Summer is the time for outdoor fun with family and friends. Many of us have spent months indoors connecting with our loved ones through the virtual world, unable to spend time with them in person. Summer weather and the opportunity to be outside is a great way to enjoy socialization with our loved ones that we’ve all been longing for, while still maintaining safe measures and socially distancing. Picnics were always one of the sweetest parts of summer, but this year they are even more special. Enjoy the sunshine and company of friends and family while still staying safe.
Packing a social distance picnic is a little different than preparing for your standard picnic. Once you have agreed on a spacious, sunny, and airy outdoor place for your picnic, it’s time to prepare what to bring. Some good rules of thumb to remember while social distance picnicking is that everyone will be staying at least six feet apart and not sharing food, drinks, or anything else. Be sure to prepare for this accordingly!
This summer is the summer of extra large picnic blankets. If you are providing the picnic blankets and will be sharing them with others, be sure they are large enough to maintain enough space between people. If you don’t have an extra large blanket, simply bring a few throw blankets so people can arrange them appropriately. This way everyone can comfortably maintain their distance while still spreading out on their own picnic blankets. If you want to be extra careful perhaps ask everyone to BYOB, or bring your own blanket!
Masks have become the newest en vogue and practical accessory. Even if you and your picnic buddies will be distanced enough to not need masks, they are great to have on hand for any close contact you may have with others, such as serving food or drinks. If you are going to be outside in warmer weather, it is good to have a cotton mask that will feel more comfortable on your face than a synthetic one. Wear a floral print or brightly patterned mask for fun, or even have it match your outfit. Masks don’t have to be boring, but can be cute and also help others around you feel more comfortable.
Even if your fellow picnic-goers are bringing their own blankets, food, and drinks, it’s a good idea to have a few bottles of hand sanitizer on hand. If you are planning to be exchanging plates, silverware, or anything else, hand sanitizer is definitely a must for your social distance picnic. For some added peace of mind, don’t hesitate to throw in a couple of packets of disinfectant wipes, too.
While planning our social distance precautions, let’s not forget our picnic gear! Whether you prefer an Ascot style picnic basket with plates, champagne flutes and all, or a more simple paper plate and reusable straws arrangement, it’s good to plan beforehand. If you are bringing food and drinks just for yourself, then plan accordingly. If you are also supplying food and drinks to others, perhaps it’s best to prepare each guest an individual picnic pack. Use canvas tote bags to pack everyone their picnic goodies. Throw in a mask and a small bottle of sanitizer with the napkins and forks to make your picnic bag feel like a party bag. Track down some biodegradable food boxes and fill them with snacks and food for your picnic guests. They will love the personal touch, and you will all feel comfortable enjoying your delicious food and each other’s company while still being socially distanced.
Just because we are focused on social distancing during our picnic, it doesn’t mean we need to forget about the other pieces that make a picnic an enjoyable and memorable experience. If it’s sunny, be sure to pack your sunhat, some sunscreen, and even an umbrella to stay cool under the shade. Keep food and drink items that need to stay cool in a cooler or a lunch box with some ice packs to make sure everything stays good for your whole picnic. You don’t want those cold drinks warming up!
If your picnic is taking place in the late afternoon or evening time, be sure to bring an extra layer for when the sun starts to go down. Choose something light and summery like a cotton cardigan or cotton sweater.
Whether you’re gathering in a park or in your backyard, a social distance picnic is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather while also connecting with your friends and family in a safe and responsible way.