Summertime picnic tips

July 5, 2019

Pat Maurer

The 4th of July is nearly over.

I say “nearly” because there are lots of celebrations still going on this weekend, so enjoy the next to last holiday of the summer.

This one, for me, marks the beginning of the middle of summer, although, of course, the calendar disagrees. In just two more weeks, we will be on the downhill side of the season, and everyone will be talking about “back to school” again.

Meanwhile, enjoy it while you can. It’s really all over on the next holiday – Labor Day.

For the kids, right now is vacation time with a capitol “V.” Its lake time, river time, pool time, vacation time, cookout time, boating time and time for bikes, skates and rollerblades – and it’s time for a picnic!

I’ve been surfing the web and thought I would pass on a few good tips to make your summer picnics successful.

Found one to save your picnic from ants and other crawling bugs. Wash your picnic table well and place each leg in a bowl or container of water. Bugs can’t crawl up the legs to share your goodies; when they try, they end up swimming.

You can keep the flying ones – bees, flies, etc – away from your outdoor feast with some of those handy, dandy screened covers I’ve seen advertised in several magazines lately.

Make sure your picnic area is clear of debris, clean and dry. Most bugs love shady damp places.

Eat at midday, when less bugs are around to invite themselves to the festivities and use light colored table covers and dishes to discourage insect guests. Bring along bug candles especially if it is evening, to help with the mosquitoes.

Keep the kids meals simple and utensil-free: Corn on the cob, fresh fruit and vegetables, fried chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, shish-kabobs and chips are good, fun choices.

Put dishes with mayo or milk ingredients like potato salad, deviled eggs and cold slaw, inside a larger dish lined with ice and plan to eat those first.
Have loads of cool drinks like ice tea and lemonade on hand and don’t forget the ice to keep them nice and cool.

Make a list of everything you think you will need before you go shopping for your picnic. Be sure to check your refrigerator and cabinets to make sure you have all the ingredients.

Watch the weather and make sure you have a covered area for eating if a sudden shower does appear. We certainly have had loads of those this year!
After the “eats,” have some fun games and activities ready for the youngsters. Frisbee, a bad mitten set, beanbag toss, volleyball set, or a soccer ball are good choices. If you don’t have anything else available, even a sprinkler in your own backyard can be loads of fun.

Outdoor fun can lead to cuts, scrapes and stings. Don’t forget to have on hand a first aid kit, calamine lotion and sun screen. The first aid kit is a must if you are going to a picnic with kids. Have some salve, bite sticks and even a small shaker of unflavored meat tenderizer along with you. A paste made with the tenderizer and a few drops of water will calm a bee sting in no time and reduce any swelling (tip from my doctor years ago).

Bring along bug candles especially if it is an evening event to help with the mosquitoes.

Don’t forget your cell phone, a real necessity if there is an accident like a broken bone.

Finally, enjoy the party yourself. Don’t do all the work while you are at the picnic. Allow everyone to pitch in so you can have fun, too.

We are going to be using some of this great advice this weekend ourselves. We are hosting the first birthday party for our newest great-granddaughter Amelia. Should be loads of fun, especially since her Momma Kayla will be doing the hard work of putting it all together, so although the party is here, we get to be the resident “old folks” enjoying themselves!

Share This Post

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *