Countless activities compete for our time and attention today. Who couldn’t enjoy a break from the hectic pace of life?
Jesus understands our need for rest. We are told in Mark 6:31, “And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.’ (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)”
Could you use a little refreshment today? Have you thought about going on a picnic—just you and your spouse? Or, add the whole family for a special time of making memories. Here are 10 ideas for creative summertime picnics to rejuvenate not only your body, but also your soul.
- Kidnap your spouse for a special picnic date! Pack a picnic basket, folding chairs, and a CD player in the trunk of the car. When your spouse comes home from work, ask him/her to put on casual clothes. Then drive together to a local park for dinner “on the grounds.”
- Mom, help your kids plan a secret picnic for Dad. Let them choose the location, prepare the menu, and select special picnic games. Write directions to the surprise destination and put them in a sealed envelope. Give the envelope to Dad as he heads out the door with the kids and a basket filled with picnic treats.
- Have a picnic on the beach. If you don’t live by an actual beach, have a picnic by a sandbox/plastic tub filled with sand. Encourage everyone to wear some beach attire—sandals, beach hats, swim suits, etc. After enjoying your meal, bounce a beach ball with the kids, play a game of volleyball, and squirt each other with water from a hose.
- Organize a neighborhood block picnic at a nearby park or in a cul-de-sac. Set up a few grills for hot dogs and hamburgers and ask individual families to bring their own picnic blankets, drinks, and chips.
- Brighten up a rainy day with an indoor picnic. Cap it off with an indoor scavenger hunt that leads to the kitchen and homemade ice cream.
- Help your kids and their friends plan a special family Fourth of July picnic. Include sack races, horseshoes, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. End your outing with a watermelon seed-spitting contest to make this a picnic to remember.
- After dinner, announce to the family that you have a surprise: a dessert picnic. Go to a nearby park and let the kids have fun on the playground equipment. Depending on the age of the children, you may be able to watch them play from a park bench while sipping on a cup of coffee. Have plenty of dessert in a picnic basket for everyone to enjoy before going home.
- If your children are young, ask each one to bring a favorite teddy bear to a special picnic. Have a cake for dessert in the shape of a teddy bear. Play teddy bear games after the picnic: have an adult hide a teddy bear and see who can find it, let the children swing their teddy bears, and have a scavenger hunt that leads to a special gift with a teddy bear theme—a necklace, stuffed bear, book, etc. (You can find many ideas on the internet about Teddy Bear Picnics.)
- Tell your spouse that you are going to pick him/her up for lunch. But instead of going to a restaurant, go to a park for a picnic. Before returning to work, stop somewhere for an ice cream cone.
- Purchase or order identical T-shirts for the entire family with some sort of picnic theme—watermelon, picnic table, etc. Individually wrap the T-shirts and present them to family members at dinnertime. Then ask everyone to put on their T-shirts and go for a spontaneous picnic. Pick up a bucket of chicken and go to a local park for an evening of family fun.
Copyright © 2008 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved. Used with permission.