You don’t need to be a lifestyle guru to know how to pack the perfect picnic basket. A few helpful tips can make your outdoor brunch or dinner simple and enjoyable. July is National Picnic Month and we thought it would be a good idea to come up with an action plan for packing the perfect picnic basket. Whether you’re headed to the beach or to a concert in the park, this packing plan will keep you organized and well-fed.
This list of tools and time-savers are intended to help you make the most out of your outdoor dining experience. It’s important to think in terms of efficiency when packing a picnic basket, so we’ve broken this packing list into two categories: Utensils and Food & Drinks.
Frozen water bottles. A couple of frozen water bottles, one for each picnic-er, will keep your picnic basket nice and cool, which is helpful for any items that you may have that need to stay cool in order to stay fresh. And then you have a nice cool bottle of water to drink!
Paper towels. Rather than packing napkins, a roll of paper towels serves double duty as both napkins and an all-important essential to help you clean up post-picnic.
Corkscrew & bottle opener. You’ll need these to open any beverage you may have packed with you for this lovely picnic.
A small cutting board and serving tray come in handy if you’ve packed things like cheese or meats. And the serving tray is a helpful place for laying out your food items.
Utensils. Forks, serving spoons, a good knife for cutting are a must. For safety, wrap the knife in a kitchen towel or have a knife-guard.
Disposable plates and cups. We especially love these reusable wine tumblers for picnics! They’ve got a sippy-cup lid and are perfect for any beverage – perfect of lemonade or wine.
Trash bag. Keep your picnic area nice and tidy by having a trash bag on hand, especially if there isn’t a trash can nearby. This way, your picnic basket also stays clean!
Picnic blanket with one waterproof side and bug spray. If the grass is wet or if you’re on a sandy beach, this blanket will help keep you and your picnic nice and dry. A small bottle or can of bug spray is also a good idea so that the bugs don’t get to enjoy you as a part of your own picnic!
Food & Drinks
Our mantra here is to keep things simple, and a combination of homemade and store-bought items will help us pack the perfect picnic basket. Be mindful when packing glass, because there’s nothing worse than having broken glass on a picnic! Consider this when choosing your dishware and glasses, as well as with any beverages you plan to pack.
Pack snacks. A cheese and cracker platter is super quick and simple to put together – grapes, cheese, crackers.
Buy the main dish. If this is a brunch picnic, pick up a pre-made quiche and slice it before you go for ease of serving. For an afternoon or evening picnic, a store-bought rotisserie chicken that you break apart at home and pack in a container is a quick and easy main dish to pack.
Make a side dish. Make a simple mixed fruit salad for a brunch picnic or our lemon basil pasta salad is super fast to make and the ideal light, crisp pasta salad for a picnic.
Make a dessert. You could easily buy some cookies in the bakery section of your grocery store, but this peach and blueberry tart is picnic-perfect. Cut the tart into squares and wrap between pieces of parchment paper for a beautiful post-picnic treat.
Now that you’re all prepared, get out there and enjoy a beautiful picnic spread!