Looking for a restaurant that will comfortably accommodate any event from a family reunion to an intimate dinner for two while satisfying all your guests? Pack a hearty picnic basket and head out to one of San Antonio's beautiful parks. We've put together a list of tips and tricks for easy and fun outdoor dining.
Keys To Planning
A spur-of-the-moment picnic can be a treat, but most of the time it will be a planned event. Use prep time to make it special.
- Think of the picnic as a portable party and use the same method of planning. Who will be invited? Are you celebrating a special occasion? What kind of menu do you want?
- Pick the location strategically so there are no unpleasant surprises. You don't want to pack burgers and ribs only to find there are no grills on site. Consider availability of restroom facilities, especially if kids will be along.
- Include a shower curtain or plastic sheet along with a blanket to avoid any dampness. Folding camp chairs are a nice seating option.
- Leave the picnic area in good shape for the next group. Bring along resealable plastic bags, food storage containers, aluminum foil and garbage bags for clean-up.
The Main Event
Food options are more wide-ranging than you might think. After all, variety is the spice of life!
- Mason jars make ingenious salad containers. Avoid soggy veggies by layering the dressing on the bottom.
- Want some healthy alternatives to traditional mayonnaise-laden salads? Incorporate ingredients like couscous, barley and quinoa and use flavorful vinaigrette dressings.
- Elevate plain drinking water with slices of fresh fruit and a handful of mint. It's tasty, refreshing and healthier than sugary sodas.
- Use a muffin tin as a no-muss, no-fuss condiment tray.
- Skewers are a great way to create food combos that are easy to serve and eat. Try alternating meats and veggies, or pair fresh fruit with cheese.
- Try planning a menu around a specific cuisine. You could go with ethnic flavors like Asian or Mexican, or make an assortment of creative sandwiches. A decadent dessert picnic with items such as truffles, chocolate-covered fruit and mini-tarts is a great choice for a date with your significant other.
Creative Picnic Themes
Crank up the festive spirit with a special theme. Your imagination is the only limit.
- Turn your picnic into a carnival with games like corn hole and ring toss and foods such as corn dogs, pretzels and popcorn.
- Cut down on your work load by making it a potluck picnic. You could even make it a theme within a theme by having people bring their favorite childhood food or recreate a dish from the '50s.
- A luau is a classic theme that's fun for kids and adults. Serve tropical-inspired food and beverages, have your guests get decked out in Hawaiian shirts and stage a lively game of limbo.
What's your favorite go-to picnic dish? Share it with us in the comments!