SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Recipe for Family Fun: The Picnic | Family Economics

By Eric Payne


Summertime is known as “family-fun time” in my household. From the most frugal of city-planned events to the highest-priced excursions, you’ll rarely come across a weekend where there is nothing to do. Sometimes, however, the easiest way to spend intimate, memorable and quality time as a family is the age-old tradition of a family picnic. It can be as simple or extravagant as your preferences dictate.

My family picnics have always been more spur-of-the-moment outings. My wife and I grab everything we need from the fridge and garage, while stopping at a local grocery store to pick-up necessities we don’t have along the way. We stock our cars with blankets and load-up our Ziploc® brand Big Bags with frisbees, soccer balls and kites for the kids. If you’ve never gone on a family picnic or if you’ve gotten out of practice, below is a list of key necessities you’ll want to bring.

picnic prep

•    A picnic basket. If you don’t have one, reusable shopping bags are a great alternative

•    Your favorite beverages, snacks and foods packed in durable food containers and Ziploc® brand Storage Bags with the Smart Zip® Seal

•    Napkins, plastic plates and disposable cups, forks, knives, spoons and straws. Be sure to recycle these after use, if possible!

•    Outdoor games such as a soccer ball, football, frisbee, baseball and glove(s), a kite, a couple of bottles of bubbles or some variation of bubble making machines (these cost no more than $6 a pop)

•    1-2 blankets designated for outdoor use depending on the size of your family

•    Sunblock, depending on the day and whether or not you plan to picnic in a shaded area

•    A can of OFF!® Bug Repellent. Nothing can ruin a picnic more than pesky bugs, especially mosquitoes!

•    A camera or fully charged camera phone to take pictures

•    Additional Ziploc® brand Sandwich Bags to secure messy items (such as opened bubble bottles) for the ride home

•    Two tall kitchen trash bags for easy cleanup and one trip to the recycling bin and trash can at the park

•    A sunny day and the intent to relax and have fun!

Note: If you don’t live near a park, all of the above can also be done in your backyard with the added luxury of being able to grill while picnicking. Consider adding a tent and a slip and slide to create a more diverse and exciting adventure for the kids.

What does your family do to have fun, traditional or otherwise, without traveling too far or spending too much?

Photo courtesy of Eric Payne.

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