Picnics are a fun way to mix up your usual weekend activities and provide a chance to bond with your kids outside of your busy schedule.

Your whole family will benefit from spending a few hours playing and enjoying the great outdoors.

You can make the most of that time together by planning a picnic filled with great-tasting dishes that don’t require much work when it’s time to eat. Whether you’ve decided to take your crew to a neighborhood park or keep the party in your backyard, take a few minutes picnic planning so everyone has a great time together.

Plan your picnic menu around recipes that can be made ahead of time and travel well when you’re ready to go. Go with a simple menu full of foods that are easy to eat sitting on a blanket or standing up in case the park you choose doesn’t have picnic tables. Wraps and sandwiches work well along with side dishes that are light on sauces or liquids so there’s less mess to clean up.

Fully cooked bean salads can be served cool or at room temperature and you don’t have to worry if they’ve sat out for a bit. Our spring bean salad recipes are perfect for picnics and get-togethers since they’re easy to make ahead of time and large enough to feed a crowd. You can even take your leftovers home knowing they’ll hold up and taste just as good the next day.

Keep plenty of snacks on hand like sliced fruit and pretzels for little ones who are more interested in hitting up the playground than sitting down to eat.

Accidents do happen, so be prepared with a small care kit with some bandages and alcohol wipes. Pack extra bug spray and hand sanitizer along with your usual supply of wet wipes for sticky hands. It’s a good idea to throw an extra blanket in the car just in case there is a big spill or accident. If you plan ahead for accidents, you can ensure picnic isn’t ruined and people still have a place to sit and eat.

Picnics are supposed to be a time to hang out and connect as a family. With a little preparation and planning, you’ll have an awesome day outside with your family and everyone will love relaxing.