We never thought the warm weather would get here, but patios across the country have opened for business, shades of green have returned to the trees and grass, and you’ve officially packed away your winter coats and jackets. Make this summer exceptional in everything you do, from that summer concert to an after-work patio session or a weekend picnic in the park.
Our friends at Aveleda Wines have curated the ultimate summer experience guide to make this summer as notable as possible. We begin this week with the art of the picnic. The warmer weather is the perfect excuse to indulge in a good, old-fashioned picnic at beaches, parks and backyards across the country. Besides the obvious staples – blanket, food and ice to keep your beverages cold and refreshing – here are five things to keep in mind to do a picnic right.
Picnic in Good Company
A picnic is not the time to rush, but rather to enjoy the meal, the weather and the people you are with. There is a particular vibe to a picnic; it marks a return to simplicity, and a certain level of tranquility. Bring someone whose company you enjoy, and who you are capable and comfortable of sharing good conversation, laughs and even pensive moments of silence with. After all, picnics take time and effort —and you don’t want to have your afternoon ruined by someone else’s negative energy or high stress level.
It’s All in the Basket
A quality basket is helpful in ensuring you have all the essentials. Remembering all the plates, utensils and condiments and dealing with the ensuing mess can be way more of a pain than the idea of a storybook-esque, romantic idea of a picnic. Thanks to modern day picnic baskets, picnics can be full-service, designer-style, where mobile outdoor dining does not have to mean sacrifice. Check out West Coast gem The Pacific Basket Co., which offers stunning picnic baskets like the Canterbury Picnic Basket (complete with a corduroy cooler bag and wine duffel, fleece blanket, stainless steel salt and pepper shakers and utensils, porcelain plates, a hardwood cutting board and cheese knife, plus more). Another option (though not as fully stocked) is Kate Spade’s Pack a Picnic Picnic Basket – because a cute basket makes the experience just that much more notable.
Be Good to the Earth
Use the outdoor meal as an opportunity to be as green as you can. It seems counterproductive not to, since the last thing you want to do is create a bunch of garbage from your picnic. Make a point to include only items made by yourself that produce little waste (as opposed to raiding the packaged meal section of the grocery store en route). Use Tupperware and pack items into individual servings so that you won’t have to worry about additional serving spoons, potential messes and wasting time. Bring reusable utensils, plastic containers and napkins, and avoid paper plates, Styrofoam cups and pre-packaged snacks.
A memorable picnic is more than just about eating and drinking. Pack activities so that the picnic can last all afternoon, should you so desire. This may include the obvious Frisbee, football or soccer ball, but also things like art, board games, cards and even things of times past like kites and water guns. If you can, try to disconnect with the connected world for the afternoon and spend the picnic the same way your parents may have back in the day. Aside from some Instagram-worthy shots of the crafty meal and picnic setup, there is little need to be glued to a cell phone.
Remember the Music
Music sets the mood for a picnic. Whether you are among a group of friends, or enjoying a romantic afternoon with your significant other, music is always a welcomed addition. Thanks to modern spins on the boom box, this is easier than ever. For example, the bold and compact Jawbone Jambox wireless speaker takes portable music to an all-new level and is perfect for the YP on a picnic. Available in an assortment of bold, vibrant colours, the speaker is no larger than a television remote and lets you listen to all of your favourite music from any phone, music player, tablet or laptop (in addition to podcasts, video, apps and games).
This summer, check picnic off your “to-do” list – it makes a great date idea, welcomed alternative to catching up with friends on a patio bar, and a chance to enjoy life’s simplicity in our hectic YP lives.