8 Tips for a Perfect July 4th Picnic

English: A chocolate cake during the 4th of July

If you’re looking for the perfect 4th of July  party options, read more here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 4th is just around the corner and there is no better way to celebrate this fun holiday than by gathering together your family and friends for an afternoon picnic.  The laid back atmosphere and family friendly venue of an outdoor picnic means you can invite a variety of people and be sure everyone will have a great time.  Choose a central location with easy access, plenty of parking, and lots of space.  To make sure your picnic comes off without a hitch, here are 8 tips for making your picnic the party of the summer.

1.     Menu Options

You can do a July 4th picnic a couple different ways.  You might decide that you want to provide the food, you might ask everyone to bring something to share, or you might ask your guests to bring their own picnic filled with the foods they like best.  Whichever way you choose, make sure you clearly communicate to your guests any expectations about who will be providing the food.

2.     Pick the Right Location

Location is everything and this even applies to picnics.  You want a park or some other open space that has room for activities and any amenities you and your guests will need like picnic tables, grilling spots, or playgrounds.

3.     Don’t Forget the Basics

When planning an outdoor event, it is easy to forget about the things we often take for granted like bathrooms and running water.  Make sure you know the status of these and other basic necessities when choosing a location.

4.     Bring Enough Blankets and Balls

Another thing you want to make sure you have more than enough of is places to sit which includes chairs, picnic tables, and blankets on the ground and toys.  Frisbees, balls, water guns, and games like croquet or bocce ensure that those who want something to do will have lots of options.

5.     Stock Up on Supplies

When it comes to picnicking, it is better to bring a little more than you need than to not have enough.  This applies to paper products like plates and cups and to things like first aid supplies.

6.     Don’t Forget Sunscreen

This may seem to go without saying but it is always a good reminder.  Bring extra sunscreen to share with guests who left theirs at home.

7.     Help with Hydration

Something else that people often forget to include is water.  There will be lots of coolers full of a variety of beverages, but with the triple digit temps we can get this time of year, every picnic basket needs to be accompanied by an adequate supply of bottled water.  Bring a few coolers full of ice and water bottles to share with your guests so that you can rest easy that everyone will be able to stay hydrated.

8.     Practice Good Food Safety

Read up on the food safety rules and recommendation before you head out for your picnic.  You may not realize how quickly some foods can go from delicious to dangerous if they are exposed to too much heat.  Make sure that hot foods stay hot, cold foods stay cold, and whenever there is any doubt, you throw it out.

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