With both warmer and longer days, summer is the ideal time to enjoy the wonderful outdoors in Northeast Ohio. Why not pack up some food, put on some sunscreen, grab your sunglasses and have a picnic?
What to Pack
A perfect picnic should feature great food! Here are some of our favorite healthful recipes:
The Avocado Turkey Sandwich
Turkey is loaded with protein and has less saturated fat than most other lunch meats. Avocado contains over 25 essential nutrients and a monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat essential to a healthy diet. Avocado Turkey Sandwich recipe here
The Potato Salad
A mainstay of picnics across the country, potato salad can be transformed into a healthy tangy dish by substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise. Potato Salad recipe here
Don’t forget to pack watermelon! The popular fruit is rich in vitamins and helps your circulation. Watermelon has also been found to reduce muscle soreness that sets in after being physically active.
How to Pack
With warm weather, bacteria thrives. Makes sure to protect yourself from harm with these picnic safety tips!
- Keep your food cold with ice or icepacks to keep food 40 ⁰F or below
- Don’t cross contaminate. Limit exposure of raw meats to prepared foods to prevent bacterial transfer
- Clean produce and make sure to scrub them with a clean vegetable brush
- Keep hot items hot and cold items cold. Avoid food being in the “danger zone” of 40 ⁰F to 140 ⁰F, the conditions in which bacteria thrives
For more information and other picnic safety tips, go here.
Make sure to keep your picnic environmentally friendly! Keep these bits of information for your next outdoor adventure.
Now… Where to Go?
- Re-use plastic disposable utensils. Often thrown away after one use, plastic utensils may be easily cleaned for multiple use
- If not reusing disposables , please recycle!
- Look for environmentally sound briquettes if grilling
- If using propane, make sure not to leave on for unnecessary amounts of time
The only question left is where to have your very own perfect picnic! We have recommendations of some of our favorite spots to enjoy a warm summer day.
Mill Stream Run Reservation
- Berea, Middleburg Heights, North Royalton and Strongsville
The lushly wooded reservation has plenty of spots to eat your perfect picnic. For the adventurous, the park now offers 10 miles of mountain biking. For a slower pace, try relaxing by the beautiful Wallace Lake.
- Bay Village
Is a your ideal picnic a little closer to the lake? If so, we recommend Huntington Beach, a haven of sun, sand, and picnicking amenities such as an open shelter with electricity, picnic tables, and grills.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The only national park in Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is rife with prime picnicking spots. The spots are generally first come first serve, but the Ledges and Octagon Shelters can be reserved for a fee here
. In addition to the picnic spots, the park offers biking, bird watching, fishing, hiking, horse trails, and more!
- University Circle, Cleveland Heights
Looking for a more urban picnic experience? Try Cain Park, home to jogging paths, tennis courts, basketball courts, a wading pool, a playground, and a skate park. After picnicking, the Cleveland Museum of Art and other attractions at University Circle are just three miles down the road.
Euclid Creek Reservation
Euclid Creek Reservation is certainly a complete package. The reservation contains Euclid Beach Park, Villa Angela Park and Wildwood Park along Lake Erie’s shoreline. One can enjoy scenic overlooks in Villa Angela Park and relax by the fishing pier, or travel to Euclid Beach’s observation pier. These parks naturally offer picnic benches and all other amenities needed for the perfect picnic to become a reality.