Jen Mohler on Picnics.

vacation

1 : a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
2 a
: a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation <had a restful vacation at the beach>
4 : an act or an instance of vacating

Who knew vacation had such a vast definition. There was a time when I only thought of a vacation as a big trip to Disneyland or Hawaii. Now I see vacation opportunities all around me. I realize that I do not need to go far, or leave for several weeks to actually take a vacation from my everyday life.
As the definition states, a vacation can be a period of time spent away from home for travel or recreation, or simply a time of respite from everyday life.

This definition of vacation opened my mind to a new way of thinking about what a vacation truly is.
I actually have the time to take little vacations throughout the year, which is a fairly new thought for me.
By making a conscious choice of taking a day, three days, week or even a few simple hours, I can create a mini-vacation from my normal routine!

WOW, what a cool concept!

I can make it feel even more like a vacation from my normal life, if I plan out activities to do and places to go ahead of time.
Cutting back on the amount of time and stress that it takes to head out the door is a huge key to enjoying my vacation, no matter how big or small that vacation might be!

This week my mini vacation is a picnic!

Whether you plan a picnic for your family or group of friends a picnic is an easy way to slip away from your reality for a few hours.  A simple respite in the middle of a busy week, a picnic takes me out of my home and into the fresh air and sunshine where I get to spend a few hours playing with and enjoying the people I love most in this world.
Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Making a picnic doable at a moments notice is simple to do with a little planning and preparation.
I have a picnic kit ready to go, so that I can take a quick vacation when the sunshine calls us to come out and take a break from life.

Getting out the door quickly and without too much effort is key to enjoying a vacation no matter how big or small.
Let me show you what I include in my picnic kit.

In my pantry I have a bin that is specifically for food that I use for picnics. Now, I do not put perishable food items in here of course, but I do include a couple of bags of chips, single containers of apple sauce and fruit cups, an unopened jar of peanut butter and jelly, some crackers, and anything else that I can think of that we might want to eat at a picnic. After a picnic, I simply take stock of what we need from the grocery store to refill our picnic bin and restock it when I am putting away all of the bags of groceries.
Once again the bin is ready for me to quickly pick up and go.

The second part of my picnic kit is the picnic basket!
I picked up this colorful basket at Target in their seasonal section, if you do not own a picnic basket, or simply need to replace an old one this is the perfect time to pick one up.

This basket holds items like an outdoor table cloth, stacking bowls with lids, paper plates, plastic cups, and a custom made caddy to hold napkins, utensils, and condiments.
The basket sits on a shelf stocked with these items until I am ready to pack our meal for our picnic.
Again the key here is having everything in one place ready to go.

Simple food is important for a picnic. There are times when grabbing a loaf of bread , my picnic bin and basket is all I have time for and we can head out the door knowing that everything I need is in these two containers. Then, there are picnics that are planned for a specific day, and I can make a salad, fried chicken, or bring the makings for cooking kabobs on the grill. The great part of any of these options is that they are simple to pull off, because the containers for my salads, fried chicken and kabobs are easy to get to, they are in my picnic basket. They can then be filled with yummy food and packed back into my picnic basket and we are ready to walk out the door.

I always keep a couple of picnic blankets in the back of my van, so no matter where we go, if there are no picnic tables we have a place to enjoy our picnic.

When I get home from our picnic, I place opened condiments in a plastic container labeled picnic condiments and place it in the refrigerator.
Items that need to be washed or restocked in the picnic basket or picnic bin are taken care of, so that our next picnic is easy to pull off!
These super simple tips can make the picnic a perfect little vacation.

Traveling far from home can be extremely fun, but there is no reason to wait on a big vacation to travel away from your home, and take a break from your everyday routine.
With a little planning and preparation you can be ready for a quick vacation at any moment!
This is what Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel is all about, planning for both the big adventures and the quick simple getaways as well.
They are all good and they all count!

Leave a comment about your favorite picnic location by May 27th at 12:00pm and you will be entered in a drawing to win a custom caddy (created by me) to add to your picnic kit!
Be sure to include the city and state.
People who are traveling this summer may want to check out your favorite picnic spot, while on their vacation!
Good luck!

ABOUT JEN: Jen Mohler loves simple things like homemade ice cream, freshly squeezed lemonade, and anything hand crafted. She has worked in the scrapbooking industry for seven years as a consultant, manufacturer, designer, and teacher.

Four years ago life and scrapbooking changed for Jen as her little family of four grew. This unexpected, beautiful bonus baby, caused a major shift in Jen’s perspective as an artist and scrapbooking enthusiast. Simplifying life became a major focus. Making time to be creative became a major focus. Scrapbooking meaningful stories became a major focus. Not losing her sanity became a major focus. Jen shares her thoughts on these topics of her life and art on her blog Dream Big.

Jen is currently teaching a Saving Your Sanity series of workshops at Big Picture Scrapbooking. If you would like to ask Jen a question about this series, or simply say hello, you can email her at jenmohler@comcast.net. If you enjoyed Jen’s nature lover summer hijacking tip you can get more tips, techniques and ideas like these this June in her Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel workshop.

StacyJulian.com readers can enjoy $5.00 off the Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel workshop at BigPictureScrapbooking.com!
At checkout use the code: summertravel to redeem your discount.

*Disclaimer: This coupon only applies to the Saving Your Sanity: Summer Travel workshop; coupon does not apply towards other Self-Paced Projects, Workshops or Gift Certificates. Good for one time use, per student. Expires June 23rd, 2010 at 10pm PST. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Coupon must be entered in the “Promo Code” box during checkout and press “apply” button; discount will be applied immediately. Not applicable towards previous purchases. Other terms and restrictions may apply.


Comments

  1. How clever to keep picnic-worthy food *ready* in the pantry… totally going to steal that idea. Our fav picnic place is our backyard! We waited/saved/prayed for years to have a big backyard for our kids and our dreams came true this year

  2. Cynthia says:

    Our favorite picnic spot is the park across the street from our house. We make our dinner and just walk it across the street, blanket in hand. What could be easier???!!!

  3. Our favorite picnic spot is in our own backyard. It makes a nice break in the day!
    Dublin, OH

  4. jennifer h says:

    Our favorite picnic spot would have to be our local park – “Big Springs Park”. It is quite small but has a pond where a family of ducks live and the kids love to feed them the crusts off their sandwiches :)
    Thanks for all the time saving pinic tips!
    Jennifer H. Springville, AL

  5. Theresa E says:

    ok–I LOVE your ideas! You are really very clever. My favorite picnic location is a nice park near our home.

  6. well, my favorite picnic spot would be on the sand right beside the ocean. but…since there is almost no chance of that happening besides once a year on vacation, i would pick a local park that is filled with things for everyone to enjoy!
    LOVE your picnic “stuff!”

  7. Toni Trainor says:

    We always want to go on a picnic but never seem to our acts together to do it. I am going to work on this idea of having things ready this week.

    Thanks!!!

    Toni

  8. I am definitely going to “steal” your ideas. I have never thought of keeping a picnic basket packed and ready to go. Our favorite picnic spot is our backyard, but I am going to explore a little and try to be more creative :)

  9. {vicki} says:

    Our favorite picnic spot is Anna Ruby Falls in Georgia

  10. Anna Vollmer says:

    My favorite picnic spot would have to be at city park, about 2 blocks from my house, and during the summer they have a weekly music in the park night where different bands come out to play while everyone hangs out on picnic blankets and eats, dances, and just listens.

  11. My favorite picnic spot….I actually have two. Since we live on the west side of the mountains in WA, it rains a lot…so the livingroom floor is a great place to hold a picnic. The second place is Mukilteo’s Lighthouse Park (used to be Mukilteo State Park). The have “remodeled” the park and it is just beautiful with a beautiful view.

    PS….is that a new horse on the carousel in Riverfront Park???? Love the Washington theme of it.

    • This horse is on a carousel at Pt. Defiance Zoo! Good eye, by the way! It is a beautiful carousel, and the zoo has been updated with tons of new exhibits. One of my favorite places to take a picnic, since we have a membership to the zoo.
      Oh, and my girls had a beach party on the living room floor last week…because of all of the rain. Dreaming of summer.

  12. Kirsten J says:

    Clever!! My favorite picnic spot is at my parent’s house, down by the creek. Absolute bliss.

  13. When I lived in CA, I loved picnicing at Shoreline Park near where I lived. I also love having a beach picnic. All you need to add to your tote is sunscreen (says the fair skinned redhead in me).

    • Good call on the sunscreen!
      There is a reason I don’t have it in this kit, but more on that in a future weeks blog! (wink, wink!) But, it wouldn’t hurt to include some here as well!

  14. Love your ideas. My favorite picnic place would have to be just about anywhere as long as my kids and grandkids are there- even in my own backyard!

  15. I have two favorite places to picnic, both local NYS parks: Grafton Lake and Thacher park. Grafton is great for the beach and water fun, and Thacher’s got the awesome view off the Helderberg escarpment. We even got married at Thacher, and had a picnic/barbeque after the ceremony.

  16. Liz Brown says:

    Love this simple vacation idea! I’m heading to Target as soon as I can, to find a picnic basket like that! So cute!

    A favorite picnic spot we had was at Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY. When my husband was in Business School, we used to go there alot. The kids loved wading in the COLD water, and we enjoyed lounging on our picnic blanket soaking up the sun. Now, since we don’t live in Ithaca, and don’t have any falls close by, we enjoy picnicing in a nearby park, especially when they have free summer concerts.

  17. We love to go to Kids Kastle in Highland Village. We often take a kite and enjoy the open field when the wind is right. And we always take extra bread to feed the ducks. Thanks for the great ideas. I would love more info on your caddy. It seemed to hold so much. Did you get that basket at Target, too? Thanks for sharing!!

    • I will have a post about the caddy and all that goes in it on my blog tomorrow! The cute little basket I picked up at the dollar store…but Target has some cute baskets there as well that would totally work!

  18. Lissa Mitchell says:

    Such cute ideas! Always love your creativity! Our family’s favorite picnic spot is our own big backyard. We never miss an opportunity to enjoy the nice weather in our yard. We even had a picnic for breakfast this morning! It’s the kids’ last week of school so we wanted to do something special now that the weather is finally nice here in Kansas City, MO.

  19. We have just recently discovered Damon Point in Ocean Shores WA. A co-worker of mine finds heart shaped rocks there, so my girls and I plan to go on a hunt when we’re back there next month. But, closer to home, Mukilteo beach is always a fun place to picnic.

  20. Our favorite picnic spot is here in Spokane. It’s the Finch Arboretum on the west side of town. The park is a 65 acre tree wonderland. The park is an amazing place to be because there is so much to explore, so many trees to climb (more than 2,000 labeled trees, shrubs, and flowers) and Garden Springs Creek runs through the park.
    Started in 1949 with 49 specimens comprising 10 genera and 23 species, the Arboretum now contains 2,000 labeled trees and shrubs representing over 600 species.

    We love to bring a big picnic lunch and blankets, and then head out to explore. Climbing trees is a favorite of my two boys, and there are AMAZING “limby” trees at this park. The best around, in my opinion. And you can feel like you’re the only ones in the park if you want to, or enjoy walking paths with others. Ok…now I’m in the mood to plan our first picnic of the season! YAY!

  21. I love to picnic near running water… a creek, a lake, a pond, but if it has a gentle stream or a waterfall, that is just the ideal. Big oak or cottonwood trees make it even better. Your post has me thinking that a picnic is in order for this weekend!

  22. I love taking a picnic dinner to the park. We get to eat and watch my son play=heaven.

  23. Nancy Hyland says:

    I adore picnics!! and I love those containers – please tell where your plastic containers are from!!

    I always keep a picnic blanket in my car – never know when an impromptu picnic will occur, sometimes the food comes from the ready made section of the grocery store when the mood strikes us.

    • Nancy, I just picked up those containers last week. They are non-breakable and stack inside of each other and each has its own plastic lid.
      I found them at Target with all of their seasonal plates, cups and containers! I LOVE the colors, the fact that they fit in my picnic basket, and won’t break!

  24. What a great idea! I have a sunshine tote that I keep hanging with our jackets. It has sunscreen, floppy sun hats, and sun glasses always at the ready. I keep a quilt in our van, too, so I just need to organize the picnic supplies. Our favorite spot to picnic is our backyard, but when travelling, we enjoy picnics along the Blue Ridge Parkway in western NC.

  25. Karen C. says:

    we love to go to Story Book Land or Wiley Park, so much fun for the kids and adults too. Here is a link if ever someone comes to SD. You will love this park, just make sure you bring mosquito spray. and, the photo op’s are so much fun!

    http://www.aberdeen.sd.us/parks/strylnd.html

  26. Karen H. says:

    Every Wed. evening in the summer, my small town on the Sound in WA state hosts concerts in the park. With everything from the Army Band to “Elvis”, the music is always fun! I usually make a main dish salad ( tuna pasta is a favorite), add some fresh fruit and lemonade to my picnic basket and off we go! The sunset, the trains going by and the feeling of community as we greet neighbors and friends make for an amazing way to spend a summer evening!

  27. What a fab idea! We love to head down to the riverwalk here in naperville, il. During the summer they have concerts in the park (band music and music from our carillion bell tower) and they have afternoon and evening shows (storytelling, clown, magician) for the kids. We love having picnics in the park and your ideas will help us get out of the house much quicker. Thanks fo sharing.

  28. A wonderful place for a picnic in St. Louis Missouri is the Zoo at Forest Park. The Zoo is surrounded by a huge park with plenty of space for a picnic or take along a wagon with your picnic goodies and walk around the Zoo. There are a lots of picnic tables and places to rest and eat. Entrance to the Zoo is free, street parking is free but there are parking lots that are available for a fee.

  29. Chris Crosw says:

    My kids and I have enjoyed picnics in our own yard. We live in the country near a creek. We have loaded up the littler red wagon with supplies and headed out for an adventure.

  30. Carrie K says:

    we have a park next to the library. get a book, grab your food and eat and read until the light is gone! true bliss :)

  31. Wow, am I loving your guest blogger series, Jen! : )

    I have a few favorite places to picnic:
    1.) up above Gates of the Mountains in Montana where they drop you off the little boat when you take the river ride; it is beautiful.
    2.) The lawn at Netherlands Carillon in D.C.
    3.) Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove in D.C. (it’s like a little hidden pocket right in the open, and fun for a picnic.
    4.) Theodore Roosevelt Island in D.C.

    We like to picnic at memorials : )

  32. Angela Weinzierl says:

    Our favorite spot to picnic is Fishing Lake park in our town. There’s lots of trees, a pond to watch the ducks or fish if you want and a playground for the little ones. Lots of shade and lots of grass! What a great idea to have everything all ready to go!

  33. My friend was recently talking about their “day-cation”, I thought what a wonderful concept it was, they drove away from home for the day and just enjoyed being out with each other. One great place to picnic if you like the water is Larrabee State Park – near Bellingham, WA. I prefer a book and a snack at this location because you have to carry it all out to get the best spot out on the rocks. Carrying it out isn’t bad, carrying it UP and back is the hard part.

  34. We love going to what my kids call “the Butterfly park” . The kids area makes you feel like you are a little butterfly (the umbrellas are all HUGE flower) and there are butterflies and caterpillars, lots to climb and slide and and a huge grass area that is great for the bigger kids to play ball on, PLUS beach volleyball courts. Everyone is happy and I can just sit back and enjoy the sights!

  35. Favorite picnic spot – Como Park – St Paul, MN / There is a zoo and flower conservatory and small amuzement park – always empty picnicn tables

  36. our backyard!!!
    Federal Way, WA

    when I was little my grandma took us on picnics to Flaming Geyser State Park a lot. it’s in Auburn, WA (I think. or near that haha)

  37. Rebekah says:

    What a fun post! I want to know where you got your way cute picnic basket! My favorite place to picnic is a beach club down the street from my house. My dad brings his boat, and we just play and swim.

  38. LynnAlt says:

    favorite picnic spot — is the local playground behind the grade school. The kids love the playground and they have lots of shady spots. Our favorite picnic fare is usually pizza!

  39. My favorite place is the place where my husband proposed to me. It’s in a local park & very lovely.

  40. Honestly, I think one of the best picnic times was in our living room! It was spontaneous and easy and out of the ordinary.

  41. Whitney S. says:

    I so love this idea! Our favorite picnic place lately has been this park by our zoo that has a little pond and ducks. It is so nice after a visit to the zoo!

    Whitney S.
    Tucson, AZ

  42. OOOH FUN!

    One of our favorite instant, close-to-home, picnic spots is Stimson Lane Vineyards and Estate (aka Chateau Ste. Michelle) in Woodinville, WA. So close to the city (Seattle) and yet you feel like you are out in the country. The grounds are covered with little gardens, a fish pond and a natural pond. Picnicing is welcomed and open to anyone who wants to pull up a lawn chair or lay a blanket out. Lots of room for kids to play lawn games and run…and the winery and tasting room is just over there for any adult who want to take a little vacation from the little vacation. Also, they sell cheese, wine and bottle openers, just in case you want to expand your picnic beyond sandwiches and chips.

    Thanks for the fun giveaway opportunity!

  43. We have breakfast picnics at the Edmonds Marina waterfront park. We take our camp stove on early weekend mornings and cook up scrambled eggs and bacon while watching the ferries and playing in the sand. So fun!

  44. Cindy d says:

    I LOVE picnics! We picnic at least once a week, whether it’s at the park, in our own backyard, or even on the living room floor when it’s cold and rainy outside. There’s something just so fun about spreading out the picnic blanket and food and digging in.

  45. We went on a picnic last weekend, down in the pasture behind our house. I do not have a favorite place because where ever we picnic, as long as my family is together, is my favorite place.

  46. My favorite spot for a picnic is my living room, I try at least once a month during the fall & winter to have a picnic in the living room with my kids. It’s a great way to get away from the cold winter weather, even if it is just for dinner time.

  47. I love this blog post. So inspiring! I really appreciate it! I have a 13 month old and a 30 month old. We do a lot of picnics during the summer! We meet friends at the park or at the fish hatchery! We also go and meet my husband at work! I love the idea of having the picnic “ready”… cause I always find myself scrambling and it makes me more stressed. Not the best way to start a picnic.
    I love that picnics are basically free! Especially in our recovering economy! What a great thing! Thanks for the inspiration! P.S. Our favorite place for a picnic right now is the local fish hatchery. Great shade trees, open play space and a dollars worth of quarter’s… its a fun time!

  48. How fun is that? My favorite place is down by the beach … we live in the Seattle area, so it’s not always sunny, but we’re not above bundling up and enjoying it anyway!!

  49. we live near a small uninhabited island (well except for lots of sea birds who live there) and we kayak to the island for picnics. sometimes we find buried pirate treasure (this usually takes a little advanced planning by me).

  50. I absolutely love your picnic basket – this whole concept is fabulous!
    Our favorite picnic spot is in various spots right here on our farm. Of course, we like to head out to a state park every now and again too.
    TFS, and for the chance to win your giveaway!

  51. We’ve been really enjoying the picnic thing too. It’s new to us so we’ve really enjoyed it. It’s fun and practical too.

  52. Our favorite picnic spot is just down the road from our house – Grandma’s pond! We have so many memories of jumping in the van and heading a short distance to refreshing water, hot sand and cherished time with family and friends.

  53. Karen Schmidt says:

    You can also do these when going to your kids soccer games or sports events. I favorite place to go is to the beach on Lake Michigan. The kids have a blast, I get pictures and we have something to eat. Love the blog and summer tips.

  54. ChristineM says:

    i was just at Target yesterday, eyeing those fabulous striped accessories! Our favorite special place for a picnic is in our hometown, Madison, WI. Wednesday nights in June and July, there are free Concerts on the Square. The symphony plays and everyone picnics around the state capital. A lot of fun! Otherwise, we (me and my two young kids + hubby on the weekends) are always picnicking (sp?) at parks or lakes around here. Wherever we happen to be for the day!

  55. There is a great park not far from our home called Todd Longshore Park. It has a beautiful view of the entire Santa Clarita Valley, picnic tables, a hill to roll down, and a really nice playground with sand to play in! It is my favorite spot for a dinner picnic so we can watch the sunset while we eat.
    Canyon Country, CA

  56. Our favorite picnic location is the park just blocks from Daddy’s work. We get to picnic with him often since it’s so close, and we play until naptime when he has to go back to work.

  57. Living in Rhode Island where there are many beaches and water sites around I love picnicing with the water in view and not going far. Our favorite time is when the Rhode Island Philharmonic has a concert on the beach in July and we gather with friends and all bring something to eat to share. Love your picnic basket idea.

  58. This really is a great post! I love to picnic at the parks in our river valley here in Edmonton. Hawreluk park is my favorite, their is always something going on there and it has the feeling of camping out in the woods even though you’re in the middle of a city!

  59. My favorite spot for a picnic is at Alleghany State Park in NY state. I live in the Buffalo area, so this is a bit of a drive, about 1.5 hr to get there, but it is a wonderful park and taking a day to go there is such a treat. There is so much there for all ages, swimming, hiking, play areas, just relaxing in the beautiful out doors. Gorgeous place to be.

  60. Wow. And I thought I was organized! I laughed at the thought of a picnic this week, since we’re expecting rain and mid-50s where I live. My favorite picnic spot is where I grew up: Long Beach, Washington — preferably in a “fort” among the sand dunes.

  61. I love picnics, but am not nearly this prepared. We love picnics at the park, but I still wish for the picnics in the meadows of my parent’s farm, near the pond when I was a child.

  62. Heather says:

    Ooooh. I love this idea, but instead of a Picnic Basket, we are going to set up a Schlitterbahn basket. We have season tickets and go practically every week. Think of the time this will save to have this part ready to go! I am so loving your ideas!

    Oh and your nature scavenger hunt has gone on our Summer Bingo list. Keep the great ideas coming!

  63. I love picnics at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, where my husband is a ranger. I’m totally going to surprise him with a picnic lunch next week (this week he’s training the new rangers) with our son! They will LOVE IT. Thanks so much for the inspiration.
    -Amy in Woodland Park, CO

  64. Jenny McGee says:

    Vacations are great. I am from the suburbs of Philadelphia. PA. I love the picnic idea and never really do it. This summer I am planning a picnic with me and the boys. Great idea. Thanks,

  65. Lisa T. says:

    This is so simple yet such a great idea. As we will not be taking a formal vacation this year this idea appeals to me. We live in central Florida and having this on hand would make it so much easier for those last minute decisions to head to the beach or springs. Winning would be fun but if I don’t I will definately be heading to Target to get me one of these and make up our picnic kit for a day of fun. Thanks for the inspiration.

  66. My favorite close to home place to picnic is at Kiawah Island in SC. My hubby and I go there often both with our children and on occasion al by ourselves! It is so peaceful at the Kiawah Island public beach. Having the ocean to look out at and a cool breeze is the perfect environment to relax in. And because we live in Charleston, SC Kiawah is only about a 30 minute drive for us. We also like to bring our bikes and bike the beach if the tide goes out and then ride to “Scooper’s” the yummy ice cream shop for dessert!
    Boy…I think I need to plan a picnic SOON!
    Love your picnic tote idea, Stacy!

  67. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! I have got to do it!! Right now we are in a major life restructuring and I have wondered how to keep things FUN for the kids!! This is not only going to help them it is going to help my husband and I!!! I must say that the only thing that would make it better is to win!!! ;)

    Jenn T
    Clearfield, UT

  68. Wow! You are so creative with these picnic totes and bins. Wish I’d thought of them when my brood was small. I am going to pass the link along to my daughter and daughter-in-law for their little ones. Thanks.

  69. planning to use your naturehunt idea at the local forest here in louisville kentucky… one of your picnic baskets would be just perfect :)

  70. Angie F says:

    My 2 favorite places for a picnic are in our very own livingroom when the weather isn’t cooperating and our own backyard when we don’t have time or energy to go far! :) I love the idea of having a picnic basket ready to go in the pantry! I will start this right away so we do have time to go somewhere away from the house! THANKS for the inspiration!! LOVE it!

  71. Wow, I would love to win this! I am a terrible vacation planner. Please, don’t tell my kids…hopefully they haven’t noticed. My 2 favorite picnic spots are at this beautiful local park we have in town that overlooks a running creek. It has a swinging bridge that crosses the creek, and a nice walking nature trail that leads into the woods. Sometimes we sit and eat our lunch in the grass, watching the wildlife that surrounds us, or sometimes we let the boys fish. It’s a very peaceful spot. The other is whenever we go camping. I love waking up to the smell of freshly brewed camp coffee, made by my sweet husband, and simply eating anything outdoors. So peaceful!

  72. I love to go to our local park with friends to play and eat lunch. It has a sand/water park and another area for climbing, sliding and swinging. We also love to go to the coast for the day and play in the sand. It has always been such an ordeal to get ready for our picnic outings and I inevitably forget something. This post has given me great ideas to get everything ready in advance and run at a drop of a hat without forgetting anything. Thanks so much! Eugene, Oregon.

  73. Hi We don’t have a favorite place, but with these ideas we will soon have one or two! A tub is on my list to buy so that I can have it waiting for a picnic. Thanks so much I love love love this idea
    Pam

  74. My favorite place to picnic is Smithfield Canyon just east of Smithfield, Utah. It’s a hop skip and a jump away and peaceful and beautiful and has many picnic spots near the creek.

  75. Wow. I just love the way you are prepared for a spontaneous picnic. I love to get out and enjoy the sunshine whenever I can. I usually have my son’s wagon in the back of our SUV when the warm weather hits so we can go wherever we want. Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

  76. Our favorite picnic spot is close to home. We are fortunate to live close to a national park which is also the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. It is a beautiful rolling park that has great picnic spots, a small museum and movie about Lincoln’s life, the sinking spring that was on the family farm, and a reproduction of the log cabin that he was born in. It is nice to picnic there knowing that we are on the very property where a President was born and spent his early years. :)

    Happy Summer, and thanks for a chance in the giveaway.

  77. Karen Greenfield says:

    My vacation place is Barnes and Noble: with a big glass of iced tea and a molasses cookie and A LOT of books and magazines, I just get lost out of my head. A couple of hours there and I am refreshed!! Especially in January when I am bored with me, I go there and get 5 magazines on subjects I would normally never read and find new stuff to think about.

  78. love your ideas! we also try to get as many picnics as we can during spring and summer, sometimes we make our own and sometimes we grab a sandwich and instead of eating at the cafe we walk to a park, it makes it a more enjoyable experience :) Our favorite spot is Granville Island in Vancouver (Canada)

  79. Our favorite picnic spot is Hermann Park in Houston, Texas. You are next to the Zoo and have the train circling the perimeter~

  80. One of our favorite spots to picnic besides our own backyard is one of our local parks (we have many in our area). I love to take the kids to play and have a bite to eat but I’m usually never prepared so it’s always on beach towels with Happy Meals! I so need to create this picnic basket!

  81. Karen R. says:

    We LOVE picnics! Favorite place is at a nearby state park with a waterfall!

  82. Melinda Wilson says:

    My favorite picnic spot that is local is the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, AL. There is no cost and you can stroll through the garden, down paths into all types of beautiful areas!

  83. Dawn F. says:

    My favorite picnic spot is actually our backyard. We build a fire, eat at our picnic table and typically make it last all day! On warm evenings, the kids and my husband even sleep outside under the stars. We live in upstate New York so picnic season is just starting. We had out first one this past weekend. This is a great idea.

  84. Scrapbooking was one of my hobbies when i was in high school and college. it was quite fun.*,.

  85. Michele says:

    Our favorite picnic place is a small park just 10 minutes from home. There’s a small beach, a boat launch, playground and picnic tables – a great vacation location!!

  86. I miss my favorite picnic spot! We lived in MN for a year, right on a lake and it was our favorite place to go. I need to find a new picnic spot here in Walla Walla, WA!

  87. Growing up, our favorite spot was up at the ski resorts. We would open up the back of our station wagon, bundle up and eat our food while watching the skiers go up and down the hill :)

  88. Jennifer says:

    I love that picnic basket – so colorful! We love to pack up and head down the road about 15 minutes to my husband’s family farm. Cows, horses, ducks, turkeys, geese, fish….so beautiful and peacful!

    Jennifer in Virginia

  89. Suomenlinna (an old fort on an island) outside Helsinki, Finland. Take a ferry (about 15 minutes) and enjoy! And take some berries and other food from the market before you go! Heaven!

  90. We live in Stuttgart, Germany (thanks to the military), and it is so wonderful how the Germans have kilometer upon kilometer of hiking trails throughout the countryside. We love to load up a backpack and take long walks on the weekend. There is always a bench or a gazebo where we can sit and enjoy our picnic lunch. Good times.

  91. loving these ideas, and {not-so-patiently} waiting for class to start to see more ideas!

  92. Karin Hall says:

    My favorite is Anna Maria Island, FL … it’s a great place for a picnic. I just hope that the oil spill can be contained so that it remains a great place for our future generations – Our family has had a home there for 25+ years Watching the dolphins, manatees and other sea creatures right off the beach. Thanks for this reminder of my favorite picnic place -

  93. suzanne says:

    we usually do picnics in our yard under the trees – we have five acres, so finding a spot that doesn’t include the house is not hard! – but i love the idea of a basket ready at a moments notice!

  94. blowing rock at prices creek-awesome picnic

  95. We love to go to Redcliffe Plantation. It is only about a mile from our house, but it is a big beautiful historic plantation house with picnic tables on the ground, lots of shade and ground for the kids to run around and play. We usually go here every Mother’s Day.

  96. Tammy W. says:

    Great idea! Our favorite picnic spot is downtown Naperville, IL. There is a riverwalk and it is just a nice break from reality even though it is 15 minutes from home.

  97. Kristie says:

    I love this idea and your basket is adorable. We live on 6 acres in the great state of Texas and we like to sit out in the yard and watch the beautiful sunsets!!

  98. Anywhere in OakGlen, CA! I love the apple trees and fresh country air! So Fun!

  99. Jessica says:

    In Des Moines, Iowa, there is a beautiful bike path / park that goes all through town following along rivers- right now it’s amazing with all the wild flowers. Our favorite picnic spot is at Green Belt Park at 110th between University and Hickman.

  100. Jill Crandall says:

    Carlsbad, New Mexico may be in the middle of the desert, but we have our own little oasis right here. Our “beach,” as we like to call it, is really the beautiful Pecos River, lined on both sides by grassy areas and hundreds of mulberry and pecan trees. Kids can enjoy playgrounds on both sides of the river, and lighted walking paths are available for walking, jogging, or riding bikes. For years, people have used the picnic tables and BBQ grills at the beach to enjoy family outings. I think we have the perfect picnic spot right here in the desert!

  101. My favourite place for a picnic is right across the street! We have a community park there and the kids love it. Eat and play! What better way to spend a sunny afternoon!

  102. Anne-Liesse says:

    My favorite picnic spot is my back yard table. Both my daughter and I say every time that we “picnic” out there that food always tastes better when you eat it outside. It seems that the meals are always slower and better savored, too. And the dishes just don’t seem that important when you’re eating a popsicle that drips into the grass. Just a thought.
    Anne-Liesse

  103. Brianna Byman says:

    I love going to parks and taking either lunch or supper depending on when I go. I live in Phoenix, AZ so that is where I go. :)

  104. Our favorite spot is…..well there’s a whole story behind it (a “big picture”, for sure.)
    It’s at a dam about an hour from us. I blogged about it once.
    http://inthemidstofthisseason.blogspot.com/2007/04/fearing-flood.html
    Blessings,
    Toni

  105. I live in Calgary and we have many spots around the reservoir that are awesome for picnices. I love the basket idea!!!

  106. One of our favourite spots is about an hour west of here, at the Brazeau Dam near Drayton Valley, Alberta. Trees, wildlife, water, quiet – maybe even a glimpse of the Rocky Mountains – it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. Thanks for asking!

    P.S. I love that basket :))

  107. Laura S. says:

    My favorite place to have a picnic is a park we have affectionately nicknamed “The Gator Park.” It is a place where you can walk around lakes that have real alligators in them- residing in their natural habitiat! Sometimes you may come across a gator sunning himself right in the middle of the walkpath. There are not any fences keeping them in the lakes! Sounds kinda crazy now that I’m explaining it. The actual name is Brazos Bend State Park- it’s about 30 miles outside of Houston.

  108. Amy Goetzinger says:

    We have a wonderful public park, Bernheim Forest, in Louisville, KY. So many wonderful spots to gather round and enjoy family time

  109. We love to picnic in the summer at our neighborhood swimming pool. For some reasons sandwiches taste soooo much better if you eat them at the water’s edge sitting on a beach towel!

  110. We have a beautiful mountain here in Huntsville Alabama called “Monte Sano’ where we like to picnic at. There is a legend you can google – quite interesting. But this mountain, has a park, playground, flower gardens, waterfalls, hiking trails, really a beautiful place.

  111. Melissa says:

    I love heading down by the river that runs thru our property…it’s so nice to hear the water running and seeing the wildlife!

  112. Our favorite place to have a picnic is at the beach. Since we live on an island (Oahu) a beach is always close by. During the summers when the days are longer, we’ll head to the beach after work and school and have a dinner picnic at the beach. We keep it simple–hot dogs, chips or even stop for bentos. The kids enjoy the swimming and the sunsets! — Clara, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

  113. I love the picnic idea all ready to go!

  114. Our favorite picnic area these days is in the Memorial Park on Thursday nights in our downtown area. Thursday nights are municipal band concert nights. So fun to picnic, relax, and listen to the music. Young or old, everyone has a great time!

  115. goldnuggt says:

    I love taking the kids to Rocks State Park in Harford County, Maryland. There are trails, a creek to go tubing, playgrounds and a few different locations to have a picnic. Pure joy!

  116. Angela Williams says:

    We live in Spokane, WA. We love going to Manito Park. It is so beautiful! Lots of trees and flowers and even a pond for the kids to scout for turtles.

  117. Oh my do I just LOVE that basket!!! What a cool idea – - my kids love hiking and going on picnics and this is just perfect for that!!! I hope my Target carries that striped basket, because I am in love with it!!! Just perfect for heading out to our favorite spot by Lake Michigan – Pier Cove!!! It is a quiet spot – only 10 parking spaces with this awesome stream that the kids LOVE to play in!! It is always different every time we go!!
    Thanks for the cool ideas!
    Cindy
    Hamilton, Michigan

  118. Heather says:

    I would take this sweet basket to Mt. Baldy in Saugatuck, Michigan. After hiking up 313 steps to the top, we need a picnic!!!

  119. How inspiring to enjoy a simple but wonderful picnic! I’d love to take a cute picnic basket to our nearby Loveland Bike Trail and enjoy getting out in the sunshine and fresh air with my family. Thanks for the encouragement to do so!

  120. We love to take picnics to Table Rock State Park, just a quick 20 min. drive from our home. There’s a great picnic/playground area at the base of the hiking trails and right on the fishing/swimming lake. I’m looking forward to enjoying the park more once school is out and our schedules are at least a little less hectic. My children also love taking a picnic out to the backyard–I’ve found that calling a meal a “picnic” sure does help kids get more excited about eating fruit and good for you finger foods like baby carrots! (when you have picky eaters like mine, you’d take a blanket out to a desert if it helps matters!!) I enjoy your tips to make our time outdoors and away from the house even more fun–thank you!!

  121. Any place by a body of water, to watch ducks, turtles, and fish as we spend time together.
    The most recent time(too long ago) was at Shakespeare Park and we fed the fish bread too!
    Thanks for the reminder!

  122. Sharon Holesh says:

    Deep Creek Lake , Maryland

  123. Jo-Ellen says:

    I love to picnic in Waterton, Alberta. It is a beautiful national park that has a lifetime of memories for me. I love to go there. Pick Me!

  124. Charmayne Bowling says:

    There’s no place like your own backyard to picnic in my book. We have a little hill and love looking down at our house while we lounge on the grass and eat yummy food.

  125. OK good to see- useful comments are always helpful! Blessings.

  126. There is a fun play park where I enjoy taking my granddaughter, and my own backyard as well. I am enjoying reading your blog.

  127. My favorite place (and time) for picknic is a Chumash Park in Agoura Hills Ca, they have concerts in the park once a month during the summer months, there’s a play area for the kiddos and they have a unique tradition, the 4th of July Fireworks are not on the 4th, but the Sunday after.

  128. Cristin says:

    My favorite place to picnic is John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I’ve been going there for picnics ever since I was a little girl and I enjoy going there now with my kids. It’s an absolutely beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy food and nature with my family.

  129. Michelle Daniels says:

    Love, love, love the idea of having the baskets and cooler already packed for “impromptu” picnics!! Our favorite spot is Table Rock State Park in SC. It has great easy trails for families, nice picnic areas, creeks, lake for swimming and more!!

  130. Nancy L says:

    My children are grown and gone now but I have forwarded your ideas to some of my favorite young mothers who will love your ideas. (and if I will the basket, that will go to one of them too!)

  131. Right now my favorite picnic spot is our backyard under a big tree by the creek. My girlys and I love that spot!

  132. Lori K. says:

    I love picnics at the beach.

  133. Georgia M says:

    My husband loves car trips. Since he is new to Utah, we get in the car and he drives until we find a park. My favorite spot has been Paris, Idaho.

  134. ANY park especially near the beach!! Laguna Regional Park in Laguna Niguel, Calif is a favorite, Bonelli State Park in San Dimas California is not near the beach but they have a lake….

  135. Michael-Ann says:

    We like to take picnics when we are traveling by car. We will drive as far as we can. As we begin to get hungry, we look for a place off the road to eat. We have found some fun parks in the towns that we are just passing through. Plus the kids, can run and throw the ball for a while before driving again.

  136. erin white says:

    i was in walmart today and they had baskets like the first one you showed… the canvas one with the fold down handles.. they have them in red and red white and blue.. they dont have lids but they are so cool and only cost $8.00… oh and they have little movable side so you can actually lay them flat when you dont use them.. they are in the seasonal stuff :) take care

  137. I am a teacher and that comes with summers off. Ever since I was dating my husband, I would pick him up or meet him for lunch on my summer days off. We would choose a park and I would pack us a picnic. Most of the time we just ended up eating on tailgate but it was so fun. Our favorite park had a really hilly, winding road:) It is a dog park now. Fun to remember!

  138. Pretty much any place is a great place for a picnic in my mind! But, I must admit I do love to head to the shore of a sunny Minnesota lake, spread out a blanket, and enjoy a picnic by the water!

  139. The kitchen knives is the single most important tool in the kitchen, I wish some people would understand this before they buy expansive mixers and stuff, invest in a good knife – it will serve you for many years!

  140. Zure blog oso interesgarria. bezala eduki behar izan naiz informazio hori bilatzen eta azkenean lortu dira nahi nuke. Eskerrik asko.

  141. I love a great picnic at Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon. It is like visiting a mini Swiss Alps with deer roaming the park that will eat out of your hand. The kids LOVE it! Thanks for the ideas, I’m going to make my niece a basket for her wedding shower in 2 weeks!

  142. Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

  143. Seriously though, you can easily make that image from scratch on PS, so I wouldn’t count it as a “photo”

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