Summer. The season for picnics and outdoor soirees. Gazing out the window, only to be greeted by blue skies and the sunshine casting an alluring filter over the Motherland, is ample motivation to drive anyone out of hibernation!
As the Summer heat melts away the last of our Winter blues for what we hope will be a glorious couple of months, we schedule in as many outdoor activities as our social calendar permits. We whip our summer frocks, ready to parade it down the street, jacket-less – a luxury you simply cannot put a price on.
There’s nothing quite like basking in the sunshine, sprawled across a tartan picnic rug, the grass tickling your feet ever so gently and the soft breeze dancing around you as you devour a few decadent treats. As personal ambassadors of the classic picnic brunch, we sincerely suggest rounding up the family and setting up camp (for the day) in one of Melbourne’s iconic picnic locations. Prior to embarking on this excursion, consider a little strategic preparation for a fun-filled, stress-free day with your loved ones. We’ve put together a Summer picnic checklist to get you on the right track.
- Food & Drink
It’s not a picnic brunch without a divine selection of sweet and savoury treats. It’s vital that you consider the temperature and opt for foods that won’t perish in the heat. Sandwiches, mini sausage rolls, corn chips, biscuits, crackers, rice cakes, fruit and cakes are all terrific options.
Your tableware (cups, plates, bowls, utensils) will depend on your assortment of foods, so ensure you pack these accordingly. Depending on the number of guests, a drink dispenser may be appropriate for the occasion. Don’t forget the paper towels and wet wipes, they are mighty useful in the event of a spillage or just for general clean up.
- Insect repellent
Don’t let those nasty insects ruin your fun. Be prepared to fend off those irritating creatures with the wonders of OFF or RID.
Nothing quenches your thirst quite like an icy cold beverage. Filling an esky or two with ice will enable you to also store foods such as dips, cheese and cold pasta salads. It widens your selection of picnic snacks.
- Picnic rugs
Consider the number of people attending and pack blankets accordingly. Remember – comfort is key and the extra padding will go a long way, particularly if you’re planning on lounging on the grass all day.
- Wireless speakers
Wireless speakers are a worthwhile investment, especially for the outdoor entertainer. Set the mood and get the party started with a few fabulous tunes. Put a playlist together beforehand so that all you have to do is hit the play button.
- Garbage bags
Respect your surroundings and clean up after yourself. Keeping a garbage bag nearby for guests to dispose of their rubbish during the course of the afternoon will make your life a whole lot easier once it’s time to pack up.
Classic card games, ball games or even throwing the Frisbee around never gets old. While the gourmet selection of food is often the drawcard for adults, kids are more concerned about games and activities, so ensure you have plenty to keep them entertained!
- Sunsmart gear
Dust off the floppy hat and layer on the sunscreen. Ensure you reapply every couple of hours for maximum protection. Don’t risk a nasty sunburn or heatstroke!
Food, cordial and other sugary beverages generally top our list of picnic essentials, but the humble h20 can slip our mind. Ensure you bring ample water and keep hydrated throughout the day, particularly as the temperature escalates!