Late summer and early fall are the perfect time for activities like outdoor dining. The temps are still warm, but not too toasty, and the sun’s still up late so you can linger over your meal.
Here are three picnic ideas for seniors. Use them as inspiration for your own al fresco dining experience.
1. Food & Wine: Vineyard Picnics
From the West Coast to the Deep South, every state is home to wineries. You’ll find storybook settings, tours and wine tastings that will excite your taste buds before your picnic starts. Many vineyards have designated picnic areas or parks nearby where you can enjoy the food you bring or buy on-premises. Look for gourmet picnic ideas and recipes that pair with the vineyard’s signature wines. Pro Tip: Be sure to inquire about the vineyard’s picnicking and open alcohol container policies.
2. Notes & Nosh: Music Picnics
Outdoor music events are popular well into the fall. Check your local parks and performance venues for gigs that appeal to your taste and pack snacks or a full spread to enjoy while you jam. Have some fun and make picnic food that plays to a theme in the band’s biggest hit or your favorite tune. Pro Tip: Check the park’s policy on enjoying adult beverages on your picnic.
3. Shore & More: Waterfront Picnics
Whether it’s by the beach, a river or creek, or a lake or pond, waterside picnics are a staple of the season. Look for summer or fall picnic food ideas that use fish or seafood to reflect your location. Bonus points if you catch your meal! Pro Tip: Use only approved picnic and campfire areas (and make reservations if possible).
Looking for more fun picnic ideas? Check out Pinterest for imaginative recipes and projects. You’ll find everything from simple snacks to more elaborate meals, alongside twists on classic options. Of course, if you’d rather enjoy the great outdoors without the fuss of cooking, you purchase takeout from a vendor at your destination or pick up provisions along the way.
Whatever picnic ideas you bring to reality, pay attention to food and personal safety.
Food Safety Tips
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has easy-to-follow tips for keeping picnic eats safe, including:
- Hold cold foods at 40°F or below
- Wash produce before you leave home (you may not have access to clean water at your picnic site)
- Keep beverages and foods in separate coolers since frequent opening raises a cooler’s interior temperature and could warm foods that need to stay cold
Personal Safety Tips
To avoid a picnic calamity, protect yourself, too:
- Guard against falls on uneven terrain
- Protect your skin with sunscreen and bug spray
- Drink plenty of water, especially when enjoying alcohol
Use these ideas and tips to plan a lovely later summer or early fall picnic.