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How to Pack for a Picnic

Nothing says summer fun more than a picnic in the park, so don’t let spoiled food, sunburns, or bugs ruin your day.


  • Step 1: Plan menu Plan your picnic menu. Barbecuing means carrying and cleaning up more, so it is easier to pack sandwiches.
  • TIP: Make your sandwiches ahead of time but put the dressing on just before you eat them.
  • Step 2: Pack side items in plastic bowls and bags Pack side salads and side items in plastic bowls and bags.
  • Step 3: Cut fruit ahead of time Cut fruit before you leave to save a mess at your party. Pack in plastic containers.
  • Step 4: Get coolers and a few other bags Grab your coolers and a couple of other carrying bags. Grocery store bags or clothing bags with handles work well.
  • TIP: Use a separate cooler for drinks since people will be in and out of that one the most.
  • Step 5: Pack extra bags with necessities Fill a bag with sunscreen, bug spray, hats, sunglasses and a first aid kit. Put a plastic tablecloth, plastic plates and cups, plastic silverware, wipes, dry towels, and garbage bags in a second bag. Fill a third bag with balls, a Frisbee, bubbles, and other toys for the kids.
  • Step 6: Layer ice and food in cooler Line the bottom of your cooler with a layer of ice or cold packs and pack perishable food items, dessert at the bottom. With each layer add ice or more cold packs.
  • Step 7: Pack car Load up the car and save room for the family.
  • FACT: Did you know? The word picnic comes from the French word piquenique meaning to pick or peck.

You Will Need

  • Sandwiches
  • Dressings
  • Salads and sides
  • Plastic bowls and bags
  • Fruit
  • Coolers
  • Carrying bags
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • A first aid kit
  • A plastic table cloth
  • Plastic plates
  • cups
  • and flatware
  • Wipes
  • Towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Balls
  • A Frisbee
  • Bubbles
  • Ice or cold packs
  • A beverage cooler (optional)

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