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5 Summer Picnic Tips

At its heart, a picnic is quite simple. It's about being outdoors with the ones you love. Here are our five tips for the perfect, simple summer picnic.

Tip 1: Location, Location, Location.

Pick the right spot and you could show up with a towel and a bag of chips and have a lovely time.  Here are some of our favorite parks around Grand Rapids and beyond.

Around Grand Rapids

  • Pick a lake, any lake – Reeds Lake is one of our favs. Watch the sailboats go by as you picnic onshore.

  • The Rockford Dam – Lay your blanket on the river’s edge and watch fishermen reel in the fish, kids playing at the park and the water rushing over the falls.

  • Ah-Nab-Awen Park – Monday night live jazz is perfect for an after work get-together. 

  • North Beach Park in Ferrysburg, MI – The quiet, little sister to Grand Haven beach, this park is perfect for a romantic picnic for two.  We even know a few guys who put a ring on it here.


  • Humbolt Park – This hidden gem on Chicago's west side is less crowded than most other Chicago parks. Boasting a duck pond, rose garden and boat house on its 207 acres, you'll be sure to find the perfect spot to spread out on your blanket.

  • Jay Pritzger Pavilion at Millennium Park – Surrounded by towering skyscrapers, in the heart of it all. With live music virtually every night in the summer, there's always something to see. 

  • West Cliff, Santa Cruz, CA – If you find yourself in Northern California, take a stroll along iconic West Cliff Drive. Set up on the bluff or a hidden tidal beach and watch the sunset amidst the otters and dolphins.

  • Your own backyard – Sometimes it’s as simple as walking out your back door.  Bring a blanket and some snacks, and relax in the place you know best. No Google Maps or driving needed!

Tip 2: Get a good blanket. 

It may be dry as a bone in California, but here in the Midwest, it’s rain, rain, rain. Soft on one side and waterproof on the other, the lined blanket in our Summer Picnic Tote will keep your backside dry even when the grass is a little damp.

 Tip 3: Don’t forget wet wipes! 

Or at least some wetted washcloths. The great outdoors can be a little messy - spills, sticky fingers, squashed bugs. Whatever it is, you’ll be ready if you’ve got something to clean up quickly.

 Tip 4: Keep it simple. 

Remember, it's about where you are and who you're with. Pack the snacks you know you love (ahem, popcorn). We prefer our Butter and Midwest Mix and some roasted peanuts in the shell. Good news: they're all available in our Picnic Tote and you also get super cute, disposable popcorn tubs.

 Tip 5: Leave it how you found it.

If there’s not a garbage bin nearby, our lined jute tote is easy to wipe clean. Just toss everything in, ask one of the kids to carry the blanket and you’re good to go.


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