International Picnic Day is June 18, and oh, boy, do I love a picnic – almost as much as the ants do! There’s nothing so relaxing as working up an appetite with outdoor activities, capped by a scrumptious spread brought in a wicker basket from home.
Picnic is originally a French word, picque-nique, which referred to a fashionable type of social entertainment in which each person who attended brought a share of the food. Think of the well-dressed picnickers in the Georges Seurat painting, A Sunday on La Grade Jatte, the subject of the musical play “Sunday in the Park with George.”
But you don’t have to be French, and you certainly don’t need to dress up, to enjoy a picnic. So pack the sandwiches and the deviled eggs and trek off to your favorite site to celebrate this International Picnic Day. I know that food and gas prices are high, so here are frugal yet fun ways to enjoy your picnic.
Go fly a kite. Grab the kids and visit a toy store or a hobby shop to pick out something that would be fun to do together. Go buy a kite, a football, or a butterfly net and run through the fields.
Pick a venue you’ll enjoy. If lying on a beach is your idea of fun, find a nearby body of water such as a lake and purchase a picnic lunch from an exotic deli for a relaxing day.
Become one with nature. In the U.S., we are lucky to have a network of national parks and monuments all across the country. For a small admittance fee, you can take the children to explore the park, listen to ranger talks and see movies about the environment and nature. Then enjoy your picnic lunch on a park bench surrounded by nature. But take your trash with you when you leave so it doesn’t attract bears and you keep the environment clean.
Don’t forget your first aid kit. Scrapes and bruises can happen anywhere, and it’s best to be prepared. Don’t forget the bug repellant and the sunscreen, and bring big floppy hats for everyone.
Picnic at the fair. Our local county fair is in full swing, and its fun to visit the animals and exhibits and ride the rides. But here’s a tip – it is much less expensive if you pack your own hot dogs, chips and gooey chocolate treats to eat under the shade of a tree instead of buying food at concession stands.