How to Prepare for a Fourth of July Picnic

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Fourth of July Picnic Prep

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and with this patriotic holiday comes lots of fireworks, quality time spent with friends and family and, of course, an all-American barbeque.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran when it comes to hosting picnics or this is your first rodeo, there are always ways to improve your party-throwing abilities.

Today, we’re showing you four easy tips to use when planning your Fourth of July picnic!

Plan to plan.

Before throwing a party, no matter the size, it’s imperative that you take some time to iron out the details of your Fourth of July picnic. Here’s a quick check list to keep in mind to help you get started:

  • Guest list – Who’s invited?
  • Menu – This includes appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drink options.
  • Activities – If kids are invited, make sure to have plenty of games and activities to keep them occupied.
  • Music – The right playlist is important for a good party. Do your research and find some songs that everyone will enjoy. Also, be sure to lock down the sound system, so that your tunes can be heard loud and clear.
  • Logistics – When throwing a picnic, it’s important to nail down some important details like a shopping list of things you’ll need (food, paper products and decorations), how many tables and chairs you’ll need and other ideas of that nature. Envision yourself on the morning of the picnic and walk yourself through the day and think of things you’ll need. This exercise will help you iron out small details and will jog your memory to not forget a particular task.

Send out invites.

This doesn’t have to be a formal snail-mail invitation. It could be as simple as a text or even an email. Whichever route that you choose, whenever you’re picking out your guest list, make sure that you send them the details in writing. Playing telephone with your friends and family could end up with a miscommunication and have guests arriving an hour or two before it begins, a disaster that you’d like to avoid! Here’s what to include in your invitation:

  • Time – Include the time you’d like your guests to arrive and what time the food will be served. The latter will help you avoid having to reignite the grill for latecomers.
  • Instructions – If you’d like your guests to bring their own drinks, then let them know that it’s a BYOB-BBQ. Or, perhaps, you’d like everyone to bring a little snack; just let your guests know ahead of time, so that they can plan in advance the dish they’d like to make.
  • What to wear – Your barbeque likely won’t be a black tie/ball gown affair. But, if you do have a pool, make a note to bring their swimsuits if they’d like to take a dip!

Your invitations don’t have to be rigid and include a schedule of events. Your invites are more or less a means for your guests to stay on time, know what they need to bring and, of course, to hopefully avoid having your aunt call you 10 times asking what time to arrive. Having the directions and information in writing can help avoid these phone calls!

Take a seat.

When throwing a picnic, always be sure to have enough seating for your guests. A barbeque should never be standing room only! If you don’t have enough chairs to accommodate your guests, employ the help of your family and friends to bring some outdoor chairs that you can borrow for your picnic. This will help keep your guests comfortable and help you to avoid having to rent or even buy more chairs.

Keep your cool.

There are two sides to this tip. First of all, throwing a party can be very stressful. But, if you plan ahead and stay organized, the day of the event should be a breeze. If you are to run into a problem, don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths, assess the situation and find a solution. Odds are your guests won’t even notice if there’s a small snafu in the plans. One way to avoid a picnic-day problem is to write out a to-do list prior to your barbeque. This list will have all of the tasks that you need to get done before your guests arrive. As you check the items off of your list, you’ll feel more confident and calm.

Given that it’s the Fourth of July, odds are that the temperatures will be fairly high. There’s no denying that there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a cold beverage on a hot day. With that being said, it’s important that you have plenty of drinks on ice for your guests. As they always say, “variety is the spice of life” and this applies to your drink selection as well. Have a nice assortment ready for your guests to choose from to appease the crowd!

If you’re planning a Fourth of July picnic, keep these four tips in mind and be the host or hostess with the mostess!

Copyright Jokari/US, Inc., 2016

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