July 12, 2012 8:29 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith

That's One Slick Picnic: The Ultimate Guide to Eating in Public Parks

  • 5 pictures

That's One Slick Picnic: The Ultimate Guide to Eating in Public

Next to picking up after your college kid or spending what's left of your tax refund, having a picnic is probably the most fun thing you can do during the summer. Though it may seem like something best left to the professionals, having a perfect summer picnic is actually quite simple. In fact, it's as easy to do perfectly as it is to mess up royally!

Don't stress: on behalf of all your good friends at FoodNRecipe, we're bringing you the ultimate guide to throwing a perfect picnic. Here, we'll be covering more bases than the little league game happening dangerously close to where your toddlers are playing!

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We'll show you how to:

1. Find a spot with grass so green, you'll be telling your neighbors that their lawns look like crap for weeks.

2. Give your children something fun and productive to make that keeps them off the streets.

3. Help you build the perfectly balanced, well-rounded, and undeniably delicious menu that won't make your belly feel all weird in the summer sun.

But first thing's first:

**The Guest List**

This may not seem like something terribly pressing to consider, but make no mistake: just because someone isn't inside your house doesn't mean ze isn't at your party. To that end, think carefully about your guest list. You're about to commit to hours in the sweltering heat, and you've just spent a ton of time and money cooking. Does this really seem like a recipe for high tolerance?

Unfortunately, we hardly ever plan our picnic parties alone, and as such, we often end up having to invite someone that we'd rather avoid just to appease the other picnic planners. To that end, remember these ten fool-proof words:

"Could you run to the store and get more ice?"

The person will feel included in the party-planning, and you'll get just enough time to recuperate or find something else to fret about.

Finally, while you can't be held accountable for all uninvited guests, there is one intruder at a picnic that no one-- not even the secretary at work who likes everyone-- likes: insects. An ant crawls into your potato salad and even if you pick it out, everyone whispers about your condiment like it's Chernobyl.

How do you avoid ants and mosquitos? This may seem obvious, but grab a few Insect-Repellant Citronella Candle and light them around your food.

Now, I know what you're thinking: for some reason, all those candles are made to look as terrible. And that's where your kids come in. Tell them to grab some non-toxic tempura paints, water, and a paintbrush and get to work painting fun designs all over the impossible-to-peel-off labels on the venomous votives. If they need inspiration, tell them the theme of your picnic is flawlessness. You'll be surprised at how creative your children are!

**The Menu**

And now that you've done all the non-food related preparing you need to for the night before, we bring you to the menu. Like we said, we're gonna teach you how to prepare a full spread that's not going to have any of your guests yelping in pain on account of their bellies.

Might we suggest FoodNRecipe's Expertly Crafted Picnic Menu:

1. An Amazing Potato Salad Without Mayo 

2. Corpse Reviver #2 Cucumber Sandwiches

3. Not So Old Fashioned Citrus Chess Cookies

4. Ice-Cold Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade


5. Homemade Dill Potato Chips


And now that you've finished cooking, here's a slideshow of all our favorite picnic destinations from around the country. We hope you enjoy!



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