A Guide to the Summertime Picnic in Austin Texas

Megan Aune

It’s definitely starting to feel pretty warm outside, and with that comes daydreams of slushees, the beach, and eating cool watermelon under the sun. On a nice summer day in Austin, Texas, there’s nothing I love more than packing some food, finding a nice shady spot, and laying around with my friends. Part of our Austin things to do series, here are some of my best tips for the quintessential summertime picnic. 

Choose Your Location Carefully

The right spot is essential to the ambiance of your picnic in Austin. This also depends on what you’re going to be doing. If you’re planning to stay for a few hours, find a shady spot to prevent you and your friends from getting overheated or sunburnt (if you are going to be in the sun, don’t forget sunscreen!). Plus, your location choice may be very different if you’re planning on playing frisbee versus laying around and talking. 

Bring the Right Blanket

We’ve all seen those aesthetic picnics where they just sat on a white sheet, but have you actually tried it? Not super comfortable. The key to a good picnic blanket is finding something thick enough to act as a cushion between you and the ground. Also, aim for one that won’t show stains in preparation for the inevitable food accidents. Bonus if it’s machine-washable! 

Keep It Simple

Packing a full buffet can seem like a great idea in theory. It’s less fun when you’re hauling 3 backpacks up a hill and your cupcakes mess up in transport. Remember: finger foods are your friend! Try to pack things that you can prep before, don’t require tools to eat, and aren’t very messy. Some ideas would be blueberry muffins or tamales–or if you don’t feel like cooking, pick up some mess-free goodies from one of Austin’s best bakeries! If you can fit everything in one backpack, you’re definitely doing something right. 

Plan for Bugs

It can be easy in the cooler months to forget about the talent of insects for ruining our outdoor plans. Make sure you’re ready for them! Bring mesh coverings or tupperware lids to protect your food while you’re not eating, and a good supply of bug spray to share. 

Stay Hydrated

You’d think this one wouldn’t need its own category. However, the amount of times I’ve had to pack up a picnic because I was about to pass out is embarrassing. If you’re the one supplying drinks, make sure you have at least two per person (maybe three if you’re going to be there awhile)! Trust me, you’d rather be overprepared with multiple drinks than have to leave early to track down an overpriced lemonade. 

Have Fun!

Okay, I know this sounds hypocritical with how life-or-death I’ve made picnic prep sound–but don’t let the planning get in the way of the actual experience! Like I said earlier, there’s nothing better on a hot day than lazing around and chatting with your friends, eating strawberries and sipping on lemonade. Take pictures, enjoy each other’s company, and relish in the product of your efforts.