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July is National Picnic Month!

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Did you know July is National Picnic Month? This is the perfect time of year to have fun, eat outside and enjoy friends and family. Here are some tips on planning a picnic, whether its at the park with the kids, a romantic location with your sweetheart, the backyard or deck, or even inside in front of a roaring fire during a snowstorm.

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What to bring:

Food and beverage. This may sound like a no brainer, but consider what type of food and beverage you plan on having. Does the food need to stay cold to prevent illness? Is it easy to eat, or will it be sloppy and drippy? If it is, remember to pack a few moistened washcloths in a plastic bag to aid in clean up, along with silverware. If you are bringing a bottle of wine, don't forget to bring glasses and a corkscrew. Its frugal to use reusable glasses, plates and utensils and saves waste going into landfills.

An ice chest or cooler, and ice, to keep items cold. An inexpensive way to make ice is to reuse a well washed gallon milk jug or a gallon water jug. Fill the jug with lemonade about 3 quarters full and place overnight in your freezer. Not only will it keep your food cold but as it melts, you will have delicious lemonade to drink.

Picnic blanket to sit on and after you eat, a great place to take a nap!

Sunscreen and bug spray. Both will make the picnic more enjoyable.

A trash bag to gather up garbage. Be sure to either dispose of it properly at the picnic site or bring home with you.

Types of food:

Cold fried chicken

Sandwiches, could be deli meat and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, egg salad, tuna, and so on.

Pasta salads

Coleslaw, potato salad

Jello salad, fruit salad

Chips or crackers

Cut up veggies like celery, cucumber slices, carrots, zucchini slices

Olives

Fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, peaches, watermelon

Dessert, something easy like cookies, brownies or bars

Beverages such as lemonade, wine, water

Where to picnic:

A park is always nice and gives the kids a chance to run off some energy. Often picnic tables are provided as well as a spot to dispose trash. A fun idea is to plan your picnic at a park you have never been to.

A beach is a great place to picnic and can be romantic for a couple and fun for the family.

A backyard picnic is fun and can be very impromptu. Add ambiance by stringing up some white Christmas lights, add a few candles, some music and you are all set! This can be for family and friends, neighbors, co workers etc.

A very romantic picnic can be held in your living room, during the winter with a snowstorm going on outside. If you have a fireplace be sure light it so you can enjoy your picnic in front of it, or light a few candles, turn the lights down low and watch the shadows flicker on the walls.

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