Making the most of the UK summer, we’re all looking for ways to soak up some sun. If you need a break from beer gardens and tiring summer walks, why not have a picnic?
Picnics are often traditional, so some of us might perceive them as boring. But the great thing about picnics is you can do whatever you like while basking in all the beauty nature has to offer.
Here, we cover how you can have a non-traditional picnic tailored to you and your children, partner, or friends!
Give your picnic a theme
When we think of picnics, we always picture gingham-print blankets and wicker baskets, with dainty finger sandwiches and fairy cakes. But you don’t have to limit yourself to a traditional picnic. To host a picnic that you know you’ll love, why not give it a theme?
If you have a favourite book or movie series, like Harry Potter, you could make themed food, drinks, and take themed blankets, bags, and cutlery. You could also give it a food theme, like Caribbean or Spanish tapas, and match your décor accordingly!
Grab a takeaway instead of pre-prepared sandwiches
Picnics often require a lot of preparation. Sandwiches are a classic picnic meal, but they can be a bit…boring. Why not pick up your favourite takeaway and have that as your picnic meal?
The great thing about takeout food is that it often comes in the perfect containers, so you don’t need to worry about bringing your own plates and cutlery. But if you’re taking your family out for a picnic and you want to share it out family-style, you can still bring your own picnic plates and bowls. How many of us can say that we’ve eaten our favourite Chinese takeaway while surrounded by beautiful flowers and calming greenery?
Make it a grown-up picnic
Had your fill of beer gardens but still want to enjoy a day in the sun with your friends? Cans in the park have become a staple this summer, while many people take wine along with them on picnics, but you could mix it up and take some pre-mixed cocktails instead. Nothing says summer like a refreshing pina colada! You could also turn into an expert mixer and bring the ingredients, impressing your friends with your mixing skills on the day.
A cooler is essential for this. Gone are the days where you’d have to lug around a huge, ugly, and impractical box, though. Now, you can get picnic baskets in the shape of backpacks and tote bags that come with cooling properties. Stylish AND able to keep your cosmos cool as you bathe in the sun? We’re in.
Bring crafts or games
If you’ve ever taken your children out on a picnic, you’ll know they can become restless and unruly easily. That’s why taking more than just food and drinks is key to keeping them entertained. If you love getting crafty with your kids, take the opportunity to let them get crafty with nature. Get them to incorporate leaves into their art, or show them how to draw the flowers around you.
If you’re with a partner or friends, why not take card or board games to stay entertained? They’ll fit nice and easily in your tote-style picnic bag – and if you’re also taking your own cocktails, you’re guaranteed to have fun. Try something like Exploding Kittens for a fun twist on UNO or, for couples, Talk, Flirt, Dare! is a fun way for you to reconnect.
Have a movie night or picnic book club
Drive-in movies have become more popular again in recent years, while cities including Newcastle have started screening sports and movies outdoors in the summertime. If you’ve opted for a serene countryside environment, take your tablet and screen your favourite movie. This works whether you’re with your children, your partner, or your friends!
Alternatively, if you’ve just finished an amazing summer read, you could turn your picnic into a fun outdoor book club. Get your friends to bring their favourite recent books so you can all discuss what you love about them. Events like book clubs went virtual during the multiple national lockdowns, so now that we’re able to gather again, make the most of the summer sun and host your book club at your picnic! A green outdoor environment is much more appealing than a stuffy room right now.
Picnics are perceived as very traditional, which is why many of us never consider it as a summer activity despite our love of nature. But by switching up the food you eat and the activities you do, you can turn a simple picnic into an activity you’ll want to do again and again this summer.