National Picnic Day is April 23rd, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the occasion than with a lovely picnic under the Southern California sun. Even though us Californians are lucky to enjoy gorgeous weather year-round, there’s nothing quite like spring. Clear skies, warm temperatures, and the flowers in full-bloom all combine to create the perfect setting for a delightful picnic.
Make your basket packing as easy-breezy as possible – without sacrificing a wonderful meal al fresco – with our favorite tips for a perfect picnic experience.
How to Pack a Picnic Basket
Although getting ready for a picnic might seem like something you can do last-minute, there’s actually a certain art to packing the perfect basket. Here are a few things to keep in mind for this year’s National Picnic Day.
It’s easy to get excited about picnic food and forget all about picnicking basics. Still, there’s nothing worse than opening your basket and realizing that you have nothing to actually eat with. If you’re going to picnic with kids, stick with plastic containers and cups to avoid breakage.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you bring other necessities, like napkins and utensils. If you’re planning to pop open a bottle of wine, stemless wine glasses (preferably plastic) are easy to fit into the basket – and don’t leave the bottle opener at home!
Don’t ruin your picnic party with spoiled food, especially when putting cold ice packs in your basket is an easy way to stick to food safety guidelines. Be smart about the food you choose to bring with you – as you’d imagine, frozen favorites like ice cream won’t fare ware. Keep meats, dairy, fish, and prepared dishes on ice as long as possible, and avoid letting them sit under the warm sun for too long.
Picnic-Friendly Food Ideas
Just about everything tastes better when enjoyed under the springtime sun, but plenty of first-time picnickers wonder, “What should I bring on a picnic?” Here are a few of our favorite picnic ideas for picnic guests of all ages and tastes:
Sandwiches with a Gourmet Twist
There is a reason sandwiches are a picnic classic: they’re easy to transport, simple to eat anywhere, and of course, delicious. Try upgrading your usual sandwich with creative new ingredients. For example, we love almond butter and fruit instead of PB&J, a roll-up wrap instead of sliced bread, and avocado as a substitute for mayonnaise.
Fresh Fruit with a Special and Sweet Dip
Make your fruit platter extra-appealing with the addition of a sweet, creamy yogurt dip.
A Light and Fresh Side Salad
There’s no end to how creative you can get with trail mix, but we love that this one features coconut and chopped walnuts for extra crunch.
If your picnic crew has a few members on the younger side, pack fun dishes like these quirky banana dogs.
Fill Your Cart – and Your Picnic Basket – at Gelson’s Today!
Whether you’re shopping for your National Picnic Day celebration or are just hoping to stock up the fridge, you can find an excellent selection of fresh produce, meats and seafood, pantry essentials, and more at Gelson’s Supermarkets. We’re the top choice for locals looking for great grocery stores in Southern California, turning your weekly errand into a hassle-free, enjoyable shopping experience.
Start preparing for your next picnic and find everything you need to make your basket perfect at your neighborhood Gelson’s.