Summer picnics are a great opportunity for family bonding, improved mental health, and stress relief. It feels good to be outdoors, especially when you’re surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers. If you’re thinking about hosting a picnic, you’ll have to choose the perfect place - and the perfect menu!

To plan an enjoyable and memorable summer picnic, here are some of our best ideas!

Find the Perfect Spot

If you don’t know of a good picnic spot, you can ask your friends and neighbors for a recommendation. A local Facebook group can also point you in the right direction. No matter where you choose to host your picnic, make sure that it has some shade. This will keep your guests comfortable - and prevent your food from spoiling.

Bring a Cooler

Many people use a picnic basket, which is fine, but don’t forget to bring a cooler. Preferably, the cooler should be insulated and contain frozen ice packs to keep food chilled. Larger ice packs and chunks of ice stay frozen longer. Also, toss in a plastic tablecloth that you can throw on the ground or over the picnic table.

Plan Your Main Course

Now for the fun part - the menu! Choosing food for a picnic deserves careful attention because you want the food to stay fresh and be easy to eat. Here are some ideas for your summer picnic menu:

  • Sandwiches. Sandwiches are a picnic staple. You can prepare sandwiches ahead of time, pack them into a cooler, and eat them without any utensils. Ideas include PB&J, lunchmeat and cheese, and chicken salad.
  • Wraps. If you’re looking for something different, you can bring wraps to the picnic. They offer the same benefits as sandwiches - easy to make, easy to pack - and they can be stuffed with spinach, red onions, grilled chicken, and dressing.
  • Burgers, hot dogs, chicken. If there’s a grill at your picnic spot, you can grill up some burgers, hot dogs, and/or chicken. You’ll need to bring your own charcoal, though. Or, you can bring a bucket of crispy chicken to the picnic - it’s no fuss!

Pick the Sides

The picnic side dishes you choose will depend on your main course. If you’re keeping things easy and serving sandwiches, chips and pretzels make great sides. They’re inexpensive and easy to serve.

If you plan on grilling chicken and burgers or bringing a bucket of crispy chicken to the location, you may want something different. French fries taste good with fried chicken, but you won’t have an oven to cook them in! Instead, think about transportable and make-ahead dishes like potato salad, pasta salad, fresh fruit, and corn on the cob.

Don’t forget a cooler of cold drinks and a dessert!

Think about Catering

If you love the idea of having a picnic, but you don’t want to lug food and drinks to the location, consider having your meal catered. Obviously, this is only worth it if you’re having a large group. If it’s just you and your immediate family, you can always place an advance order and pick it up on the way to your picnic.

Catering works if you’ll be renting out a pavilion. La Rosa Chicken and Grill have easy and affordable catering packages that can accommodate between 15 and 30 people. We have baby back ribs, roasted chicken, char-grilled chicken, salads, homemade side dishes, and more. Just tell us when you want to pick up the food (or have it delivered) and everything will be hot and fresh!

Hopefully, you will find these ideas helpful as you plan a summer picnic for yourself and your friends and family!

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