It is that time again when the Concert in the Park season begins. In our town, they are held every Sunday afternoon during the summer months. This is a time when we see all the families from this community come together to listen to some great music; everything from from Reggae to Top 40 Hits to Classical and Country. As the children play on the playground,  we spread out our blankets and open our picnic baskets to enjoy a little wine and nosh, as we sit back to enjoy the music and the company.

Here are a few necessities that will make picnicking not only easy but also very stylish:

Picnic Basket: The perfect basket for two is this Pioneer Canvas Picnic Basket with blanket. This classic design basket is lightweight and durable with a rattan frame and canvas and leather exterior. Includes all the basic dining amenities too. Buy at Taylor Gifts for $129.98.
Picnic Box: Boxal has created a disposable, biodegradable picnic box. Although these boxes can be reused over and over again, when you are done for the season just recycle the whole box. Each kit comes with compostable utensils, plates, cups and napkins with enough room to add your own nourishment. Buy it at Boxsal for $25.00.
SteadySticks Wine Bottle Holder and Glass Holders: These stakes hold your wine glasses and wine bottle safely in the grass (or sand if you take to the beach). Nobody wants to tip over that delicious Merlot… Buy them on Amazon for $12.99 each.
Wine & Cheese Table: The Tovolo Wine and Cheese table is large enough to serve cheese and to hold two glasses with its glass holder cutouts. Made of sustainable bamboo with a single leg that stakes in the ground. The leg easily unscrews for storage. Buy it on Amazon for $19.95.
Table in a Bag: If you want a more substantial table, the Table in a Bag is a classic (I bought mine 16 years ago). The four legs and table top (in either aluminum or wood) store nicely in a bag. Buy on Amazon for about $46.00. Check out the various color choices.
Picnic Chairs: Only low back and low chairs are allowed when you go see a Concert in the Park because the whole idea is to be on picnic blankets. For some this is just not comfortable. Crate & Barrel offers these low slung wooden folding chairs for outdoor concerts that will not obstruct anyone else’s view. Buy at Crate & Barrel for $49.99.
Picnic Blanket: Not any old blanket will do for a picnic. Look for one that has a waterproof backing and that can fold up nicely with a handle, like this Sunshine Blanket Totes at Wrapables for $24.95.
Eco Bamboo-ware: As we all know by now, bamboo is the alternative resource to being eco-friendly. Eco Bamboo-ware goes one step further by handcrafting this dinnerware from bamboo sheath, which allows that no part of the living bamboo plant is used. The durability and strength is not compromised at all by using just the sheath. Plus, they are leak resistant and microwavable. Truly the perfect choice for outdoor living. Buy from Eco Bamboo-ware for $24.99.
Chill It Wine Cooler Bag: Keep these bags in the freezer until you are ready to take your beverage with you. The chilled ‘bubbles’ will not only keep your bottle cold but also protect it to ensure you that your refreshment makes it to your destination safely. Comes in six bold colors. Buy on Amazon for about $9.99 each.
Cotton Napkins & Placemats on a Roll: MYdrap real fabric napkins and placemats on a roll would bring a certain, shall we say, class to your picnic. These 100 percent cotton napkins can be used up to six times before disposing in your recycle bin. Who knew that being chic could be so environmentally friendly! They come on a roll of 25 napkins in a variety of colors. Buy from Daily Grommet or Amazon for $25.00.

For inside the picnic basket, here are a few suggestions:

Here is my fail safe recipe for the perfect To Go Summer Sandwich:

1/3 cup of Mayo

1/4 sliced green onion

2 TBS of chopped red pepper

2 cups of shredded green cabbage

1 round Pumpernickel Bread or Hawaiian Sweet Bread

5 lettuce leaves

10 ham or turkey slices

10 salami slices

5 slices of swiss cheese

Combine first four ingredients and mix. Slice bread in half, horizontally and hollow out; leaving a 1/2 of crust. In bottom half layer lettuce leaves, coleslaw, ham or turkey, salami and swiss cheese. Top with other bread half. Chill until ready to serve. Cut into 6 wedges.

And let’s not forget some spirit, the sweets and the accessories…

Karma Champagne: We have written about Karma individual bottles before and feel these are the perfect libation to take along for a picnic. Plus no need to worry about glasses! Buy online from Bevmo or buy at World Market or Whole Foods for $4.99 ea.
Bucket of Bubbles: If you want to bring it up a notch, Moet & Chandon has created this great companion to take with you. The bucket contains four mini champagne flutes that fit on four mini bottles of Moet & Chandon Nector Imperial, which is a refreshing bubbly that’s perfect for summer sipping. The container also doubles as a chic ice bucket to keep your bubbly chilled. Buy it at any high-end grocery or liquor store for $39.98.
Party in a Bag: Talk about making it simple! Here is the perfect appetizer dip and crackers that come with a mix to make a frozen wine drink that can be taken with you to the park. D’marie  puts everything in a bag for you. All you need to do is choose the desired flavors on each. All this for $20.00. Buy directly from d’marie. This also makes a great gift for a foodie.
GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals: Love, love this product. They have the perfect ready-to-go meals for having a picnic in the park. From classics, like Salami and Cheese to Hummus and Crackers, there is something for every palate. Each individual package also comes with a nut medley and cookies. Buy one for each of you and mix and match as you share it with a bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio. Buy at GoPicnic for $4.99.
Lemon Bars - We have mentioned Sof’ella before and love the natural ingredients in their products. Add some fresh fruit to these easily transportable, summery So’fella’s Lemon Bars and you are ready to head to the park. Buy at any of the stores listed here or directly from Sof’ella for $5.00.
Speakers - If you live in an area that does not offer Concerts in the Park, no fear, just grab your iPod and a Good Vibrationz speaker. This speaker transforms anything that you have on hand that is hollow (an empty pop bottle or cracker box) turn into a speaker. No electricity needed. How cool is that! Buy it on Amazon.

I don’t know about you but I can hardly wait for the outdoor concert season to begin!

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Tags: food, music, outdoors, park, picnic, recipe, summer, wine

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