Picnic

The trend for this summer will be picnics (weather permitting of course). Here is Evite’s advice on this super fun party type…

DECORATIONS

Nothing screams “picnic” like a red-and-white-checkered blanket and a long trail of ants. Dress up the former and keep your food safe from the latter by bringing folding tables to put your food on. Also be sure to have citronella candles on hand to add atmosphere to your picnic while keeping any flying critters away. Pack enough beach chairs and towels or other ground coverings so that all of your guests can camp out in style. If you want to spruce up your picnic area, bring colorful helium balloons and streamers that you can tie between trees. These will not only add a festive touch, they’ll help your guests find you if they’re arriving separately. Since the picnic basket is the universal symbol of this style of party, you can use a basket to add flair to your picnic table or blanket. Just fill it with wildflowers and use it as a centerpiece, or pack it full of fresh fruit that serves as both a serving bowl and a fun decoration in the spirit of the outdoor party.

PREPARATION

Pre-planning for your picnic ensures that you and your guests will get the most out of the day. Before you leave, fill a backpack or picnic basket with picnic essentials like bug spray, sunscreen, flashlights and garbage bags for your trash. Also, be sure to pack plenty of paper cups, plates and plasticware, as well as a can and bottle opener, a corkscrew, salt and pepper shakers and condiments like mustard and ketchup. A big cooler with ice keeps your drinks and perishable foods cool, and sweatshirts keep you warm if the wind starts to blow. You’ll also want to pack napkins and hand wipes so you and your guests can clean up after your picnic feast. And finally, bring a digital camera or disposable cameras so you can spend rainy days remembering how much fun you had.

ACTIVITIES

Eating the tasty treats you bring is the highlight of any picnic, but you can also plan games to keep your guests happy. At a picnic, you’re limited only to what you can carry. Pack a set of playing cards as well as a few Frisbees, footballs and a bocce ball set, all of which are light and easy to transport. Utilize the outdoors by planning a down-home watermelon spitting contest, or, if you’re in a wooded area, playing hide and seek. If there will be kids at the party, bring coloring books and crayons to entertain them when they get too tired to run around.

FOOD

The word “picnic” comes from the French “pique-nique,” which roughly means a potluck, so in that spirit, assign your guests a type of dish to bring. Crowd-pleasers include fried or grilled chicken, as well as assorted sandwiches and salads. Pack cookies and fresh fruit like grapes, strawberries and orange wedges for dessert. And don’t forget the watermelon! When planning your menu, try to stay away from mayonnaise and any other foods that could spoil in the sun.

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