Let’s Have a Picnic!

August 28, 2018

Just about any food can be made packable and portable and eaten outdoors for a change of pace, a special occasion or a spiritual lift! Did you know spending time outside can improve your memory, fight depression and lower your blood pressure? So why not picnic in a park or on a mountainside for a little attitude boost and health upgrade? Here are some ideas about where to go, what to bring and how to make the most of dining al fresco… on a blanket!

Where to Go

You can always eat on the Lakehouse Lawn at 27151 E. Lakeview Drive, just bring your blankets and chairs and a picnic basket. But just a short walk or drive away is the ultimate option that combines recreation like beach volleyball, kayaking, paddle boarding and archery. That’s right, take your picnic along with beach towels, sand chairs, sunscreen and cooler to the Aurora Reservoir at 5800 S. Powhaton Road and enjoy lunch lakeside.

A few miles away at 23701 E. Hinsdale in Aurora is the Red-Tailed Hawk Park a multi-use acreage with various sports areas and water features which on the weekend combine to provide a playground for young and old alike. The surfaces are soft and forgiving for the littles, and there’s a great open area for dogs to scamper and play, too.

Utah Park is another favorite of Aurora residents. With a large shaded area and picnic tables, plus a few mature trees for shade, this park at 1800 S. Peoria Street is also a dog-friendly suburban oasis perfect for walking, picnicking and enjoying nature. 

What to Bring

You can pack a gourmet picnic, a romantic picnic, a quirky, quickie picnic for kids, and the most fun picnic, (although we think eating pretty much anything outside when you don’t have to rush is always a ton of fun!). 

Cooking Light says make-ahead salads in a mason jar will revolutionize your picnicking. Already popular with the pack-a-lunch bunch, meals in a jar add a bit of fun, like a 5-Ingredient Salad from their collection of packable picnic fare and desserts in a jar like Key Lime Pie, Frozen S’mores or Berry Shortcakes.

Tablespoon offers the picnic-in-a-jar alternative so that you can enjoy the taste of say Easy Caprese, but avoid the mess and even tote your drinks in a jar. Worth a try, right? Especially for the romantic picnic where the last problem you want is a blanket soaked with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  

For yummy lemonade ideas and a picnic gear checklist, check out the Food Network’s ultimate packable picnic ideas, and for 50 portable food options — sandwiches, salads, wraps and skewers  — go right to Woman’s Day.

Romantic Picnics for Two

The Dating Divas will help you come up with the ultimate romantic picnic, on a boat, on a carriage ride, or in a hot air balloon! These are anything but red-checkered tablecloth picnics, inspired by romance, food and some toast-worthy adult beverages.

Speaking of adult beverages, if you want to really simplify and like red or white wines, the Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery in Denver offers tasty wines in single serving cans. Forget the bottle opener – just pop the top!

If it’s been awhile since you’ve planned a picnic, maybe it’s because you think it has to be a big production, with lots of labor-intensive make-ahead food, but with these tips and ideas it can and should be simple, fuss-free and as much fun as eating out!

Picnicking Near Southshore!

You’re not far from ANYTHING when you live in the master-planned community of Southshore, the perfect convenient location for recreation, entertainment and activities for the entire family. Tour the spectacular models from Toll Brothers, Richmond American Homes and Century Communities, in both ranch and two-story designs, priced between the upper $300s and the $700s. It’s life at the lake!