I don’t know how I did not remember that July was National Picnic Month. But, fortunately I remembered just in time to write about it before the month is over.
As we all know, there are many ways and places to picnic, there’s always the traditional route, bringing a blanket and picnic basket and/or cooler with your favorite goodies and heading to the local park, beach or lake. Or, you can opt for something a bit more elegant and have real dishes, tablecloths and hot food along with a portable table.
For people like me concerned about buying local and organic food you can make it a strictly “buy local” picnic, choosing only locally grown fruits and vegetables and depending on where you live, other locally produced items such as bread, artisan cheese and even organic or biodynamic wine. You can find these local goodies at your local farmers market, farm stand, cheesemaker, or winery or via Local Harvest.
Sometimes I forget that picnicking is not only about the food and table setting, but about where you choose to picnic. As I wrote about earlier this month, its also National Parks and Recreation Month and public parks are a great place to picnic.
But, there are so many other spots to have a picnic. And, if you combine your food with entertainment, the possibilities are endless. A concert in the park, local symphony performance, an outdoor theater or theater performance in the park and movies in the park, are all great times to enjoy picnicking.
There are wineries and farms that offer not only offer picnic spots, but will provide the complete meal for you too. In perhaps the most famous wine country in the United States, Napa Valley, there is even a list of wineries that have picnic areas. One tip; while at most wineries it is perfectly okay to bring your own food to enjoy at a winery, make sure you buy your wine from the winery you are visiting.
Botanic gardens are another place that you might think about having a picnic. However, many do not allow food or drink in the gardens themselves, or have a separate area just for picnicking. Make sure you check with the garden that you are visiting to see what the policy is.
Think of places and events that you visit while on vacation or even around town that you typically wouldn’t think of as an outdoor activity but that might have beautiful outdoor areas around them. In the process you might discover a new, favorite place to picnic. It is summer vacation time after all, and many people are visiting art galleries and museums, historic buildings, and staying at bed and breakfast inns.
For example, the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association actually lists several of its members that offer picnics and/or picnic areas for their guests.