Picnics are a great way to spend some time together and get some fresh air. Here’s FamilyPoint Cymru’s top three tips and picnic ideas for a great day out…
Have your own picnic ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Beaches. Parks. Playgrounds. All classic locations for a picnic because they have built-in entertainment that can keep everyone occupied. Sand, streams, slides, creepy crawlies, birds and rides; if there’s fun stuff already there it means there’s less stuff to carry.
Wales is blessed with plenty of beautiful places to lay out a blanket, eat some sandwiches and enjoy the summer. For parks, there’s Bute Park or Roath Lake in Cardiff, Singleton Park in Swansea (which has a crazy golf course and botanical gardens) and Pontypool Park – which covers 64 hectares and has footpath links into the Brecon Beacons National Park so you can easily walk off your food after your picnic.
There are tonnes of picnic ideas in North Wales too, such as the Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay with it’s playground and boat lake, Acton Park in Wrexham, which has a lake, tennis courts and wild flower meadow, or Holyhead Breakwater Country Park which is situated in an old quarry.
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If you want a more dramatic looking place to set up your picnic then there are plenty of places in the Brecon Beacons or Snowdonia National Park. Or, if you enjoy looking out at the sea while you eat, there are plenty of stopping spots on the Wales Coast Path.
Saying that, you don’t always have to travel far to have a picnic; why not have one in your garden? This has the added bonus that if it rains you can make it a carpet picnic in the living room!
The key here is lots of little things that you don’t need cutlery for.
Lots of choice means even the fussiest of eaters should find something. Little things means that if something gets dropped in the sand, there’s plenty more to go round (cut your sandwiches into quarters!). Finger food means no carrying knives and forks and spoons.
So grapes, cheese cubes, party sausages, bread sticks, carrot sticks, biscuits (avoid chocolate that can melt) are all great nibbles for picnics.
If you fancy cooking up something more filling then why not try chicken drumsticks? They are easy to pack, easy to eat and you can make them whatever flavour you want (simply cover them in the spices or sauce of your choice before you cook them). This BBQ drumstick recipe is a straight forward option.
For something sweet it’s best to go for single-portion treats, such as cupcakes and muffins, instead of big cakes that need cutting up.
A picnic is also a good opportunity to get rid of your left overs. Last night’s pasta or noodles can be eaten as a cold salad, slightly sorry looking fruit can be turned into a smoothie or you can use up whatever you want by throwing it into an easily transportable quiche.
Also it’s a good idea to keep everything cool – old plastic bottles can make a cheap alternative to cool packs, so fill 3/4s full and pop in the freezer the night before.
Being prepared is important (think plasters, suncream, wipes, hand sanitizer, paper plates and spare clothes if it’s muddy) but you should be prepared for fun as well.
If you’ve found a good venue then entertainment should take care of itself, but a ball for games to knacker everyone out and books or colouring for the quiet times can be a good idea.
But, remember you have to carry all this stuff and if you’re going by public transport you might have to hold someone’s hand – so don’t pack everything, leave the electronics at home.
For fun that can be easily packed away, bring a pack of cards, have a sandwich making race or bring some balloons that you can blow up and play all sorts of games with. How about balloon tennis? You can use your hands as tennis rackets!
There are even some games that you don’t need to pack anything for: I Spy, Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose and all the other playground classics.
Do you have any picnic ideas of your own? Please share them with us in the comments below!