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Plan Your Perfect Spring Picnic

Plan your perfect spring picnic as the spring season arrives!

Picture shows a picnic outside. There is a white blanket, food and a hat. In the background there are trees with white flowers on them.
Spring has arrived calling and it is the perfect time for a fun spring picnic. Credit: Shutterstock/Svitlana Denysiuk

Whether you want to spend more time with your best friends, have a brief getaway with a partner or cozy afternoon with a family member, picnics are a perfect activity to do with others.

Spring exclaims its presence with colourful flowers, sunlight and kinder temperatures making it a perfect time to plan a picnic.

The history of picnics

Picnics have a long and evolving history dating back to the 17th century originating in France. It is unknown where the word picnics comes from, but according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word could have multiple origins, either French or German. However, most believe its origin is found in the French ‘pique-nique’ dating back to 1694.

In the 18th century, picnics were nothing like we know them today. During this time, picnics were held indoors, typically at home, and were a favourite among the wealthy aristocratic class. According to an article from History Today, picnics were usually larger gatherings with music and a dance resembling more of a ball or a party.

As the French Revolution rapidly changed everything it also changed the development of picnics. People belonging to the aristocratic upper class fled to other European countries such as Austria and Britain but also outside the continent to the United States.

In Britain, many settled in London, slowly introducing the tradition of picnics into English society. In 1801, the ‘Pic Nic Society’ was founded, where members would bring their own dishes and wines and sing and dance together.

As the middle classes grew in London, picnics became part of a new class culture. Suddenly, the picnics were taken outdoors. While it was not until the early 20th century that the outdoor picnic became more popular than the indoor.

The picnic became a nationwide phenomenon not only in Britain but also in the United States. Companies started producing specialist picnic baskets, and the term “picnic” became a word everyone eventually knew.

What to bring to a modern Spring picnic

Food on a white picnic blanket with a pillow, hat and a picnic basket.
Yummy food to bring on your picnic. Credit: Shutterstock/Ground Picture

Spring is the time when temperatures can vary a lot from country to country. Depending on where you live, you might need to bring warmer blankets. However, a blanket, basket, food, drinks and cutlery are must-haves.

Picnic baskets can easily be found at a cheaper price at second-hand stores, and food, drinks and cutlery can be brought from home.

Flowers are always great decorations and a colourful addition to your picnic.

Food

What kind of food do you associate with a picnic? Most people think of finger food, smaller portions and lighter dishes. An article for Love & Lemons, a cookbook by author Jeanine Donofrio, presents a wide range of the perfect picnic foods.

Sandwiches cut into triangles. There are also tomatoes, cumber and salat on the plate.
Ideas for sandwiches for picnics. Credit: Shutterstock/Timolina

You can’t say picnic without thinking of sandwiches. Sandwiches are easy, fun and delicious for a spring picnic. Jeanine presents multiple picnic sandwiches such as a Caprese sandwich, chickpea salad sandwich and egg sandwich. Eggs are also fitting for the current season of Easter.

The image shows a colourful spring salat with a person pouring some dressing on top.
Fresh spring salad for your picnic. Credit: Shutterstock/Pinkyone

Another easy dish you can bring on your picnic is a salad. Salads can be very diverse in flavour and density. They are, therefore, the perfect dish to bring. You can have a light Greek salad, avocado salad or choose a more filling salad. Jeanine’s potato salad or Mexican Street Corn Salad are perfect for a more filling dish.

The image shows lemon cupcakes on a wooden cutting board.
Tasty cupcakes for the perfect spring picnic. Credit: Shutterstock/asife

A perfect picnic always needs a delicious, sweet treat. Bake a fun, colourful cake or cupcakes such as the spring cupcakes by Martha Stewart. In this post, 11 spring cupcakes are presented. Find the recipe for these mouth-watering lemon meringue cupcakes, coconut cupcakes and carrot cake cupcakes here.

Picnic activities

Planning a few activities is a good idea to make your picnic even more fun. Bring your favourite arts and crafts project to do with your favourite people. You can bring beads and string to make your own jewellery. You can also buy mini canvases, paint and do your own mini-painting. Finally, a card game or your favourite board game would be a great activity as well as a conversation starter for a picnic.

In the TikTok below user @me1osyn shows how to have a painting picnic.

There are many other fun activities to do during spring. Just read about top 10 things to do during the season. If feeling inspired to create your own personal spring bucket list, maybe a spring picnic will be on your list.

How will picnics evolve in the future?

As picnics have evolved a great deal since the 17th century, it is expected that they will keep evolving in the future. In broader news, Alexander Lee from the University of Warwick predicts that global warming will have an effect on how people do picnics. Lee also expresses how this inevitably will have an effect on what kinds of foods are consumed at picnics.

Maybe we will have to think differently and more creatively with regard to picnic food. However, this tradition does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Picnics have, like many phenomena, been redone and modernized on TikTok. Here we see fashion, sushi and charcuterie boards becoming part of the modern picnic.

@gordenvalerie

@ohpolly dresses were made for our ✨picnic✨ #picnic #picnicdate #fyp

♬ Just the Two of Us LUVRS Remix – LUVRS

As picnics have been part of many cultures for hundreds of years we have seen a remarkable change. A change from the spectacular, extravagant indoor to the more casual, light outdoor picnic. Undoubtably, the nature of picnics will change in the future. However, its it only your imagination that sets the limit to what you want to do for your spring picnic.

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