Back to Basics: Picnic Essentials

The weather is getting nicer as we head into summer, and you know what that means: picnics! If you're celebrating a promotion or event, sweet summer dates, or just enjoying the outdoors with a couple friends or family, picnics are small gatherings that create big memories. Each picnic is what you make of it, and we at Greenhouse are here to help you make your next picnic picture perfect!

Toting + Seating

Let's go all the way back to basics and start with the obvious: toting and seating. Sometimes we get so stressed over the food and drinks that we forget about everything else. Seating is one of the most important elements of a successful picnic. Whether you're a reclining on a blanket or sitting on portable chairs at a folding table, you need something between you and the ground for maximum comfort. Lafuma makes incredibly lightweight folding chairs, perfect for trips to the beach, park, or camping.

If you're opting for a blanket, it's always a good idea to make sure that it's machine washable, has a tight enough weave to keep the grass or sand from coming through, and thin enough that it doesn't take up too much space. If you really want to go the extra mile, it doesn't hurt to bring along some throw pillows for an extra cozy experience.

You'll also need a sturdy basket or bag to tote everything around. A wicker basket is a classic for a reason. It's adorable, roomy, and has handles for easy carrying. It's not the only option, however. A sturdy bag like the Hinza Tote, is another convenient and multi-purpose option for carrying your picnic essentials. Available in a multitude of colors and offering a stylish shape, the Hinza fits in anywhere. The material makes it durable and easy to clean - perfect for beach days, picnics, and other adventures! If you've got a bit of a hike to get to your picnic spot, cooler backpacks are a great way to keep your drinks cold with their nifty insulated linings and keep your hands free. 

Hinza Totes from the Greenhouse are perfect for picnics!

Dinnerware + Utensils

The next thing to do is to consider what utensils, dinnerware, and serveware you'll need for your smorgasbord in the sunshine. You may choose to keep it basic with finger foods so you don't need to bring as many utensils, but napkins are always essential. Cloth napkins, appropriate dinner and drinkware (like acrylic wine glasses or melamine plates) can also help elevate your picnic experience. 

Unless you're cutting everything from the bread to the cheese into perfectly bite sized pieces ahead of time, you'll still need a few things to make serving a breeze. Sets like the Picnic Cheese + Wine Set or Roll-up Ticking Stripe Utensil Set, are a quick and easy way to ensure that you have all the serveware you need for your outing. You'll also need airtight containers to carry all your nibbles. Stainless steel tiffins are an eco-friendly and beautiful alternative to droll plastic containers, and often offer multiple tiers to keep things separated, like bento.

A quick note on beverages; if you're thinking of bringing a bottle of wine or other alcohol, you may want to decant it into another container prior to your outing, or tie a lovely dishtowel around it to avoid breaking any open container laws. Also, don't forget to bring plenty of water! 

Clean Up + Other Essentials

It can be easy to forget other outdoor basics when you're excited for your outing, but it's always important to remember things like sunscreen and shade (a hat or umbrella) when spending a day in the sunshine. Your skin will thank you for it. Extra napkins or dishtowels are also handy for spills, clean up, and protecting your dishware and utensils during transportation.

If you're making a day of it, bringing a few things for outdoor activities can add to the fun! Frisbees, balls, water guns are entertaining for the whole family or a group of friends. If you're looking for a more restful experience, books or watercolors can make for companionable quiet time. A portable speaker for music is essential for adding to the atmosphere, setting the mood, or dancing if you're up for it.

If you're going for a romantic evening picnic to watch the sunset, be sure to bring a flashlight so you can safely and easily find your way home once the sun goes down. Bugs can really kill the mood, so don't forget insect repellent. A spray is great and definitely recommended, but citronella candles can add to the ambience and make for a magical, pest-free evening. (As long as you also remember matches or a lighter!).

These are the best, most practical picnic essentials for every occasion. Of course, you can bring more or less with you, and make it as extra as you fancy, but these are the basic picnic essentials. Whether you're headed to a last minute snack in the park with friends or planning a plein air impressionist tableau for your sweetheart, these accessories and sundries will make your outing one to remember.



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