Now we’ve had a bit of sun and heat (it’s taken until May this year), it’s been the perfect opportunity to get out and have a picnic alongside lots of outdoor play.  We don’t have garden furniture (not really got round to getting some, plus it’d get wrecked being out in our windswept, open paddock of a garden), so don’t get to eat much outdoors at home.  Any opportunity we have to be out over lunchtime so we can take some food with us, I’m there and I’m training N to be a follower in that belief.

I always think food tastes so much better outdoors – it just feels a lot more relaxed and natural, plus the whole pick and mix buffet options makes it more fun and less hassle than preparing and eating a meal at the table.  Of course, having good food at a picnic and ensuring you remember all the required paraphernalia (sun lotion, hats, wipes, rubbish bag, picnic rug etc) takes a lot of preparation time, but you seem to forget that once you’ve left the house and reached your picnic location.

We weren’t going anywhere exciting last weekend as our plans had changed, but we’d not been to the park for a while so I decided that we’d go and see if being a bank holiday sunny weekend meant there were other people having the same idea.

Our local park is like a ghost town.  We’ve never seen anyone else playing there.  Very odd given it’s a small village where everyone probably knows everyone else and therefore would be really safe for children to play in.  It’s got great wooden equipment – toddler frames, a middle size and a bigger one, swings, plus lots of bridges, logs and walkways.  And for the older kids, a zipwire (I so wanted a go on that, as the seat/zip was back this time, but I’d probably have clobbered N as he would have stood right in the way!) and football goal.  But still no people there.

It did mean we had the whole field to ourselves.

boat climbing frame
Driving the ‘boat’

N had a great time driving the ‘boat’, trip-trapping clumping over the bridge, laughing at me going down the (very short) fireman’s pole, and going down the slides.  So much so that I virtually had to drag him off so we could have our picnic lunch.

net swing
Swinging around

First rule of picnicking…always take a big blanket.  Then there’s plenty of room to spread out food and find room to sit on it as well.

picnicking
Picnicking

Second rule for picnics…you can never have enough food.

I’d just pulled together whatever I had in the fridge so nothing spectacular.  Cheese rolls (which N helped me make), big sausage roll from the bakery chopped up, some mini cheddars, cherry tomatoes and pepper strips, and for pudding strawberries.  Because you can’t have a summer picnic or lunch without strawberries.  I’d also brought some little treat biscuits, but once we’d eaten the rest, we were both stuffed, so they got put away for another day.

strawberries
Strawberries added to his savoury plate

We’d managed to find the one tree with shade, so it was lovely sitting under it and listening to the quiet with an occasional bird tweeting.  A bit of a lonely picnic, but any excuse to sit outside and eat.

picnic
Making sure I don’t steal ‘his’ food

I’ve got lots of plans for places to visit this summer with N, so hopefully we’ll have lots of decent weather so we can do more picnics and enjoy al fresco dining.

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I’m entering this post into Centre Parcs’ Win a family break competition #CPFamilyBreak

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