This summer we have made it a point to pack a picnic and go to a park. Why? Well, for one, it is a very enjoyable thing to do. And, two, we simply never had the opportunity to do so in South Carolina. The humid weather simply isn’t conducive to eating outside and the area of the state we lived in didn’t have the lush, green parks that dot the Spokane Valley.
In eastern Washington, the month of September is gorgeous and still perfect for picnicking. So, if you still haven’t embraced the outdoors while eating a sandwich on a comfy blanket, put a picnic on your calendar and let me give you five tips for a perfect experience.
Choose the Right Park – The Spokane and Spokane Valley boast countless public parks for citizens to enjoy. But before you choose a park based solely on a Google search, do a little bit of scouting and make sure it has everything you need. Our family looks for a fun playground, plenty of big pine trees for shade, sturdy picnic benches, and lots of green space. Parks that meet all these requirements aren’t hard to find but that doesn’t mean places that lack them don’t exist. Just do your homework.
Bring Stuff – The playground and human interaction should be enough to keep your family entertained, but it isn’t a bad idea to bring some items from home that could optimize your afternoon or evening. You can never go wrong with a frisbee or football. Sidewalk chalk is a hit with Sloan. If you are like me, bringing a croquet set is a great way to take advantage of the vast space offered by a park and it also allows you to set up the course of your dreams!
The Food – A picnic isn’t a picnic without the food. In fact, I feel like a picnic is an excuse to overdo it just a bit. Sometimes this means picking something up at a favorite restaurant. On separate occasions this summer we have brought food to the park from our favorite cheesesteak, sandwich, and fried chicken joints. But if you want a more traditional picnic, pack it yourself! That’s what we did for our picnic lunch yesterday. We met my sister and her kids at the park and we split up the food duties. Sid and I brought hot dogs and chips while my sister brought oranges, cookies, and drinks. It was a blast and pretty tasty.
Pack a Cooler – The drinks are just as important as the food. Grab your ice chest and throw in bottled water, soda, and some Capri Suns for the kids. Oh yes, don’t forget the beer. Just remember to bring Solo cups with you. You can empty your ice dispenser to keep the drinks cool but I prefer to pick up a bag of ice at the gas station and dump it in. When you get to the park, crack open your beverage and enjoy. Whether a soda or an adult beverage, an ice cold drink tastes incredible in the middle of beautiful scenery outside.
Be Prepared – It is important to be ready for any obstacles you might face once on-site. In terms of pests, you could encounter a member of the bee family buzzing around your picnic. Keep that in mind and bring appropriate repellent. During this time of pandemic, bring plenty of disinfectant wipes to scrub benches and play equipment. Most importantly of all, make sure everyone goes to the bathroom prior to arriving at the picnic. I have been in the park facilities and they are not pretty!
I mean it folks, don’t let this summer slip away without a picnic. With the Labor Day weekend approaching, pick a day and make it happen. Don’t Blink.