picnic week

Picnic ideas and tips for parents

Picnic Week

The weather is starting to improve, which means one thing: picnic time!

Between June 18 – June 26 2023, picnickers will be grabbing their blankets and baskets to celebrate National Picnic Week.

A picnic is a great way to enjoy quality time with friends or family.

So hit the great outdoors for a good old fashioned picnic! Enjoy some time away from screens and get a dose of vitamin D.

Picnic ideas on a budget

Traditionally, you’d find sandwiches, pies, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, and strawberries at a British picnic.

Nowadays, our diets have changed, and picnics offer a veritable feast.

Houmous, falafel, tapas-style foods, olives, flatbreads, and even sushi are modern picnic favourites. And don’t forget the treats too; who doesn’t love a cookie or a doughnut?

We know what you’re thinking… That all sounds expensive.

Well, the great news is that a picnic can be put together to suit any budget. What’s more, it’s cheaper than eating out or buying food from a cafe.

In fact, the average picnic costs just a few pounds each. Even better, if the food is transported in suitable containers and a cool bag, there might be some left over for another meal too.

Make up a good spread with a few homemade snacks and buy some cheap shop bought items. Also, pack a little for ice cream if you’re near a cafe.

For a simple picnic:

  • Make a few rounds of sandwiches that you can dish out or share
  • Buy a ‘grab bag’ of crisps or multipacks on offer
  • Chop up some carrots, celery and cucumber to dip in hummus
  • Look for 3 for 2 deals on sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, or pies
  • Take your own bottles, or buy a large bottle of water or fizzy drink
  • Pop in some homemade or shop bought cakes or snack bars

Picnic hotspots

Parks, beaches and woods are great places to enjoy a picnic.

To make a picnic as part of a day out, choose a picnic hotspot a little further afield.

Just remember to check the toilet facilities and parking before you go. Some locations will be busy on sunnier days, and therefore parking may be difficult.

Also, check any signs to avoid getting a parking ticket on your windscreen.

Picnic tips for parents

Any day out with kids can be stressful, particularly when you have nature to contend with.

The key to having a great day is in the planning.

As well as blankets, a cool bag, basket, and any deckchairs for older relatives, we have some practical tips to help.

Choose a picnic destination where you can spread out and don’t feel on top of the next family. It might also be wise to check if dogs are allowed, and whether they need to be kept on a lead. If you don’t like dogs, avoid some areas.

Pack easy-to-clean items and anti-bacterial wipes or sprays to make sure that everything is completely sanitised. Small containers are useful for transporting food and can be stacked in a cool bag to save on space.

Take extra bags that can be used to collect rubbish. Countryside code is to ‘leave no trace’, and we all know that kids can be messy. So pick up wrappers, napkins, and anything else that might be accidentally left behind.

Add some cutlery to serve, chop, or eat food with. Little ones can eat straight from their lunchboxes, but adults may prefer a plate and some crockery. If you don’t want to carry them home, look for paper plates and disposable crockery that can be recycled afterwards.

Check the weather forecast so that you have sun cream, sun shades or conversely, coats and waterproofs. It is the UK after all!