Amy Determan, Contributor

So you want to plan the perfect picnic, but you’re a little overwhelmed on maybe how to make it “perfect.” I mean, perfect is a pretty strong word, and if you’re a particular person, perfection is key. Don’t worry. I get the same way at times. Why do something half-hearted? Go big or go home is the motto, so let me help you figure out how to plan the perfect picnic!

The key element to planning the perfect picnic is location, location, location! Are you planning on having one in your backyard? Cause that could work. But what’s better than that is bringing what you enjoy in your backyard to a park. Is there a local park a hop, skip and jump away from your home? Find your favorite one – with the perfect sun to shady area ratio – and you’re set!

Now that we locked down the location, we should make sure to bring some fun along to the picnic. How do you define fun? Is it fishing? Is it playing sports? Bags? Frisbee? The entertainment is what you make it. If you’re the music lover, bring along a portable iPod speaker & enjoy some tunes because, who doesn’t like listening to music while hanging out with friends? I personally love playing Frisbee and yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for some bags or washers. I don’t know why, but when bags or washers are around, I not only get the urge to play but I get pretty competitive, too. Also, another fun thing to bring along on picnics? BUBBLES. Who doesn’t love bubbles? One of my favorite activities as a child was going to the park with my grandparents and blowing bubbles. Something so simple, is still so fun for me at 26.

What do you feel like eating when you go on a picnic? Wine & cheese? Do you feel like grilling on your picnic? Narrowing down your menu can make planning the perfect picnic stress free. Instead of packing a variety treats, keep it simple. Veggies and fruit are always a good idea, especially since the clean up is environmentally-friendly and super easy. Crackers and cheese can also be easy to pack & pairs really well with wine. If you’re up for grilling, then don’t forget to pack some cans of your favorite local beer.

What’s a picnic without a picnic basket and a blanket? Well, hardly a picnic BUT you don’t necessarily need them to have the perfect picnic. What you do need is something to sit on — Chair? Blanket? An old bed sheet you don’t use anymore? Anything will do, just depends on what you like to sit on. I’m the blanket type of girl, who enjoys laying down at a picnic and lounging. Next, you’ll need some utensils. Pack what makes sense to divide portions easily. Pack some anti-bacterial gel or wet wipes to clean up before devouring your munchies. And don’t forget to pack some water. Always pack water, you never know what you’re going to need it for. But where do you put all this? In a picnic basket of course, silly! Oh, and coolers to keep refrigerated items cold.

The last key component of having a picnic is the picnic party! What’s a picnic without having some of your best pals around? And what’s even better than having your best pals heading out to your favorite park & picnic spot? Your FURRY friends can get in on it too! I’m even talking CATS, people. Cats on leashes is apparently a thing and I have seen multiple people in my neighborhood with their cats, on leashes, in the park. Do it, it’ll be fun!

How do you plan for a picnic? Did I miss anything? Comment below! I hope this helped you plan the perfect picnic!

-Amy Determan, CBS Radio St. Louis


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