Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Simplest Entertainment

Blanket. Park. Food. Friends. The four ingredients needed for one of my favorite, and simplest, summer activities: picnics. Whether I’m on a staycation, or just want a break from work in the middle of the day, picnics are the easiest way to enjoy my community, eat good food (outdoors, nonetheless) and spend time with friends. And if I brown-bag my lunch, it is also one of the cheapest ways to have a good time in the summer.

Here are my tips for always being picnic ready:

* stash an old blanket or quilt in your car for impromptu outdoor dining. Nobody wants to sit on wet ground or risk grass stains on their backside--so be prepared to take your takeout outside by keeping a covering close by.

* get a picnic basket. In case you haven’t shopped for one lately, picnic baskets have gotten very fancy of late. You can find one with all the bells and whistles--separate compartments, cutlery, heating and cooling features.... Or you can just go low tech and grab a basket. Mine reminds me of Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz, and holds plenty of food for four, minus all of the fancy gadgets.

* grab a friend or two. Haven’t seen a girlfriend in ages? Catching up over a picnic lunch is a great idea! Have kids? Invite another mom for a picnic at the park with PB&J for fun and affordable entertainment (you might want to throw in some sunscreen and bandaids in your basket, too...). The more the merrier in my opinion!

* get to know your parks. Does your friend work on the opposite side of town? Scout out a good park near her office and meet up for lunch. Or just get to know your community by choosing a new park every week to visit. All the charm of kids playing and couples smooching under trees will certainly increase your appreciation for your town/city.

* follow food safety.
This last tip is cautionary. Please don’t give yourself and your friends food poisoning this summer by neglecting basic food rules. So don’t forget to keep your mayo and potato salads cool and out of the sun!

I know--it’s not rocket science.
But it is fun and cheap and a great way to enjoy the sun and friendships this summer.

And if you do end up taking a picnic, snap some photos and share them with me! Upload them to Retro Summer's Flickr page for everyone to see! Happy picnic-ing!

Previous Related Posts:
Staycation on Foot
Reading for Gold Stars
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  1. I love and a friend take our kids to the park and eat lunch too. We usually walk first, then eat and hang out. It is fun,cheap and a beautiful way to enjoy the day!!

  2. Don't forget your aluminum foil-wrapped soda!


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