Picnic Perfect

After slogging through the cold and dark winter, there’s nothing quite like seeing the signs of spring enter the world. Days get longer, temperatures get higher, and everything starts to turn from brown to bright, optimistic green. Spring comes onto the scene like a sigh of relief, and what better way to celebrate the once-again-warm outdoors than with a picnic?

Grab a few friends, a blanket, and pack a basket full of deliciousness for the perfect relaxing weekend activity. Below are a few suggestions on what to bring along, as well as some helpful packing tips.


  • Snacks: Food-wise, it’s hard to go wrong with chicken salad for picnics. You can mix it up a bit, though, by going with a curried chicken salad instead of a more traditional one. As side dishes, consider a tomato salad and some fresh fruit. For dessert, consider some oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chunks of dark chocolate.
  • Drinks: Pack some bottles of sparkling water along with sliced limes to accompany the water, and include an alcoholic beverage as well (think prosecco or a pre-mixed cocktail like a rosé sangria).
  • Games: Post-meal, it’s a good idea to have some lawn games on hand for everyone to enjoy. Bocce ball is always a crowd pleaser, as is washers or corn hole. Or you can pack light with something simple like a Frisbee.


  • Pack two containers: a picnic basket for tableware and nonperishable items and a cooler (or two!) for cold food and drinks.
  • Reverse it: Pack your basket in reverse order so it’s easy to unpack once you reach your picnic site. (So place nonperishable food items at the bottom, then serving items and tableware, and finally the tablecloth on top.)
  • Plan for trash: Bring along plastic bags for both dirty dishes and silverware that will be going home with you along with trash bags for garbage.
  • Keep cool: Your cooler should be about 25% ice and 75% food, and remember that a full cooler stays cold longer than a partially filled one, so choose your cooler size with that in mind. If you’re left with lots of cooler space, add more ice to fill it.