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How to Pack a Picnic

Summertime is picnic time, so picnic recipes are always welcome. And while it might seem like there’s nothing to it, how to pack a picnic depends on a few factors, like where you’re going, how long you’ll be there and what food you’re planning to tote. Sometimes a picnic is just a bag of sandwiches, but they’ll be glorious if you make ours. When planning a real summer cookout, potato salad, coleslaw or pasta salad may be on the menu. Once the sides are decided, you’re going to need some main dish ideas. Serving hot dogs? Hosting a BBQ? Keep it fun from beginning to end, and safe, too. Refer to our food safety article for the best ideas on how to pack a picnic safely. And don’t forget the sunscreen.

Picnic food tips

  • Pack plenty of extra beverages in a cooler (water, Kool-Aid and Crystal Light On-the-Go Sticks) to help satisfy thirst.
  • Pack some sweet treats. Try fresh fruit such as melon and berries or frozen Jell-O Pudding Cups as an alternate to ice cream.
  • Keep your prepared foods in the fridge until it's time to pack them up.
  • To be sure you’re doing everything right to keep your food safe, follow our food safety tips for serving food at outdoor celebrations.

Picnic fun

  • Don't forget to bring some items that will get you moving. Consider packing a Frisbee, a couple of mitts and a baseball, a soccer ball or a football. If you live fairly close to the park, take your bikes, walk or rollerblade.
  • Pack sunscreen! Even if it's overcast or you're lying in the shade, wearing sunscreen is always a good idea.