Summer is in full swing, and this means many of us are participating in fun activities outdoors and enjoying the fresh produce the summer season has to offer. One of the best wants to take advantage of the great summer weather and the delicious summer produce is through a picnic. We stock up on picnic and other outdoor necessities using the Flipp app to find the best deals at stores near us. Having picnic essentials on hand makes throwing together a delicious and easy outdoor feast a breeze. Here are some essential items to consider when planning your picnic.

Quick Snacks

Stock your picnic basket with snacks your crew can enjoy before the main meal. Consider including fresh berries, watermelon and cheese cubes. Pack toothpicks that you can use to keep hands clean, or make fruit skewers and store in a container.

Side Salads

Skip the traditional potato salad and try some colorful side salads that use fresh produce. My favorite three-bean salad incorporates chickpeas, kidney beans and black beans, with bell peppers, onions and celery. Garnish it with fresh pepper and an oil and vinegar mixture for a light homemade dressing. Pasta salad with fresh herbs is sure to be a hit, too. Fresh fruit salads also highlight the produce that is in season.

Main Course

Consider sandwiches you can wrap individually for your main meal. Alternatively, pack cold fried chicken to go with the side salads. If you’re at a park with an area that allows grilling, consider grilled food as an option.

Drinks and Desserts

Bottles of water, lemonade or ice tea compliment a picnic meal nicely. Remember to pack some ice for your drinks and to keep your picnic food cool. Light desserts such as berries and cream, a chocolate mousse and individual berry trifles or tarts complete your delicious meal and are a crowd pleaser. You can also consider using your muffin tin to make mini cheesecakes topped with fresh berries.

Picnic Essentials

Remember to pack other items such as napkins, wet wipes, utensils and dishes for your picnic. A bottle of hand sanitizer is a good idea as well. Keeping a picnic blanket or small chairs in your car at the ready is a great idea, too.

Picnic Activities

You will likely have a lot of activities planned to go with your picnic. While eating, consider playing a game of 20 questions or telling silly jokes to keep the conversation going. Most of all, enjoy the company, the food and the summer weather!