Tips for the perfect picnic

Just a little planning can make a simple picnic into a party at the park. Here’s how...

What’s the weather forecast for tomorrow? Looking good? Great, take your lunch outside for a fun and casual way to spend quality time with friends or family.

Where to go

The best outdoor locations change depending on where you live, but make sure it’s somewhere easy to get to – nothing about a good picnic should feel like hard work.

•Try to pick somewhere with a few trees for shade – playing games in the sun might be fun, but eating in the heat can be hard work.

•Think about somewhere with facilities nearby. If you’re going to be out for hours, washing hands and loo breaks will be part of your day.

•If you head for a beach, settle somewhere near dunes or take wind-breaks to create your own cosy pop-up space.

Check out five best picnic spots in the UK

What picnic food

Keep things casual by asking everyone to bring just one kind of food or drink each.
This way you get a selection of goodies with at least one thing to suit everyone!

•It doesn’t just have to be sandwiches – pots of dips and a bag of chopped carrots and cucumber are easy to snack on, and chicken drumsticks (check out our spicy chicken drumsticks recipe individually wrapped in foil will keep everyone protein-fuelled.

•Instead of messy puddings, just take a tub of grapes or cherries to pass around.

•Freeze bottles of still water overnight so by the time you’ve got to your picnic spot, they’ve melted back into deliciously iced water that’s ready to drink. Take a small bottle of squash or cordial to add once you’re out so that drinks are fresh and refreshing instead of being prepared hours before.

More tasty picnic recipes for feasts on a budget

Don’t forget

Whether you take cutlery and cups or just have finger food and drink from cartons, there is an essential detail to remember and that’s to keep everyone comfortable.

•Takes lots of picnic blankets and even some cushions if you can.

•Take one small bag of savvy essentials – a small towel, sun lotion, plasters and antiseptic cream and some tissues.

•Frisbees and a ball for restless picnickers.

•If you have time, why not look up some of the birds or other wildlife that can be found around where you’re going? Print off some pictures of them from the RSPB website and send older kids off on a wildlife spotting mission while the grown-ups chat.

•And finally… Take a bag or two so rubbish can be sorted and disposed of properly before your journey home.

Don’t miss five fun park games to make your picnic a real party