From parks to rooftops, sharing food under blue skies or starry nights is one of summer’s sweetest pleasures. Keep your picnic fresh and fun with these tips.
Pack for your environment.
Will there be seats and tables at your location? Will there be a barbecue? What’s the weather forecast? Depending on the answers, you may need chairs or blankets, cooking supplies, a sunshade, tarp or extra sweaters.
Wash and cut veggies, salads and garnishes, and slice meats and cheeses in advance. Prevent wilting by packing sandwich sauces and salad dressings in sealed containers and adding them just before you eat. Store carbonated drinks in their original packaging and open slowly and carefully upon arrival. Always pack napkins, cutlery, plates and cups.
Be travel ready.
Cold, handheld items that don’t require extensive onsite prep or cutlery to be eaten, like sandwiches and fruit, are easiest. For hot dishes like sausages and kabobs, bring supplies (hibachi, charcoal, lighter, tongs) and cook on site.
Pack perishables in a cooler with ice and a thermometer; store at 4°C or below. Wrap raw meats securely and place in the bottom of the cooler to avoid cross-contamination. Keep drinks in a separate cooler from temperature sensitive foods, such as meats and veggies, to ensure these foods stay cold and fresh. Ensure the food stays chilled at the location until it's ready to be cooked and served. Food should be discarded if it sits out for longer than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 32˚C.
Bring sanitizer to clean hands before prepping and serving food, garbage bags and wipes for clean-up, and re-sealable bags and foil or plastic wrap for packing leftovers (but only if your cooler is still at 4°C or below — otherwise toss the leftovers).
Good food is just the start. Music, games and sports equipment help keep everyone occupied.
Not sure what food to bring? Choose from our mix and match menu of summer-ready recipes.
We’ve got you covered with our virgin Lemon & Ginger Fizz and Grapefruit-Raspberry Mimosa Mocktail. As well as fruity beverages like Clementine Sangria. Pack fruit and flat drinks together in large, sealed containers. Store carbonated drinks upright and add them just before serving.
Pre-slice bread and cheese in advance and assemble our Brie Crostini with Mango & Jalapeño Salsa on site. Or pack make-ahead Almond & Olive Hummus; Parmesan, Poppy & Sesame Seed Crackers; and Sweet & Spicy Nuts to banish hunger with style
Grilled Vegetable & Salmon Bow-Tie Pasta Salad and Zesty Grilled Potato Salad, are hearty starters, while our Sweet Orange & Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Mediterranean Barley Salad and Bean & Corn Taco Salad are lighter options.
As long as you complete the prep work in advance, our Spicy Beef Kabobs with Southwest Potato Skins, Sausage Skewers with Remoulade Sauce, Grilled Chicken & Roasted Honeydew Salsa and Grilled Sausage & Grape White Pizza are easy enough to grill and serve on-site. Don’t forget to bring an instant read thermometer so you can be sure meat is fully cooked.
Sandwiches & Wraps
Go gourmet with our Thai Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps; Quinoa, Feta & Kale Croquettes in Pitas; and the Grilled Portabella Sandwich with Cheese & Green Onion Mayo. Or keep it classic with Sirloin Steak Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo, the Ultimate Grilled Veggie Sandwich and Roasted Chicken & Sweet Pepper Sandwiches. Pre-pack sauces and add to sandwiches before eating.
Snacks & Desserts
Quick Packing List
You have the food and drinks planned; here are the extras you don’t want to forget:
- Cooler and ice
- Instant-read thermometer
- Blanket or tablecloth (depending on location)
- Barbecue or hibachi with coal, tongs, lighter (if grilling)
- Cutlery, plates and cups
- Paper towels
- Napkins, wet wipes and hand sanitizer
- Bottle opener or corkscrew
- Knife and small cutting board
- Salt and pepper
- Re-sealable bags, foil or plastic wrap
- Garbage bags