I have never been much of a planner. Kids, weather and money often play a big part in how our day is going to go. I never tell my kids ahead of time what we are doing, in case that plan ends up falling through. Until we pull in to the amusement park parking lot, they have no idea what we are up to!
Having said all of that, I am a big do-er of things. We love to hop in the car and just go, so I always have the car packed with a few items necessary for one of our favourite activities: a picnic!
First item, crucial for all picnics, is our big, multi-coloured picnic blanket. It is vinyl on the bottom which is great for sandy areas. It folds up into a nice little pouch, easy to store. My other must-have items are: sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, and a stash of sun-hats. If you are a “never know where the day may take you” kind of family, these things are great to always have on hand.
As for food for our picnic, sometimes I pack a lunch, sometimes we just grab subs. Here’s the thing about a picnic. You are just eating food, outside, on the ground! It doesn’t matter how fancy or plain it is, the real draw is spending some quality family time together. Relax, eat, drink, enjoy the outdoors and each other. We have a “No Electronics” policy on family outings, and that goes for me too!
Sometimes we travel far, but most days we stay near our city. Outings don’t always have to be a big production, sometimes just a new park or an area you haven’t discovered before is enough! Living in Toronto, we are surrounded by beautiful beaches. Unfortunately most aren’t swimmable, but they are great for our picnic. We walk around, collect rocks, throw a Frisbee, see lots of wildlife, and just hang out on our blanket and watch boats go by.
Picnics are such a great way to enjoy each other and the great outdoors, without having to spend any money. (I do recommend throwing $10 in your bag in case you HAVE to get an ice cream cone. Sometimes this happens!)
So grab a blanket, grab a lunch and head out for the day! Pretty sure I know what our afternoon plan is. Today we are also throwing our bathing suits in! I’m excited to see where the day will take us.
If you have a great picnic location you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about it. We are always on the lookout for new, fun places to go!