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How to Plan a Summer Picnic

Home > Everywhere > Food and Wine | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots
by Emily Finlay (subscribe)
A freelance writer and editor living in Melbourne, I'm an avid fan of film, television and literature.
Published December 3rd 2012
Summer is the perfect time for a picnic. The days are longer, the sun is brighter and people are happier. The only problem is that picnics can be deceptively tricky to organise – so whether you are planning a family picnic, a picnic with friends or a romantic picnic with your partner, it's good to be prepared.

Here is my tried and true picnic preparation list:

Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

1. Location, location, location

As in real estate, location is key in planning picnics. Think about what type of picnic you want. Do you want to spend the whole day there? Is it a dinnertime picnic? Are you happy to travel for hours or do you want to go somewhere close to home?

Some good picnic locations around Melbourne include the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hanging Rock and O'Donohue Picnic Ground.

2. Fresh produce
Picnics often fail when people try too hard. Don't try and cook a soufflé on a camp stove. Instead, keep it simple. Stop by your local market and pick up some dips, antipasto and fresh bread for your main. Follow with a delicious dessert of fresh fruit – which is incredibly refreshing on a warm summer's day.

Fresh Produce
Market Fresh Produce

3. Hydration
Remember to bring something to drink and keep hydrated. A bottle of bubbly is a must for those above the legal drinking age, but if you are outside it is amazing how quickly that bottle of bubbly can go to your head.

4. Protection
The amazing thing about picnics is that they are outside. The not-so-amazing thing about being outside is that you are subject to the elements. Which means you should bring sunscreen and a hat to fend off the powerful UV rays. And a can of insect repellent is always a good idea – there's nothing worse than returning home covered in insect bites.

5. Back-up plan
In case the weather is a little crazy, it's always a good idea to have a back-up plan. Some picnic grounds have covered areas, but if not you should be prepared.

It might not be quite as picturesque, but an indoor picnic can be a fun alternative. And if you are travelling for a few hours, it's a good idea to know whether there are any cafes or restaurants around the area.
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