Essentials for the Perfect Picnic! - Colliers Hill
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Colliers Hill News & Events

Essentials for the Perfect Picnic!

With our options somewhat limited for outdoor activities, one fun thing to do is picnic with family in open space, a local park — even in your own backyard! State parks remain open in Weld County, for all outdoor recreation, and public areas continue to be cleaned regularly. So that means you can make a day of it, and enjoy the season’s mild weather, fresh air and vitamin-D producing sunshine!

The Picnic Chow

Let’s start with food because if we’re honest – we care more about that than where we spread our blanket! For creative and transportable chow, like sandwiches and desserts, we look to Taste of Home. The name says it all, right? From fruity Peanut Butter Pitas (with bananas and apple slices) to club sandwiches made with tomatoes instead of bread – plus bacon, cheese, turkey and avocado slices! Taste of Home has multiple ideas for tasty, portable picnic nutrition for couples and kids. 

For yummy sandwiches, mostly appealing to adults, click over to Olive Magazine. The collection of picnic sammies includes Black Bean Crunch Wraps, Salt Beef and Swiss Bagel Melts, Cubano Sandwiches (with Cuban mojo pork), and New Orleans-inspired Muffuletta squares. And for a traditional recipe with a twist, look for the mini-pork and chorizo picnic pies with a hidden quail’s egg inside! Honestly, see if you don’t feel like reaching into the photos and pinching off a bite!

It’s that time of year for pasta salads, and this Picnic Penne, with sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, onion, garlic and sweet pepper and Parmesan, can be zingy with salsa, or tangy with teriyaki – your choice! Pack it in mason jars for individual servings.

Another salad that seems reserved for summer is chicken salad, sometimes savory with celery and onions, or slightly sweet with halved grapes and poppyseed dressing. Country Living offers this Curry Chicken Salad recipe, creamy and delicious and piled high between two slices of sourdough bread! Check out this recipe and 93 more ideas for picnic fare here – including Fresh Dill and Salmon Pasta Salad and Shaved Asparagus Salad with Parmesan, raisins, pine nuts and vinaigrette.

And for a portable, kid-friendly snack-attack smorgasbord, click to Recipe Rebel’s Snack Board for the littles.

The Picnic Basket

You can use a backpack for your picnic (here’s one tailored just for picnics!), or a cooler with wheels to roll and drag around, but we found beyond that — there’s a uniform consensus about what else you’ll need for the perfect al fresco outing. 

The Life Hack list begins with a blanket. You don’t need anything fancy, just a serviceable sheet or whatever-you-have blanket. We found this funny social distancing picnic blanket on Fast Company, if you happen to be picnicking with people you don’t live with! Bring practical paper or plastic tableware and utensils, and cups, and Life Hack recommends packing a first aid kit – just in case. 

Here’s the picnic checklist from the Food Network – those folks whose job it is to find new things to eat and new ways to eat them. They opt for a basket or canvas bag (even something like a Trader Joe’s bag for cold and frozen foods) and suggest that your picnic blanket be waterproof on the bottom. We’re not sure how many people have one of THOSE sitting in their linen closet, so we rustled up a link for the $25 Bearz Outdoor Waterproof Beach Blanket. 

In addition to the tableware, be sure to bring lots of water for drinking, a cutting board, sharp knife, and condiments – from salt and pepper to ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc. (This is a great way to use up packets from takeout places!). Don’t forget the sunscreen, bug repellent, trash bags and wet wipes, either. 

The Picnic Games

Games for kids are usually enjoyed by adults, too, and you can find tons of ideas at Family Love to Know and From the Flip Flop Kick and Human Tic Tac Toe to the Sponge Relay Race and Water Balloon Spoon Race, these are easy to pack and play and make the picnic more than just a meal in the park! Speaking of parks, if you go to the St. Vrain State Park in Longmont, you might want to pack your fishing poles. It’s a great spot to fish in the ponds, walk the trails and watch wildlife. There’s a fee to enter, so be prepared for that!

Plenty of Picnicking in/around Colliers Hill

You can always picnic at the parks in Colliers Hill the master-planned community near historic Erie, Colorado. Take note of the amenities that will soon be open to residents if you don’t live here yet, and set up a private tour of the model homes from Meritage Homes, Richmond American Homes, and Century Communities. With lots of options in ranch-style or two-story designs – including quick move-ins — homes here are priced from the high $300s.