9 Elements of a Perfect Picnic

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July 10, 2020

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i'm cassandra marcella


As government restrictions on in-person gatherings slowly but continuously subside, now would be the perfect time to take advantage of the warm, summer weather and plan a (physically distanced) picnic!

Just because we have to remain a minimum of six feet apart does not mean we have to distance ourselves socially―on the contrary, I encourage you to keep in contact with your loved ones to maintain a semblance of normalcy during these unprecedented times. Seeing friends is good for your health.

And what’s more normal than a picnic, complete with food, music, and chilled drinks? Are we all craving some normalcy?

Below, I offer you some suggestions for planning your perfect picnic ::

1 | A blanket to sit on with style

Any blanket will technically do the job, but the Love Rug can do the job and more! These circular blankets are sold in various colors and patterns, wide enough to fit multiple people (at a distance!), and fold easily into bags for your convenience. Fold it up and throw the strap onto your shoulder. Plus, the waterproof fabric is fully lined and padded, making it perfect for placement on any damp, cold, or hard surface.

You can browse through the different options available at Basil Bangs.

2 | Spray to keep the insects away

Depending on where you live, hot summer days can signify humid weather, which means a thriving arena for pesky insects. I am personally often prone to mosquito bites, so an effective bug repellent is necessary to protect my sensitive skin.

That is why I recommend all-natural and non-toxic bug repellents, like the Jao Patio Oil. Packaged in both cream and spray forms, Jao Patio Oil uses natural ingredients like hemp oil and calendula herbs to simultaneously hydrate your skin and discourage insects from coming into contact.

The Jao Patio Oil is available for $30.00 at Goop.

3 | Baskets for both function and aesthetic

For those who don’t mind a little splurge and prefer all the assets of a picnic all-in-one, the Canterbury Picnic Basket is the perfect purchase. The suitcase-style basket comes with premium outdoor dining essentials―namely, a fleece blanket, porcelain plates, wine glasses, an insulated cooler, thermal mugs, and a charcuterie board. You should obtain this picnic package for both its functionality and the beautiful aesthetic!

The Canterbury Picnic Basket is available for $298.95 at Williams Sonoma.

4 | The perfect practicality of bento boxes

In Japan, the word bentō (弁当) originates from the Song Dynasty slang term for “convenience,” which exemplifies the practicality of the bento box. Cultures across Asia (and increasingly, throughout the Western world) have used bento boxes to easily package meals traditionally made up of rice or noodles, fish or meat, and pickled vegetables. You can bring this lunchbox not only to your picnic but also to your workplace and future travels. I recommend the monbento brand for its high-quality material, leak-proof features, and color-coordinated designs.  

The monbento brand bento box is available for $39.90 at Amazon.

5 | Refresh yourself with fresh, cool beverages

A picnic on a hot summer day is not complete without an iced beverage to cool your temperature down. Whether you want to drink a refreshing iced tea or a nutrient-rich smoothie, place it inside a Hydro Flask Unbound Cooler Pack so you don’t have to worry about rushing through your refreshment. This sleek, 15-liter cooler is especially valuable because of its 48-hour smart insulation, leak protection, and BPA-free liner.

The Hydro Flask Unbound Cooler Pack is available for $229.90 at Amazon.

6 | Jam away with some summer hits

After eating your assortment of picnic foods, you might decide to lay down on the picnic blanket and rest your eyes. Some may prefer peace and quiet to help them rest, while others (such as I) prefer to decompress by listening to music. Given that it is the summer, what better music to listen to than the top summer hits? A playlist I’ve played on repeat recently is the Summer Vibes 2020 playlist on Spotify. While the song genres range from hip-hop to alternative, they all conform to a “kick-back” sentiment that is characteristic of a relaxed, picnic atmosphere.

You can listen to the Summer Vibes 2020 playlist here.

7 | Windy days = fun days

Although you might worry about the wind knocking over your perfect picnic setup or blowing hair over your face, it can also be advantageous. Besides naturally cooling down your body, you can use the winds for kiting, a great pastime many people take for granted. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and patterns, and flying abilities. It’s also a great way to stay active after sitting and eating during most of your picnic!

You can review the different kinds of kites for sale at Into the Wind.

8 | Relive your youth with bubbles

Who put an age limit on blowing bubbles?! They are nostalgic, effervescent, and form into so many diverse shapes bound to excite anyone. Plus, bubble-blowing can provide several health benefits: stress relief, deep breathing, and anxiety management. People partake in this therapeutic activity everywhere, but there’s just something about blowing bubbles outdoors that feels right and complements a picturesque picnic.

9 | Don’t forget the most crucial precaution!

Last, but certainly not least, is wearing your obligatory face mask! As mentioned in our previous blog post, face masks are quite effective in slowing down exposure to COVID-19 (among other germs). So long as a vaccine is still under development, wearing a mask outdoors in public is necessary not only for your health but for that of immunocompromised individuals. Of course, the only exception is when you are eating your picnic food!

Check out stylish face masks at our blog post here.


The new era of COVID-19, physical distancing, and face masks should not and does not preclude us from being social humans. All it takes is taking a few cautionary measures and following CDC guidelines in your state. A physically distanced picnic is the perfect compromise: you can socialize and take advantage of nature while still following all the state-mandated protocols.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your perfect picnic, invite your loved ones, and enjoy some self-care!

Additional Resources 

Picnic Recipes and Menu Ideas 2020 – from Bon Appetit

Summer Jazz Compilation – from Spotify (starting with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing Summertime)

Cassandra’s Vassar Mug Music – from Spotify

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