Parks and Recreation: A great time to plan a summer picnicWant to get away with the family but can't quite get into the idea of a vacation right about now? Try a picnic.
By: Amy Norris, Budgeteer News
Want to get away with the family but can't quite get into the idea of a vacation right about now?
Consider the temporary relief that a family picnic can provide in one of Duluth’s city parks. A bit of food and a lot of fun can make for one of the best times of your life and, if you do it right, your kids will be talking about family picnics until they are blue in the face. Of course, having a picnic like this is much easier said than done. Here are some things to consider when putting your picnic together:
Food is key. If you are having lots of people, you have to settle on what to eat and who is bringing it. If it is just you and your kids, naturally things will be easier.
Sandwiches are great for picnics. They are easy to make and almost everyone likes them. You can make simple sandwiches by just combining bread with your favorite sliced meat and a condiment. Fruits are also great to bring along. Fruits are very tasty, need little packaging and provide many healthy nutrients. There are also an unlimited number of other snack options that you can bring along on your picnic. No picnic is complete without a delicious dessert. Some great options are pies, cakes or cookies. These delicious treats will top off your picnic nicely.
Location is just as important as food. A location can certainly make or break any picnic; if you want to have a great picnic, select any of our city parks for your picnic adventure. Parks such as Lester Park, Chester Park, Lincoln Park, Enger Tower and Chambers Grove are all wonderful places to have a picnic. For a list of all city parks go to www.duluthmn.gov and click on “Parks and Recreation.”
Put thought into your picnic recreation. The main idea behind a picnic is to eat, but that is not all you do. Recreation is important. Games, a hike, a nature walk, a swim — whatever it is, make sure that it is something that everyone can enjoy. If you can’t think of any outdoor games, here are a few popular game suggestions:
• Balloon Stomp: You will need balloons and string. Let the kids blow up their own balloons and tie one to their ankle with a string. At the “Go” signal, everyone runs around trying to stomp on and burst each others’ balloons. The last person with an intact balloon wins.
• Outdoor Scavenger Hunt: You will need a printed list of nature items for the hunt and a location where items such as rocks, bugs, leaves, etc. can be gathered. Give players or teams the printed list of nature items to find. Some suggestions are rocks, bugs, pine cones, twigs, something red, yellow, orange or other color. The first player or team to report back with all of the items wins.
• Jump Rope Relay: You will need two jump ropes. Form two teams and set the boundaries of the race. At the “Go” signal, the first two players race to the goal and back, jumping rope. The next player goes, and so on, until the winning team is declared.
• Hot Potato: You will need a boom box and a bean bag or real potato. Players stand in a circle and a parent or teen starts the music. Players pass the potato around the circle until the music stops. Whoever is holding the potato when the music stops is out. Play until one winner is declared.
Finally, remember that having a picnic is about being with people that you care about, being outdoors, and doing things that are fun and make you enjoy life. A lot of planning goes into some of the best picnics. If you want your picnic to be a success, take time to plan. Get out and enjoy our parks and don’t forget the sunscreen!
~ Written by Amy Norris, Duluth Parks and Recreation