Picnics are some of the most enjoyable events of the summer months, and no wonder. After those long cold days of winter, everyone wants to be outside as much as possible, and this includes backyard dining. These are anticipated events in many families, and they can be spontaneous or planned, formal or informal, elaborate or simple.
The family backyard picnic can be anything from a hot dog roast, to a few sandwiches or a pizza, to an entire meal served al fresco. Once the grill is set up, and the picnic table taken out of storage, there is no reason not to enjoy this summer treat. On evenings when the weather turns a little chilly, start a fire in the firepit or backyard fireplace and continue to enjoy the night.
Themed backyard picnics are a popular way to get friends and family together and make the event a little special. Hawaiian parties, and beach parties are always good. For those with no actual swimming pool, using a lead-free hose to fill a child’s wading pool and then attaching it to a sprinkler will suffice on those really hot days. Once guests know the theme, they will be more than glad to add to the picnic fare with their own special creations.
Community or neighborhood picnics are making a comeback. These can be planned well in advance, or be as simple as making a few phone calls and inviting people over to the backyard feast. These are always potluck events, with everyone bringing their own special dishes to add to the feast. Add a few games to the event such as horseshoes, cornhole, croquet, or badminton, and everyone will find something to do. If space allows, it is always good to erect one or two canopies for shade and to protect the picnic table areas.
Evening picnics are great for dining out in the cooler hours of the day. Tea lights and old fashioned Japanese lanterns create the lighting, and if needed, a fire pit provides some warmth. This is also a fun adventure for the kids, who love to include a hot dog and marshmallow roast in their picnicking.
Picnics are supposed to be fun for everyone. Whatever kind of picnic is planned, it should remain as easy and carefree as possible, even for the host or hostess. Preparing some dishes ahead of time, and keeping all other picnic supplies stocked and available can take a lot of the work out of the event.