International Picnic Day is upon us! Occurring on 18th June, it is one of the best ways to celebrate the summer season and promises plenty of fun for all the family.
So, get your picnic baskets at the ready and enjoy a day filled with delicious food and exciting activities. We’ve even put together a list of ten great things about picnics for added inspiration but first, let’s take a look at the history of this celebration.
International Picnic Day
During the Victorian era, picnics were considered extremely important social occasions which offered a rare opportunity for young women and men to spend time together. This was their chance to find suitors and begin courtships and that meant dressing the part and enjoying the best food and activities.
Many of these picnics catered to more than 20 people and were fairly elaborate with dishes commonly including: salmon, ham, lamb, chicken, cheese boards, sandwiches and baked treats.
The social importance of these events carried on throughout the decades and led to our 21st Century appreciation of picnics and the establishment of International Picnic Day.
So, what’s so great about these outdoor feasts of food and fun?
1. They are not weather dependent!
Although picnics are traditionally held outside, the British weather can often make that impossible. So what’s the solution?
Introducing indoor picnics: the perfect antidote to summer showers. Choose a suitable room ( a conservatory or somewhere with natural light would be ideal to get the atmosphere right), choose a comfy rug to replace the traditional blanket and sit on the floor with tasty treats and party games for all. You could even opt for a shaggy rug if you want something that loosely resembles the texture of grass.
2. You get great food…
Pack your picnic basket with some of the very best summer treats available to enjoy great food al fresco. Fresh fruits and soft cheeses are always good choices and really complement a traditional selection of homemade sandwiches with delicious fillings. Add some sweet treats and mini cakes for a final pleaser and you’ve got it all wrapped up. Try to be as inventive as possible, and why not theme your picnic for a bit more fun? Italian, French or Morrocan are a few suggestions you could try.
3. …And the chance to have fun
More than just a time for eating, picnics are about having fun and getting active – hopefully in the great outdoors. Pack a couple of board games or playing cards and some outdoor sports equipment like a football, badminton set or cricket bat and get your heart racing. You can even have a go at flying a kite for some traditional fun.
4. Healthy eating made easy
More than just cakes and chocolate, picnics are an easy way to help your kids (and yourself) eat a little more healthily. Fresh fruit, colourful salads and tasty sandwiches are all picnic staples which put you well on your way to achieving your five-a-day.
5. A great chance to relax
Whether you’re indoors or outside, picnics are a change to recline on the ground, stretch out and enjoy the soft comfort of a cosy blanket. It’s almost as good as being tucked up in bed…
6. There’s no washing up
Colourful paper cups and plates not only embody the bright and bold vibes of a picnic, they also cut down on the washing up! Rinse out and recycle when finished for fuss-free tidying up or opt for plastic varieties for something equally low maintenance but with a longer shelf life.
7. Get to experience nature
Picnics are all about being at one with nature. Eating outside allows you to see natural wildlife close up and really experience the joy of relaxing in beautiful surroundings. Even if you have to bring your picnic indoors you can still create your own ‘natural’ backdrop with images of animals or flowers.
8. Kids love picnics
Yummy food, a chance to get outside and fun games – all this adds up to a great experience for kids. Little ones are sure to love a summer picnic and will be more than willing to help you pack the basket and prepare the goodies.
9. Adults love picnics
Not just for the kids, adults also love a good picnic so why not invite your friends and their families? If everyone makes or brings one dish then you’ll soon have a wide selection to choose from without spending hours in the kitchen yourself!
10. And they’re not even expensive
The most popular picnic venues are free to use and as the food and drink you prepare will be snack-based, there is little waste at the end of the day. All this means picnics offer incredible value and provide families with the perfect way to entertain the kids over the long summer holidays.
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