Does anyone else love all the seemingly random food holidays that pop up every few days?  National Donut Day, National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, National Onion Ring Day...most of them seem completely arbitrary, but they provide an excuse to cook up some decadent treats.  June 18 is International Picnic Day, and this article will help you plan the perfect picnic to celebrate.

1. Find your picnic location

Savannah Carter

We can't all eat baguettes in Paris, but spending time in a sunny park is always a good plan.  Since I'm from the DC area, one of my favorite places to have a picnic is Gravelly Point.  Great views, open green fields, shade, and the intermittent roar of airplanes overhead.  Other good DC-area spots include the National Mall, Hains Point, the Georgetown Waterfront, and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

2. Acquire the perfect picnic basket (or container).

beer, tea
Kendall Blizzard

While wicker picnic baskets are adorable and classic, they can be a little cumbersome in real life.  A few years ago, my friends and I lugged one such basket around the National Mall and back.  No wheels, no cooler section, and an awkward boxy design made for an intense arm workout.  I'd recommend a picnic basket with a cooler section and/or wheels.

3.  Pack appropriate foods.

lettuce, carrot, corn, tomato, salad, onion, vegetable, pepper
Angela Kerndl

Preparing your picnic meal is always the best part.  But be smart -- if you're not bringing a cooler, lunch meat and cold beverages might not be the best decision.  Sandwiches are always a practical choice, along with fruit skewers, crackers, and cut-up veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.  If you're feeling fancy, you could go the whole nine yards and put together a portable wine, cheese, and charcuterie spread.  To be honest, just raid Trader Joe's and you should be set...

meat, bread, salami, feast, sausage, wine, antipasto, cheese, platter
Rebecca Buechler

4. Pack your picnic basket in reverse order

Food on the bottom, silverware and cups in the middle, and picnic blanket on top.  This will make it easier to set up, since everything is packed in the order in which you need it.

5. Bring plastic bags for trash.

Leaving trash behind is not cool.  Clean up after yourself.

6.  Enjoy your picnic with friends and family.

Finally, enjoy this time outdoors with friends and family.  A picnic is a quintessential summer activity and can create endless memories and sun-filled fun.  Here's hoping everyone celebrates International Picnic Day on June 18 (and that it doesn't rain)!