This summer has been really, REALLY warm here in the Pacific Northwest. Unseasonably so. You may have seen me mention it once or twice (or more) in the last few weeks, but when you’re used to 75-degree summer weather, a steady wave of 90-100 degree days is a little unsettling. I’m trying not to complain, but when it gets too hot, it cuts into my summer BBQ and picnic time, you know? And I LOVE my summer BBQ & picnic time, so I was thrilled when Cape Cod® Potato Chips asked me to share this sponsored post with you.
There’s just something so magical and exciting about packing up a picnic and enjoying it with friends and family. In fact, the kids and I have even been known to throw a picnic blanket down on the living room floor and have a picnic indoors when the weather outside is dreary. It makes ordinary mealtimes extra fun and summer picnics are awesome excuses to get outside and soak up some sunshine.
While spur-of-the-moment picnics can be just as fun as planned picnics, I’ve learned over the years that there are a few To Do’s to ensure summer picnic success. Here are five of those tips to help you have the best summer picnics ever!
Five Tips for the Best Summer Picnics Ever
1. Stay hydrated
Make sure you pack lots and lots of water for the entire picnic crew. My kids and I each have our own refillable water bottles that we bring with us on outings, but I try to always have bottled water as well in a cooler for any of our friends who may have forgotten theirs, or for extras if there isn’t a water fountain available at the picnic site to refill our water bottles. (You can also download my free summer water bottle label printables that are shown here)
2. Use Compostable Dining Materials
There are so many fabulous companies that make compostable bamboo plates, forks, knives, and spoons now. I think they are absolutely beautiful just as they are, with their natural imperfect lines and edges, and their neutral colors make them the perfect foundation for party or picnic customization. You can wash them off and place them in your compost bins at home; or, if you want to dispose of them after the picnic, you can at least feel better when you toss these into the garbage when you leave your picnic site.
As for coordinating and customizing these beautiful compostable plates and utensils, I love using washi tape to coordinate utensils with plates. This way, when friends and kids step away from the table and return to refuel, there’s never a question of whose plate was whose. Plus, they’re just so gosh darn adorable dressed up in washi tape! (I may have a slight washi tape addiction…)
3. Single Serving Grab-and-Go Food
When it comes to food, keep it simple. Bring food that can stand up to summer heat, and food that your kids and friends can just grab and go in between frisbee and baseball games and playground fun. Think sandwiches, cut up veggies, fruit, and, one my my fave snacks, chips. When you divvy them up into little containers, like these sweet polka dot fry baskets, it’s easy for picnic goers to grab and go — and, it helps with portion control. My kids would eat a whole bag in one sitting if I let them ;)
I’ve professed my love of gluten free Cape Cod® Potato Chips before, a love that began when I discovered them while attending college in Boston, MA. Did you know that even though the company has expanded out to the West Coast, has a factory tour that attracts more than 250,000 visitors each year, and offers more than a half dozen different potato chip flavors, reduced fat options, and even popcorn snacks, the company started out as a small beachfront shop by two entrepreneurs? I love watching small businesses grow! Especially when I’m a big fan of their product.
Try a bag of Cape Cod® Potato Chips, now available at your local grocer. And, if you’re picking up a bag for your picnic, now is the time you might want to pick up an extra bag or two. Now through September 30, Cape Cod® Potato Chips is holding a Ridiculously Good Bags of Cash promotion, in which you have the chance to win $5,000 hidden inside random bags of chips. Check out the full contest details and rules on their website.
5. Use a Non-Traditional Picnic Blanket/Tablecloth
All of that delicious picnic food needs to be placed on a clean surface, and another tip I have is to think beyond the traditional picnic blanket or tablecloth. Picnic blankets or even tablecloths can be surprisingly expensive, and I have found that simply buying oil-cloth fabric for a blanket or cotton fabric on sale at a craft store works just as well. I’ve also had luck finding twin bedding at thrift stores that I’ve used as tablecloths. In fact, the pink, white, and orange “tablecloth” you see in these photos is actually a crib top sheet that I found at a thrift store for less than a buck! It’s a fun way to add a punch of summer color to your picnic while also saving money.
6. Pack Emergency Picnic Prep
Okay, this final tip is not as cute as packing up single serving chips in adorable fry holders nor as colorfully coordinated as adding washi tape to your compostable picnic ware. However, it is a VERY important tip: remember to bring summertime outdoor essentials with you to all picnics. Our little bucket of picnic preparedness includes sunscreen, bug repellant, extra bandages, and antibiotic ointment. The sunscreen is a given, but with all of the mosquitoes out during the warm summer months as well as reports of ticks in wooded areas and parks, I find that it’s helpful to have some insect repellant with you as well. And, I’m a mom, so I always have extra bandages and antibiotic ointment with me in my car.
I have a lot of other things on my picnic checklist, but these are five near the top that I always try to remember before we pack up and head out for another fun summer outing. I hope you found this list a helpful start!
What other tips would you have (besides bringing good food & beverages!) to having great summer picnics?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cape Cod® Potato Chips. All opinions and photos are, as always, my own.