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Picnics with the Grands: Great Food Plus Great Fun!

Summer is the time to enjoy beautiful outdoor settings with the grandkids. All you need is a sunny day, a park, a grassy wayside or a big backyard, and you’re ready to go.

But don’t let your picnic fare and fun become mundane when there are so many ways to spice up the experience. Take a bit of time to plan some extra-special picnics with a little help from online resources and Ask Granny!

First, put together a simple picnic kit. You may need:

A mid-sized cooler. You’ll want one big enough to keep drinks and perishables cool, but not so big it’s hard to carry for a distance.

A basket or designated box to carry non-perishable foods and snacks plus some simple equipment for picnic games.

A set of stackable plastic containers

A lightweight blanket or plastic cloth to double as either a tablecloth for a picnic table or as a surface to sit on while you eat.

A stash of disposable items including napkins, plates and cups, eating utensils and perhaps a thermos for hot or cold items.

To make picnics a breeze you might want to purchase a picnic basket all ready to go at Cool Picnic Baskets.

Now you’re ready to plan your picnic menu. Choose from one of these easy menus below

The Dipping Picnic

You’ll be so glad you chose this menu when you’re lounging in a gorgeous, scenic spot and it’s time to eat. Simply take the time to prepare carrot, celery, or jicama sticks, throw in some cherry tomatoes and zucchini slices. Slice some rustic bread into manageable pieces or bring along crisp crackers and add sliced summer sausage and cheese. Dip everything in your favorite: bleu cheese dressing, ranch dressing, your favorite olive oil, or a tasty hummus. You can even bring along dessert dips such as vanilla wafers or melon slices dipped in nutella, or graham crackers dipped in a small can of frosting.

The Grill Picnic

When you know your picnic destination has grills available, the grill picnic is the perfect choice. Choose a main dish that requires no condiments for a simpler, less fussy preparation time. Grill sausages, marinated chicken breasts or chops over briquets, add a crusty bread and a side dish or two. Bring along some brownies or cupcakes to round out this satisfying picnic meal.     

The Cosmopolitan Picnic

Create your own little bit of heaven with a caprese sandwich made on a whole, sliced French baguette. Make this yummy sandwich at home using mozzarella, drizzled olive oil, fresh basil, and onion for those who like it. Slice the sandwich, then wrap in cling wrap to travel safely. Add a pasta salad, fresh apple or pear slices and chocolate bars as an end of picnic treat.

Once the picnic meal has been enjoyed, it’s time for some active playtimes for the grandkids. Old favorites such as hula hoops, bubbles, and Frisbees may be part of your picnic kit, but how about some new, fun activities to make the outdoor day special?

Beanbag Toss Tic Tac Toe: Put together this simple game using two colors of beanbags and strings of yarn. Lay out the tic tac toe grid on a flat, grassy area, create a beanbag toss starting line and let the games begin. The first person to toss their beanbag into a line of three wins.

Shaving Cream on Shower Cap Race:  This one takes courage, and is guaranteed to get the whole gang’s interest. Have two people at a time place a shower cap over their heads. Allow an adult to cover the caps with a layer of shaving cream. Then a partner has a designated period of time to toss goldfish crackers, one at a time onto the shaving cream and making them stick. Ready, set, go! The winning team has the most goldfish stuck to the shaving cream.

A Simple Outdoor Scavenger Hunt: Before your picnic outing, make up lists of items that are typically easy to find in the out of doors. Your list might include pinecones, something smooth, something bumpy, something red or brown, two kinds of seeds, etc. Make your list age appropriate and send your happy picnickers out to gather the items in a set amount of time. You might choose to bring along small prizes for the winners.