 lb. cooler for several blocks to your nearest grill.
Pick up a small bag of charcoal and a package of hot dogs or specialty brats. A bag of chips, fruit salad, a carafe of iced tea and you’re ready to go! Be festive and bring a variety of toppings for everyone to customize their dog: shredded cheese, fresh chopped onions, cilantro, spicy or fruity salsa, Sriracha mayonnaise, pickles — anything beyond your standard ketchup and mustard.
4. Mediterranean Inspired Picnic
A picnic inspired by the Mediterranean countryside or coast might make you feel like you’re on a mini vacation or getaway without leaving your local park. Beyond hummus, veggies, and pita, consider other traditional dipping sauces such as tahini, tzatziki, or flavored olive oils. Greek watermelon salad with feta is a fantastic alternative to the traditional caprese and watermelon will hold up better than sliced tomatoes in your cooler.
For main courses, consider a bean salad that incorporates foods like briny olives, lemon zest, red onions, and freshly chopped parsley. Bring along chicken and hummus wraps or give labneh a try in a wrap with thinly sliced vegetables.
5. Classic American Picnic
Feeling nostalgic for childhood? Pack the cooler full of ice and make a big batch of your creamiest, most guilt-laden macaroni salad. Slice up a mountain of juicy watermelon and oranges. Make the traditional ham and cheese or turkey and cheese sandwiches, but mix it up with a variety of breads, different cheeses, mustards and spreads. Consider Monterey jack, whole grain mustard, or garlic aioli for an extra kick. It’s fun to put an unexpected twist on retro classics!
Does your little one need a picnic dress? Check out this season’s easy breezy cotton dresses, so she can stay chic, cool, and comfortable while she plays in the great outdoors. For more ideas for fun activities for kids, visit Angelibebe at https://www.angelibebe.com/blog/.