Picnics and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly--a delicious and fun duo. After all, there’s nothing better than getting outside with friends and family, opening a bottle of wine (or some juice boxes!) and enjoying the great outdoors.
Whether you live in a huge city or a laid-back small town, here are 5 must-haves for a great summer picnic:
1. A multi-tasking picnic basket
Sure, you can throw your food and wine in a boring reusable bag that’s typically meant for grocery store runs, but a real picnic basket is so much more charming — and actually sets the vibe for the entire picnic. Some things to consider when finding your perfect picnic basket: Is there an insulated section to keep items cold? Does it come with added goodies like salt-and-pepper shakers? And is there space to toss your blanket inside, if needed?
2. A durable picnic blanket
The best picnic blankets are so much more than normal blankets. While a basic blankets or even a big towel will work just fine, the most popular blankets are the market are waterproof, stain-proof and easy to transport from home to the park. Bonus point if they come in a cute carrying case or fold easily and have a handle or strap.
3. A colorful umbrella
Add some pop to any picnic (and get extra sun or rain protection to boot) with a big colorful picnic umbrella, preferably one that is attached to a chair for those folks who just don’t like sitting on the ground. We love the ones that are big enough to keep you dry in a sudden rain shower, offer UV protection, are easy to carry and are lightweight but sturdy.
Even if you have the cutest sun hat in the world, you still need sunscreen for yourself and your picnic partners. There are few things worse than a painful sunburn after a lovely day outdoors. The experts at the American Academy of Dermatology recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun's UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun's UVB rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun's UVB rays. To complete your picnic look, find a fun sunhat that will work in rain or shine!
5. Insect repellent
The only thing worse than rain at a picnic are BUGS! Bees, mosquitos, gnats… you get the idea. A good picnic host will provide bug repellent for any guest who might need it. While there are a variety of bug repellents on the market, ant and flying insect repellents are the most useful for most summer picnics. Other ways to keep bugs away include citronella candles, quick clean-up after eating is over and choosing a place that isn’t known for having a lot of bugs.
Summer picnics with friends and family are one of the highlights of the warm-weather season for most Americans. Sun, friends, food and fun? There’s no better way to spend a warm summer day.