A socially distanced picnic

A socially distanced picnic

The pandemic has forced us to dive deep into our imaginations… organizing a picnic is no exception. Here are 7 tips to do it safely.

The dog days of summer are so short that we have to make the most of them until winter rears its ugly head.

And what better way than a picnic to celebrate the pleasures of outdoor dining?

1. Less is more

Even though officials have loosened restrictions on social gatherings, it is preferable to limit the number of people you invite along to the picnic.

Not only do you reduce the risk of spreading the virus, but you will be able to have quality conversation with everyone.

2. Pick a prime picnic spot

The easiest solution would be to organize a picnic at home if you have the outdoor space to host.

If you plan to visit a park, remember they are seeing higher visitor flow than normal and picnic tables can be hard to come by. It is a good idea to schedule your picnic before or after peak hours and spread a blanket on the ground to eat.

Check to confirm what services are available as some may be on hold for the time being, such as bathroom or water fountain access. Plan accordingly.

Forget about places where it would be difficult to respect social distancing rules.

3. On the menu: individual portions

The days of dipping in that shared bowl of hummus on a veggie platter, picking through the meats and cheeses of a communal charcuterie board and spaghetti eaten à

la Lady and the Tramp are over. Not advisable during a pandemic!

Toss the potluck formula out the window. Instead, choose dishes where food is already on individual plates. The goal is to avoid having people serve themselves from communal dishes.

If you do not have the inspiration of a chef…

Answer the call made by the multitude of restaurants that had to close their doors to in-person dining due to the health crisis.

Many of them now offer a grab-and-go menu, takeout meals that satisfy a discerning palate… and promote buying local.

4. A picnic on the up-and-up

It would be a shame if your planned foray fell through because you did not follow municipal and provincial regulations…

Take the time needed to properly inform yourself about regulations to follow to avoid finding yourself in this situation.

5. Bring-your-own-everything!

The safest option consists of picnicking with your immediate family as this group does not have to practice social distancing.

If others do join you, make sure that everyone is responsible for bringing their own things:

  • Chair
  • Dishes and glasses
  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Blanket
  • Etc.

6. COVID survival kit

Never leave the house without a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer, essential items to always carry with you during these turbulent times.

7. Pinterest for the win

Many look to Pinterest for inspiration when it comes time to adding some stylish finishing touches.

With all the emphasis these days on the art of outdoor living that shows no signs of abating, think about incorporating interior items from your everyday life… that would complement the picnic vibe: carpet, candles, lighting, cushions, comfy throw blankets, etc.