Summer is officially here with longer days, blossoming flowers, and warmer weather. One way to soak up the fresh air is by spending some time out in nature with a picnic. Whether you’re a beach bum or love the mountains, here are five simple picnic ideas for you, including healthy low-sucrose foods your whole crew will love. Who said the perfect picnic has to be loaded with carbs and processed sugars anyway?
For the Weekend Bruncher
Grab your friends and head out for a potluck-style brunch with all your morning favorites. Bonus: If you opt for a park location, you’ll beat the afternoon crowds and likely have some quiet time.
Where to Go: A local park, a friend’s backyard
What to Pack: Whip up some mini crustless quiches made with eggs and vegetables of choice like broccoli, mushrooms, or tomatoes. Also include a homemade berry smoothie made with avocado and nut milk for a refreshing beverage packed with healthy fats. If you’re a bacon-lover, be sure to look for a natural, uncured, and unprocessed variety.
Quick Picnic Tip: Skip the orange juice and mimosas and opt for a homemade low-sugar smoothie.
For the Beach Bum
The sun is shining and you’re ready to hit the beach! Pack a cooler and beach blanket for the ultimate seaside picnic.
Where to Go: Your favorite beach
What to Pack: Keep it cool with bright summery eats like strawberries, a cucumber and dill salad dressed with olive oil and lemon, gazpacho (skip the onion and garlic), and lettuce wraps stuffed with chicken or egg salad.
Quick Picnic Tip: Buy pop-up mesh food cover tents to keep the flies and creatures out of your feast. Also be sure to bring sunscreen, an umbrella, and a beach hat.
For the Love Birds
Valentine’s Day and anniversaries aren’t the only time for romance. Whisk your sweetie away for a romantic staycation for two.
Where to Go: A beach at sunset, a neighborhood garden park
What to Pack: Kick things off by toasting with an alcohol-free mocktail made with soda water, lemon, and a dash of unsweetened cranberry juice. For dinner, enjoy a fresh garden salad, baked chicken or salmon, roasted lemon asparagus, and fresh juicy berries for dessert.
Quick Picnic Tip: Set the scene with electric candles, fresh flowers, cozy blankets, and your favorite playlist.
For the Family
Weekends are for family. Why not make a picnic out of it?
Where to Go: The park, your own backyard
What to Pack: Load up on family-friendly foods the kids will love like a pitcher of lemon or lime-infused water or iced tea, celery stuffed with almond butter, cheese with grapes, and kabobs made with grilled chicken and veggies.
Quick Picnic Tip: Pack a frisbee, paddle-ball, or board games to keep the whole family entertained.
For the Nature Lover
You’re ready to hit the trails, but don’t take off without some hiking fuel to keep you energized.
Where to Go: Hiking, a nature trail, a local park by a lake or river
What to Pack: Pack travel-friendly snacks like a nut-based trail mix, deviled eggs, natural cheese, pear wedges with almond or peanut butter, veggie sticks, and hummus.
Quick Picnic Tip: Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Also be sure to pack bug spray to keep the mosquitoes away.
Now that you’ve got your ideal picnic spot mapped out, don’t forget these essential staples:
- Ice packs
- Picnic basket
- Games and equipment to go along with your theme
- Silverware, napkins, and plates
- Mini condiments and seasoning of choice
- Trash bag
Looking for your perfect outdoor picnic location? Find a local park near you to get started.
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