By Rachel Barber

Published on June 25, 2015

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Photography by SAMM BLAKE

choose a location that makes sense

You don’t necessarily have to host a picnic in a public park. You can host one on a rooftop, a beach, a patio, or even indoors

make a list

Write down what you need to bring. If you’re hosting outside of your home, you don’t want to forget anything.

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layer blankets for seating

Mix patterned or striped towels, blankets, or even rugs to create patchwork seating. Layer the blankets to keep guests dirt-free. If the ground is wet, use a tarp as the first layer. Skip using any white linens (grass stains!).

keep the food simple

Try handheld foods and appetizers, like vegetable or fruit kabobs, bread and cheese, or hummus and chips.

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Photography by HOSTTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
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Photography by LEO PATRONE
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Photography by BETH KIRBY

bring food that will last

While a crisp salad and sandwiches might seem like a good idea, leafy greens can wilt and sandwiches can get soggy. Instead, try a grains-based salad. Swap the pre-made sandwiches for baguettes with assorted toppings that you can spread on-site–like jam, cheese, or prosciutto. Go for dips that aren’t dairy based, like bean dip or hummus, that won’t spoil.

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Photography by BETH KIRBY

pair with a refreshing drink

Make infused water at home by adding lemon, melon, or cucumber and mint to a jug filled half with water and half with ice. You can even freeze berries to use as ice! If you serve wine, choose something fresh and light, like moscato or rosé. Pre-mix any cocktails, and make sure to have non-alcoholic options on hand. Make sure to know the open container laws if you are hosting in a public park.

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Photography by JONAS PETERSON

escape the heat

Set up umbrellas for shade and to cover the food.

pack activities

Keep guests and kids entertained with board games, cards, volleyball, bocce, frisbee, or badminton.

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Photography by WINNIE AU
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Photography by BETH KIRBY
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Photography by ANTHROPOLOGIE

stay safe in the sun

Take along some extra sunglasses and bottles of sunscreen in case guests forget their own.

add music

Bring a cute portable radio or speakers. Try Pandora or Spotify for summer playlists, or create your own!

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Photography by RUTHIE LINDSEY

don’t forget lighting

String twinkle lights for a daytime picnic or try lanterns or battery operated candles in the evening.

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