How To Plan A Picnic For A Nice Day Out With The Family

family in a picnic

If you’re a family that loves to spend time in nature, or one that’s considering it, learning how to plan a picnic for a lovely day out with the family is an excellent step to take.

Spending time outside is always refreshing. As a family, having a beautiful day together outside is even more enjoyable (the more, the merrier).

From playing frisbee to serving up burger and brats off of one of the best portable bbq grills, having a family picnic is a splendid way to spend some time together.

But what exactly is necessary for the planning of a beautiful day out picnicking with the family?

Having a Nice Day Outside Picnicking with the Family

One of the most inexpensive and enjoyable things to do outside as a family is having a picnic. Families who spend a lot of time together outside know this full-well.

Time spent with family is time well spent indeed. For those who love the great outdoors, time spent together outside is about as good as it gets as far as family-time goes.

All things considered, a little bit of planning goes a long way. Learning how to plan a picnic for a lovely day out with the family is necessary for optimizing your time together.

That said, there’s a never-ending amount of outdoor activities for families to enjoy together regardless of what sort of nature you have access to.

When planning a nature outing with the family, there is a lot to consider. If the excursion is a picnic, there are even more details to plan around before packing up and heading out.

For example, how many family members will be coming along for the picnic? Is there a need for more than one vehicle?

How about the location and the weather forecast?

Will anyone need special eating accommodations? Perhaps a small child with peanut allergies needs a ham sandwich in place of peanut butter and jelly that the other kids will have. Or maybe a bottle warmer for an infant needs hot water for mixing an extra bottle of formula.

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Family Picnic Checklist

Planning a perfect family picnic involves a ton of little details. There are quite a few elements that mustn't be overlooked to pull off a memorable picnic for the whole tribe. That’s why we took the time to put together a list of all the most important things you need for planning a family picnic.

Here are a few of the most pivotal essentials required for a family picnic:

  • Basket, backpack, or tote
  • Waterproof blanket or tarp
  • Dishes, containers, and eating-utensils
  • Thermos and heat packs for hot beverages and food
  • Cooler and ice packs for cold drinks and food
  • Cutting board for veggies, fruits, meats, and bread
  • Charcoal grill (and charcoal)
  • Napkins, handkerchief, or wet wipes
  • Bottled drinks (lots of water) and a bottle opener for adult beverages (wine)
  • Condiment and seasoning packets
  • First aid kit
  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Boardgame, frisbee, or other light entertainment
  • Trashbags and ziplock baggies

How To Plan A Picnic In 5 Easy Steps

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Planning a picnic efficiently requires a lot of thinking. However, it doesn’t have to necessarily be hard work. As a matter of fact, the planning stage can be quite exhilarating if you enjoy such things.

Here are a few detailed steps to planning a family picnic:

Step One

While it may seem like an obvious first step, choosing an exact location and precise time for your family’s picnic is not always the first consideration made. That said, it absolutely should be.

While learning how to plan a picnic properly, you will see clearly how important the actual location is.

Selecting a location and time for your picnic has a considerable impact on the following steps.

For example, specific areas allow for larger groups, while others do not. Likewise, some sites have outbuildings, grills, and playground equipment, while many are lacking any such facilities.

The time is also incredibly important. Make sure to plan for a time that everyone has the day off from school, work, and any other obligations.

Also, have a look at the extended weather forecast while selecting your time and location. Doing so can save you a whole lot of unnecessary suffering (as well as soggy bread and wet clothes!).

Step Two

After you decide on a time and a place, give some thought to the exact number of people who’ll join in on your picnic. This number may also include friends of the family as well as extended family and co-workers.

Taking a headcount early on in your planning stage needs to take place for several reasons.

You will need to base your menu on the number of people coming. Entertainment and activity choices will also hinge on the number of people attending the picnic as well.

As far as choosing activities, there’s a never-ending supply of options for a bit of outdoor picnic fun with the family. From tug-of-war, and frisbee golf, to lobbing water balloons or putting on a puppet show, there’s plenty to do for a family or group of any size.

The better you know your family and friends, the easier this phase of the planning will go. There’s nothing worse than planning a bunch of stuff that no one actually enjoys. Talk about an awkward afternoon!

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Step Three

The menu is one of the most crucial (and time-consuming) parts learning how to plan a picnic for you and your family.

From taking headcount to asking (or knowing) what sort of food, and how much of it, each family member will eat and much more, the menu will take a bit of development on your part.

That said, the menu for your picnic doesn’t have to be prepared by an engineer or a chef either. You can go with options as simple as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bag of chips.

At the same time, you can also go with a more elaborate menu, one that requires a barbecue grill or food to be cooked ahead of time.

There are also such easy options as ordering a few pizzas or making a run to McDonald's. While these may not be as traditional as sandwiches and chips, they are none the less pretty popular menu options with the kids.

Your menu should be based on the likes (and dislikes) of your family. And no one knows your family better than you. So, make sure to consider the needs of each family member, and you can’t go wrong!

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Step Four

Once you prepare a menu for your family picnic, the real work begins. Unless you're opting for the McDonald’s or Papa John’s menu selection, start by checking which ingredients you already have on hand.

For everything else, make a trip to the nearest grocery store and pick up the rest of what you need.

Buns, dogs, burgers, ketchup, and relish are easy to remember staples for a classic picnic menu. Don’t let the bags of ice, extra bottles of water, and sandwich baggies slip your mind either.

Charcoal for your grill is another easy to forget supply that you’ll want to pick up if you plan on doing any grilling.

While you’re purchasing all the supplies you need, you may want to consider investing in the best portable charcoal grill for you and your family as well.

There’s nothing better than good old fashioned charcoal-grilled burgers and dogs when it comes to picnicking with the family and friends.

Step Five

When you finish with your menu and gathering the ingredients, you’re almost finished with your picnic planning.

Now all you have to do is figure out a few more little details such as the seating arrangements, and how many vehicles to take. You’ll also want to pack your first aid kit (because anything can happen outdoors).

Double-check everything from your reservations (if you’re renting a pavilion or other outdoor area) to your coolers, equipment, and safety gear before heading out.

How To Plan A Picnic For A Nice Day Outside With The Family: Final Thoughts

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Learning how to plan a picnic for a beautiful day outside with the family is a fantastic undertaking for those who enjoy both family time and the great outdoors.

There’s no question about it. Knowing your family, and all of their unique needs will be your best friend when learning how to plan a picnic for them.

Not only will taking the time to plan out your picnic properly make things less stressful for you (the adult), but it’ll also allow the kids to enjoy themselves even more. In turn, you will have an even greater time yourself.

All the above taken into consideration, there is no right or wrong way to plan a picnic. The five steps listed above guide you through all of the necessary steps to planning and pulling off an enjoyable picnic.

However, there is no right or wrong way to plan a picnic (just ask Martha Stuart).

Do you know another method that teaches how to plan a picnic with the family? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below.

Good luck learning how to plan a picnic and enjoying a nice day out with your family!

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