If you’ve been looking for an excuse to spend some time outside, you’ve found it: This month is National Picnic Month. July isn’t over yet, so there’s still time to celebrate! Pack your best basket full of delicious foods and play outside in your favorite park with friends and family.
Here are a few picnic ideas for fun activities and how to keep your food fresh in the summer sun.
The sun is great for us, but not always helpful when it comes to the meals we enjoy. To keep your food as delicious as possible, try:
- Minimizing Space. Food will stay cool longer if there is less air in the ice chest. To maximize the time your food stays cool, use a container that comfortably fits all of the food you’ll be enjoying.
- Staying Frosty. The cooler, the better. Place ice packs around the food you plan to bring to keep your meals fresh and chilled throughout your time out.
- Avoiding Cross-Contamination. Bringing chicken to grill on a barbecue at the park? Wonderful! Just don’t pack it next to other, unprotected foods. Keep your cuisines separate and individually wrapped.
- Saving Leftovers. If you’ve decided halfway through your sandwich that you’d like to save the rest for later, be sure to put it back in the cooler where it’ll stay fresher, longer.
- Staying in the Shade. Putting ice in the cooler is obvious, but don’t make it do all the work. While you play in the sun, leave the cooler in the shade so the ice will stay frozen as long as possible.
In the moments between munching, you’ll be looking for things to do. Some fun games you can play at the park to get the most out of your summertime celebrations include:
- Soccer. You may be surprised at how much fun can start when a few people begin kicking around a soccer ball. Bring one with you when you head to your favorite park and see what games you, your friends, and the people you may meet can get into.
- Frisbee. Like soccer, Frisbees can generate any number of fun games. These can be particularly fun if you’re bringing along your favorite family pet, or willing to share with someone else’s.
- Croquet. Sure, this one takes a bit more effort to pack than a soccer ball or Frisbee, but it’s worth it. Not only is croquet a great way to enjoy some low-impact fun with friends, but depending on your picnic setting, there are many different ways you can set up the playing field.
- Bocce Ball. Perhaps one of the more popular park-games, Bocce allows a large group to pack hours of fun into an easygoing activity designed around community. Bring a set and start having fun with friends and family.
National Picnic Month still has plenty of days for good fun and great food. As always, make sure you check with a physician before taking part in any athletic activities for the first time.