August is National Picnic Month, which means it's time to step out of the air conditioning and enjoy a meal with your significant other or a group of friends in the great outdoors. You can head to the beach, find a nice patch of grass at a local park or even spread a blanket in the backyard to soak up the summer sun and enjoy the warm weather before the season is gone and you have to use your blankets to stay warm rather than create an impromptu tabletop on the grass.
What's on the menu?
A picnic presents a few unique challenges when it comes to deciding what foods you'll bring. You won't have a stove or a microwave, so everything has to be prepared ahead of time. Sandwiches are time-honored classics for picnic dining, but cooking a meal that tastes good after it's been chilled is a good way to go too.
Packing everything up
You can always bring a cooler to make sure nothing spoils. Instead of ice, consider soaking a few sponges in water, slipping them into Ziploc bags and freezing them. They make great ice packs, and you won't have to worry about dealing with all the melted ice sloshing around in your cooler as the day goes on.
For a traditional picnic experience, you will definitely need a blanket, sheet or tablecloth to spread on the ground or picnic table. It adds a little something extra to make your experience all the more memorable. Just make sure you don't use your finest linens, since you will be outside.
Don't forget the extras
A good picnic is not just about food, but about spending time with your loved ones. That's why it's important to bring more than just your picnic basket. Frisbees, footballs and soccer balls are great for people of all ages. You can also consider other outdoor game options, like bocci balls or cornhole, which are easy to set up and provide fun for hours.
Bring along a bottle of Champagne or some cold brews if you'd like – just be sure to check that they're allowed wherever you plan to picnic. You'll also want to pack your e-cigarettes, so you can vape while you chat. Order a pack of assorted flavors and make sure to bring along more than one, as your friends will surely want to try them out too. Peach is a great option for picnics, as the sweet, juicy fruit is the embodiment of summer.