Even though most students have already spent a decent amount of time on Hearn Plaza relaxing with their friends or playing a game, make the most of the grassy space and warm weather a with a well-curated picnic.
With classes picking up and extracurricular commitments filling students’ schedules, there have become fewer and fewer ways to savor the last days of summer weather. However, an easy way to take advantage of the sunny forecast is with an on-campus picnic. Follow these simple steps to enjoy a satisfying outside meal with friends.
The first step to creating an enjoyable picnic is having a good set-up, starting with the blanket. Rather than sitting on the grass, bringing a sheet or blanket that you don’t normally use on your bed is key. Alternatively, you can purchase a lined picnic blanket online for as cheap as $10. The material won’t get stained from grass and dirt and the blanket securely folds up into a compact size.
Another important element to a picnic is the music. Bring out your Bluetooth speaker to play songs from your favorite playlists; the “Have a Great Day!” and “Coffeehouse Blend” playlists from Spotify are recommended, but not required. Final touches to any good picnic experience include, but are not limited to, a trusty pair of sunglasses and a frisbee or spikeball set.
Now, the most important aspect of a picnic: the food. If you are able to head off campus, make a trip to your favorite grocery store for supplies. The ideal combination for an outdoor meal includes a refreshing beverage, something crunchy, something sweet and something you can eat without utensils.
This can best be achieved by stopping at Publix, which is located on 34 Miller Street. For the main element of the meal, pick up a “pub sub” from the deli section of the store. A level up from Subway, the sandwiches can be made with Publix’s signature popcorn chicken and all of the usual toppings. Located next to the deli is the beverage section, which is home to a variety of sweet teas ranging from green tea to raspberry-flavored black tea. To finish off the meal, pick up a bag of chips and some pre-sliced watermelon.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a car on campus, there are a few ways to innovate with the food available on campus. Rather than just bringing your sandwich from Forest Greens onto the quad, stop at Starbucks for one of the Creminelli charcuterie packages. Comprised of a blend of quality meats and cheeses, it’s not the usual on-campus snack. Pair this product with your choice of crackers from the 336 Market in Benson. While there, you can also load up on berries from the yogurt station and chocolate-covered pretzels. Finally, stop at Campus Grounds for an iced coffee before settling down on the quad.
Although the food and set-up are important to enjoying a picnic, the most important factor is spending some quality time with friends. After classes end for the day, take a blanket outside and make the most of the weather with those you hold dearest.