One of my favorite ways to spend a beautiful day is with an outdoor picnic in a scenic place. Staring into God’s beautiful creations never gets old. In my opinion, connecting with nature is the perfect way to slow down and reflect on everyday life. I like to use this time to be thankful and count my blessings.
Picnics allow me to enjoy my happy place. And the best part about my happy place is that it’s not just one place, it’s multiple outdoor settings. In fact, my happy place is wherever I can silence the noise and connect with the Lord. The time I spend in nature is made that much better with good company, food, and entertainment to go along with it!
You see, my first winter in California wasn’t filled with the sunshine and rainbows I imagined it would be. This was a record year for rain, as the five-year drought came to an abrupt end. I also managed to get caught in a massive snowstorm at Big Bear Mountain. I’m from the East Coast, so I wanted to move to California to avoid crazy winter-weather conditions — but that didn’t happen. Needless to say, when the first signs of good weather came around, I was more than eager to get out and enjoy them!
My best friends came to visit me recently, and fortunately, we enjoyed perfect California weather. It was an amazing opportunity to round everybody up and head outside to soak up the sun. I wanted to go somewhere where my best friends and I could really connect, since we hadn’t been together in over two years. You can read more about what we did in my “Long Distance Best Friends” post. Anyway, we went to Malibu Creek State Park, a beautiful place tucked away in Malibu Canyon. The park offers great hiking trails, scenic views, secluded campgrounds, and so much more. If you’re ever in the area, I would definitely recommend visiting this park.
The picnic turned into a wonderful outing. My friends and I had a great time, and so did my kids! I’ve compiled a list of what I consider the essentials for creating the perfect park picnic:
5 Essentials to the Perfect Park Picnic
What’s a picnic without a basket? I found the cutest wicker basket on Amazon (where else?) for less than $60. It was made to accommodate four people, but we carried enough food for six with plenty of room to spare. I wanted a picnic basket that secures shut, and comes with tableware and glasses. The VonShef Deluxe 4 Person Traditional Wicker Picnic Basket came with all those items, plus a fleece blanket. Now that’s a win!
Don’t forget blankets! Connecting with nature means we must forge new paths, take the road less traveled, and get our hands dirty. You’ll want to stay down to earth, both literally and figuratively, so make sure there are enough blankets to go around! The bigger the blankets, the better, and try to find something that can easily fold so that it takes up less space while you’re traveling. I purchased three blankets on Amazon (of course), for just $20 each from The Riviera Towel Company. They have multiple uses as picnic blankets, towels, and yoga mats.
Lite Bites and Drinks
This is the best part! I like to keep it simple and lite when it comes to eating outdoors, so I choose refreshing, easy-to-hold, yummy options for all ages. You can never go wrong with a good ol’ cheese and charcuterie spread. Pre-chopped fruits and veggies are fantastic as well, along with deli sandwiches. For drinks, I love refreshing sparkling water on a hot day. The grownups will appreciate a nice rosé, while water bottles and juice boxes are ideal for the kids. I found the coolest little Picnic Stix wine glasses and bottle holders that you just push into the ground while you dine outside — they make managing your drinks so much easier!
Music and Entertainment
To further enhance the atmosphere, I like to bring portable speakers so that we can listen to music! I was gifted a Monster SuperStar 24K BackFloat Bluetooth Speaker that I use all the time. It’s great because it’s small, waterproof, and the sound quality is unreal! My friends and I used it to share our music playlists, which is the easiest way to expand your range and learn more about all the talented artists out in the world. And for the kiddos, I brought all different kinds of bubbles for them to play with. It seems simple, and it is, but you’d be surprised by how much kids love their wands and plastic pans of bubble soap!
Last but not least, make sure to bring all the equipment and accessories you need to stay comfortable outside. Pack sunscreen, bug spray, and a portable fan. Everyone will thank you for remembering these picnic essentials — trust me!