Last week I mentioned that we go on a lot of picnics (now 41 this year so far. Tonight 42!). Here are some things we have learned.

26 Suggestions For Going On Picnics:

1. National Parks are typically really good locations. They often have lots of space and a sense of grandeur.

2. State Parks are great, as well, assuming you have a state with good parks. Like Minnesota.

3. But . . . don’t eschew City, County or Regional parks.  Some are very impressive.

4. Have a designated picnic bag/basket with the stuff in it (napkins, plastic utensils, small first aid kit) that a picnic may require. In this bag make sure you have –

5. Closed bottles for everyone (different color so the kids know which one is theirs) which don’t spill if they are tipped over.

6. Have a designated picnic blanket in your car at all times. This makes it so you don’t require a picnic table.

7. Get a toothpaste holder to hold a small knife to cut cheese or fruit.

8. Always bring wet wipes.

9. Bad weather is the only reason to eat Subway at the restaurant. Go find a park.

10. But speaking of bad weather, don’t let it stop you – think outside the box. Big shelters when it’s raining, coats when it’s chilly, shade and lake breeze when it’s hot.  As you might expect in Minnesota, we generally don’t picnic in January and February, but by March we start getting antsy and the first low fifties sunny day we are out.

11. And speaking of Subway – feel free to think outside the box with what you can eat on a picnic. We have enjoyed a classic fried chicken meal, but we have also had chicken pot pie, homemade pizza and Burger King Whoppers on a picnic.

12. Looking for a lesser-known picnic destination? Have you considered geocaching? One of the better benefits from this hobby is that cache-placers generally know the region they live in and they know the unique places to visit. Just this weekend we found an area in Minneapolis hidden down by the historical mills along the Mississippi (yes, it is our 21st spot on that river)  that we have been near many times but only learned about because someone place a cache there.

13. On a long driving trip? Long trip lunches are for picnics. Get out and really stretch your legs.

14. Do you have young kids? Look for a park with a playground.

15. On the other hand, don’t feel like you require a playground. Go for a nature walk, or read to your kids, or find a geocache.

16. And don’t forget the football, baseball gloves, Frisbee or croquet.

17. Also if you have kids, consider leaving them at home and go on a picnic date. Pick up take out.

18. Are there any historical markers around? Instant social studies lesson!

19. Are you going to be in Grand Marais on Minnesota’s North shore of Lake Superior? Read this.

20. My eight year old son suggested I remind you: Stay together, so you don’t get lost.

21. My kids also wanted me to say that everyone can help carry the food, blanket and other supplies from the car to the picnic spot.

22. Find a park that you like near your home? Make it a yearly tradition.

23. Is your home dining situation too small to have guests over? Invite them on a picnic in between your homes.

24. Are you going to be at the Devil’s tower in Wyoming? Read this.

25. Or how about Moscow?

26. Make sure you take a look around where you are and enjoy the beauty that God has created. Give thanks to him. If you get a chance, lay back and relax on your blanket or on green grass. This is especially appropriate on a Sunday afternoon.

Any other suggestions?