Failure to plan? A plan to fail!
You've piled all the food and the family into the car, got to your perfect picnic spot and realised you forgot the cutlery! Don't let this happen to you. Be organised by writing lists, cooking in advance and packing non-perishables early. It is important to be sun smart, even as the sun sets, so don't forget your sunscreen. Make sure you bring some wipes and napkins to keep clean during your picnic and organise how you will dispose of your waste once you finish.
Don't forget the repellent!
Buzzing bugs and bites are guaranteed to ruin an otherwise perfect night! Bring some bug repellent to deter those bugs from eating your food (and you); this is particularly important for a picnic at night as bugs can be even more active as the sun goes down. Invest in some sunscreen that includes has a bug repellent for extra convenience. Also, make sure you also check the weather report; we all know how unpredictable Australian weather can be- so have a backup plan if it rains unexpectedly. Most importantly, don't forget the food in your rush outside to enjoy the last rays of the day!
Cook an old classic
Pasta salad is a must have at any summer picnic. Try pasta in individual containers for each family member to grab and eat as they please. Fruit is a must have at every picnic- try stick to in-season fruits for guaranteed freshness. Prepare a fruit salad or fruit sticks in advance so you don't have to cut up fruit for the family on the day. Of course, a picnic is not complete without sandwiches and you can use any filling.
Leave the gadgets at home and keep everyone entertained with some fun outdoor games. Classics like hide and seek, hopscotch or Frisbee will keep everyone entertained. Pack some hula hoops, chalk or a football in the car for the kids to be entertained and some magazines, music or a radio to keep you entertained for lazy picnic evenings.
While your kids are playing hopscotch or exploring your picnic location, you should enjoy your picnic time as well. Bring along a comfy blanket to sit on, a deck of cards and a good bottle of wine to enjoy. When you are cooking for the whole family, make sure you also prepare something you will enjoy. Whip up a picnic-friendly treat like muffins or cupcakes. Not all picnics need kids either mind you! Plan a romantic evening picnic with your partner with your favourite foods and wine. Book the baby sitter, chill the wine- just don't forget the bottle opener!
Location, location, location!
Setting up on beach for sunset? Invest in portable lighting solutions if you intend on enjoying nighttime picnics or camping throughout summer. When planning your location, also consider where the bathrooms are, if you would need a barbecue to cook your food on or if pets are allowed so you can bring the whole family. If you don't want to stray too far from home, your garden can be a nice change of pace during the warmer months.
Keep it simple
Simplicity is the key when planning the perfect nighttime picnic. Cook food that is easy to eat and isn't too messy, pour your drinks into individual bottles so you don't have to worry about glasses and pack everything into a bag that is easy to carry like a backpack. Muffins are quick to make and easy to pack.