Take mealtime outdoors for a classic summer picnic.

These summer picnic ideas include healthy and safe ideas for enjoying your meals outdoors.A warm summer day calls for a picnic! Taking mealtime outdoors can be a great way to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and a change of scenery. While social distancing guidelines are in place, it’s best to set up at a distance from other picnickers if you’re venturing to a public park. You may also consider having a picnic in your own backyard!

Here are our top summer picnic ideas for a fun and healthy day in nature:

  1. Pack nutritious picnic foods
  2. Choose the best seating for you
  3. Seek out shade and wear breathable clothing
  4. Protect yourself with sunscreen, hats, and bug spray
  5. Fill up a few water jugs for the cooler
  6. Bring a book, sketchpad, or journal

Get inspired to enjoy the great outdoors with more on these summer picnic ideas below.

Pack nutritious picnic foods
The key to picnic fare is choosing recipes that will keep well in a cooler or can be tossed on a grill if one is available. Try one of these ideas:

Choose the best seating for you
When it comes to summer picnic ideas, add comfortable seating to the mix to help you enjoy your outdoor mealtime. If sitting on a blanket on the ground isn’t for you, consider finding a spot where there is a picnic table. Alternatively, you could bring a lightweight card table and a camping or beach chair.

Seek out shade and wear breathable clothing
Before heading out on your picnic, check the weather to make sure the forecast will be favorable. Don light, moisture-wicking clothing that can keep you cool in the warm summer weather. At the picnic site (even if it’s your own backyard), choose a big leafy tree as your home base to ensure you have plenty of shade.

Protect yourself with sunscreen, hats, and bug spray
Even if you’re in the shade, it can’t hurt to double up on the protection. UV rays can damage the skin even if they don’t cause sunburn. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and put sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bugs love summer as much as humans do, so don’t forget bug spray or citronella candles. Learn more about summer weather safety tips for seniors on our blog.

Fill up a few water jugs for the cooler
Ensuring you stay hydrated is another safe summer picnic idea to keep in mind. Too much heat exposure can cause dehydration, often making you feel dizzy, irritable, and tired. To ensure you enjoy the experience, bring plenty of water (and keep drinking it regularly)! Read our other tips on how to stay hydrated in summer here.

Bring a book, sketchpad, or journal
Our last summer picnic idea is all about unwinding. Amp up the relaxation factor by bringing your favorite ways to kick back and get lost in your thoughts. Finish a couple of chapters of a gripping novel, draw a tranquil nature scene, write a journal entry, or complete a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. This quiet summer picnic idea is great to do with one or two other people from your household.

If you enjoyed these summer picnic ideas, keep reading our senior living and independence blog for more ideas on making the most of every season!

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