Finally the summer has well and truly arrived! Who knows how long the sun will continue to shine, so we need to make the most of it while it lasts. There really is nothing better than getting outdoors in the sun with the whole family and going on a picnic - it's the perfect way to spend some quality time with your loved ones without breaking the bank. So, we’ve come up with a list of essentials that should help your family day run smoothly…well as smoothly as possible! We’ve also come up with the perfect picnic menu and some fun game ideas to keep the kids entertained.
Let’s start with where to go - here are the top five places to go in the UK for a family day out.
• Hampstead Heath, London
Hampstead Heath is the perfect place to visit on a sunny day. There’s plenty of space to set up your picnic as well as lots of attractions to keep the kids busy. They can play till their hearts content in the playground and then cool down in the paddling pool.
• Ragley Hall, Warwickshire
Enjoy a great day out at the beautiful 17th Century mansion and 400 acre parkland of Ragley Hall. The Hall and its stunning natural surroundings are a treat for the whole family - mum and dad will gain new insights into luxurious country living and the kids will be more than happy to discover what's in store for them outside!
• John Muir Country Park, Dunbar, East Lothian
John Muir Country Park is located on a stretch of coastline near Dunbar and is a beautiful location to set up camp for the day. A range of great activities can be found throughout the park including pony rides and wildlife trails.
• Gibside, Tyne and Wear
Gibside is a great location to enjoy a quiet, relaxed afternoon in the sun. You can take tranquil long walks through the peaceful countryside or enjoy some family fun at the adventure play area and woodland play trail.
• Botanic Gardens, Glasgow
The Botanic Gardens are the perfect backdrop for your family day out. Set up your picnic blanket and enjoy the beautiful surroundings or explore the grounds with the tree trail. It will keep the kids entertained for hours.
If our list of perfect locations wasn’t enough to keep the little ones entertained, we’ve added some of our favourite games that will be sure to keep them smiling throughout the day.
Picnic Basket Relay
Split your family into two teams, the aim of the game is to race in pairs towards the basket and unpack the items. Once they have unpacked all items and are given the nod from the judge they must re-pack the basket and run back to their team, tagging the next person in. The first team to have all players complete the relay wins!
Water Balloon Race
Don’t mind getting a little wet? Give this fun game a go. You will require water balloons for this one. Split into two teams and set a chair up for each team with a water balloon placed on it. The aim of the game is to run to the chair and pop the water balloon by sitting on it. The team that pops the most balloons in the time wins. A great way to cool down in the sunshine!
With all that running around and playing in the sun you don’t want to have your day spoiled by forgetting a crucial item. So, to ensure your family day runs smoothly here are the must pack items.
• A Picnic Blanket
Ideal for sitting on and letting your little one role around on. If you’re kids are good at making a mess, go for a wipe clean number!
• Sun cream
Make sure the whole family is safe in the sun by packing the high factor cream
• A Sun Hat
Keep the little ones cool and safe in a big hat.
• An Umbrella and Rain Coat
We all know what the British weather can be like. Pop them in your bag just in case.
• Baby Basics
Remember to pack nappies, wipes and other handy essentials like insect repellent, plasters and hand sanitisers.
• Great picnic snacks
A picnic isn’t complete without some delicious picnic foods.
Here are our top, delicious, but very simple picnic ideas that can be packed the night before and are completely fuss-free.
Sandwiches - a must for any picnic, they’re easy and you can fill them with whatever you like.
Pasta - quick and easy and can be made the night before.
Vegetable sticks - a healthy little snack that your little ones will love. Put together a little Tupperware box of carrots, celery, peppers and cucumber. Bring along some dips too.
Fruit - just like the vegetables cut up a mixture of your favorite fruits and put together a delicious fruit salad.
Mini quiches – the prefect size for outdoor munching and you can add whatever filling you like.
Chicken drumsticks – mix it up and add lemon and garlic or glaze with honey. Easy to make and a perfect picnic snack.
Cold sausages – cook them up the night before, simple yet delicious!
Cake/muffins - we’re all allowed a little treat so why not take some cakes along.
So, there you have it. Our top tips on how to make the most of your family picnic. Do you have any tips to add? We would love to see your family picnic photos so please send them to info@cheekychompers.