What Every Picnic Needs This Summer

June 22, 2021

Summers at the Aurora Reservoir is the what Life at the Lake is all about. Within minutes from your front door in Southshore you can be sinking your toes in the warm white sand, or swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and splish-splashing around in 800 acres of cool blue water! It’s also the perfect place for a picnic either under covered shelters you can reserve for big crowds, or on a beach blanket spread out for lunch, snacks or an early supper feast. For $10/day or $55 for an Aurora resident season pass, the reservoir is the best spot to while away a personal day!

Packable, Portable Food Ideas

Picnics require packable, portable food, like sandwiches, snacks and desserts and it’s the time of year for pasta salads, like this Picnic Penne, with sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic and sweet pepper and Parmesan, can be zingy with salsa, or tangy with teriyaki – your choice! Summer Tip: Pack it in mason jars for individual servings.

Credit: Brian Woodcock

Another salad that seems reserved for summer is chicken salad, sometimes savory with celery and onions, or slightly sweet with halved grapes and poppyseed dressing. Country Living offers this Curry Chicken Salad recipe, creamy and delicious and piled high between two slices of sourdough bread! Check out this recipe and 93 more ideas for picnic fare here – including Fresh Dill and Salmon Pasta Salad and Shaved Asparagus Salad with Parmesan, raisins, pine nuts and vinaigrette.

For tasty sammies – both meat protein and vegan — click over to Olive Magazine. Its collection of picnic staples includes Black Bean Crunch Wraps, Salt Beef and Swiss Bagel Melts, Cubano Sandwiches (with Cuban mojo pork), and New Orleans-inspired Muffuletta squares. And for a traditional recipe with a twist, look for the mini-pork and chorizo picnic pies with a hidden quail’s egg inside! Honestly, see if you don’t feel like reaching into the photos and pinching off a bite!

And for a portable, kid-friendly snack-attack smorgasbord, click to Recipe Rebel’s Snack Board for the littles.

The All-Important Picnic Basket

You can use a backpack for your picnic, or a cooler with wheels to roll and drag around, but we found beyond that — here’s what else you’ll need for the perfect al fresco outing. 

Here’s the picnic checklist from the Food Network – those folks whose job it is to find new things to eat and new ways to eat them. They opt for a basket or canvas bag (even something like a Trader Joe’s bag for cold and frozen foods) and Life Hack says bring a blanket. You don’t need anything fancy, just a serviceable sheet or whatever-you-have blanket. Bring practical paper or plastic tableware and utensils, and cups, and Life Hack recommends packing a first aid kit – just in case.

We found blogs that suggest your picnic blanket be waterproof on the bottom. We’re not sure how many people have one of THOSE sitting in their linen closet, so we rustled up a link for the $25 Bearz Outdoor Waterproof Beach Blanket. 

In addition to the tableware, be sure to bring lots of water for drinking, a cutting board, sharp knife, and condiments – from salt and pepper to ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc. (This is a great way to use up packets from takeout!). Don’t forget the sunscreen, bug repellent, trash bags and wet wipes, either. 

Plenty of Picnicking in/around Southshore

Summer in Southshore. is the best time to enjoy Life at the Lake and all the water-based amenities and activities that proliferate all around the master-planned community. If you don’t live in Southshore yet, check out the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers — priced from the $400s. Where else can you live five minutes from a kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, swimming playground for adults and kids?