Tips for the Perfect Picnic

PicnicThe key to a successful picnic is planning and preparing ahead of time — so that you can simply relax and enjoy yourself once you unpack your picnic basket. Things to pack include:

  • Blankets or ground cover
  • Forks, knives, spoons, plates, cups, bowls, etc.
  • Serving utensils & dishes, including large spoons & forks
  • Sharp knives
  • Cutting board (can double as a serving tray)
  • Tablecloth, serviettes & paper towels
  • Can opener, bottle opener & corkscrew
  • Salt & pepper
  • Appropriate condiments including mustard, ketchup, relish or whatever works with your menu
  • Plastic containers or storage bags for leftovers
  • Trash bags for clean up
  • Moist towelettes for clean ups
  • Ice
  • Beverages, including water
  • And of course, your food….
  • Other items to consider: insect repellent, sunscreen, bathing suit, books or magazines, deck of cards, camera

TIP: I keep a checklist of items in my picnic basket at all times. Every time we head out for a picnic I always have a quick way of ensuring I don’t forget anything before we leave the house!

Planning your picnic menu!

Casual and fun -- those are the key elements of a picnic! Your menu should reflect this theory. No matter how many people will be at your picnic, remember that your food should reflect the mood of the day.

Consider food that is easily transportable, easy to eat, and lends itself to a pick-up-and-go attitude. Avoid foods that could spoil -- like mayonnaise, uncooked or processed meats, etc. Fried chicken, the mainstay of storybook picnics, works because not only is it delicious, but its easy to grab and eat, without a lot of cutlery or paraphernalia required.

When packing your picnic basket, consider food items that are prepared ahead of time and ready to go.

  • Pre-made salads
  • raw vegetables
  • fruit pieces
  • pre-made sandwiches or wraps
  • cheese and crackers
  • all these work well because they require very little on site preparation.

As well as some of our favourite picnic recipes:
Crispy Picnic Chicken
Summer Pasta Salad
Michele’s Oatmeal Cookies
Corn Flake Candy Brittle
Sticks & Stones Snack

Top Ten Reasons for Picnic Entertaining:

  1. You don’t have to clean the house.
  2. Nothing can get broken or stained in your house.
  3. You have no mess to clean up the next day.
  4. You don’t have to worry about the noise.
  5. You don’t have to worry about guests who stay too late — you can just leave!
  6. You don’t have to limit the number of guests you invite due to space restrictions.
  7. You can entertain without worrying about your mother, your pets, your roommates…
  8. If you’ve planned properly there should be no leftovers.
  9. It can be a great romantic gesture.
  10. A great way to enjoy the summer!

A Few Places to Picnic in The Hills of Headwaters

Did you know?

Picnic comes from the French word pique-nique, meaning "a fashionable social entertainment" in which each guest brings a contribution to the feast. In other words, pique-nique was a fancy way of saying "potluck."

"Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.” Alice Walker

A teddy bears' picnic, traditionally a party for young children and their teddy bears, is believed to have originated from the 1907 “Teddy Bear’s Picnic instrumental march by John Walter Bratton.


If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


More fun Picnic Facts!

  • A “picnic” ham is really not a true ham since it is cut from the upper part of the foreleg of a pig; whereas a true ham is cut from the hind leg!
  • In Italy, Easter Monday is considered the country’s favourite picnic day -- it is called “Angel’s Monday” or Pasquetta (“Little Easter”).
  • A 600-mile-long picnic took place in France in the year 2000 to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new millennium.
  • It has been noted that the first table designed specifically for picnics (in a style similar to what we know today) appeared in the late 1800s.
  • Following the French Revolution in 1789, royal parks were opened to the public, and picnicking became a popular activity for the newly enfranchised citizens
  • A fashionable group of Londoners started a Picnic Society in the early 19th century, and members were expected to share entertainment and refreshments
  • The origin of the word picnic is up for debate. Some say it is based on the French verb “piquer” which means to pick; which may go back to the tradition of this type of celebration being potluck in nature --hence, picking from a selection of foods!