Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer which, for many of us, is also the official start of picnic season. Dining al fresco is one of the great joys of family eating. It feels special like eating out, but the kids can run around. No high chair battles or begging for the smartphone while waiting for the food to arrive. Well, maybe some begging, but at least we don’t have to sit at a table with the kids after saying no. If that isn’t enough to stock up on our favorite outdoor dining gear and take it outside, we don’t know what is.

Top: The Foldable Wine Bottle at Wine2Go | Pressed Italian Sandwiches at Seasons and Suppers | Wine Sippy Cup at Give Simple

 

Outdoor dining gear: Portable Wine Sippy Cup | Cool Mom Picks

Wine Sippy Cup | Give Simple

If you’re picnicking away from home, you don’t have to leave your wine—or wine glass—behind thanks to the Wine Sippy Cup. The spill-resistant, plastic tumbler was created to look like a wine glass inside and can be used with or without a lid. If you’re anything like me, or you have kids anything like mine, I suggest keeping the lid on to make sure that not a single drop goes to waste.

 

 

Outdoor dining gear: Wine2Go bag | Cool Mom Picks

The Foldable Wine Bottle | Wine2Go

Wine2go portable wine bags  are another great idea if dining at the park, near a pool, or any place where a glass bottle of wine might be in jeopardy. (Which, in my house, is pretty much everywhere.) The BPA-free plastic containers come in two sizes and promise zero taste transfer. Kate says that the wine from her Wine2go container tasted great so, yea, I’m pretty much sold.

 

Outdoor dining gear: Melamine plates by Thomas Paul | Cool Mom Picks

 melamine picnic plates by Thomas Paul

Even when eating at the park, I’m a big fan of reusable melamine plates. I know, I know. Paper plates are so much easier and they definitely have a time and place. I plan on doing a lot of al fresco dining, though, and feel better with a reusable option, especially ones like these melamine plates by Thomas Paul that are dishwasher safe. And chic. That always helps an eco crusade.

 

Outdoor dining gear: Picnic Bag by Yield Design Co. | Cool Mom Picks

portable picnic blanket tote bag | Yield Design Co.

No picnic is complete without a picnic blanket and Liz found the perfect option for parents: a picnic bag that converts to a blanket. Nobody appreciates multitasking more than a cool mom or dad, right? Plus, we’re always carrying so much stuff! This portable picnic blanket tote bag by Yield Design Co. comes in five colors and eliminates the need to lug a separate picnic blanket. Genius.

 

Picnic recipes for outdoor dining: Pressed Italian sandwiches |Seasons and Suppers

Pressed Italian Sandwiches | Seasons and Suppers

Picnic blankets are important, but I jumped the gun. Because, really, no picnic is complete without food. Delicious, simple to make, easy to pack, great at room temperature food. These 9 al fresco recipes for summer picnic perfection, including tasty pressed Italian sandwiches from Seasons and Suppers (pictured), are great for whether you’re looking to pack a whole meal for your family or are contributing to a pot luck gathering.

 

Best picnic recipes for outdoor dining: Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies | Joy the Baker

Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies | Joy the Baker

And, of course, be sure to end your al fresco meal with brownies like these Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies that we found at Joy the Baker. Because the best brownie recipes ever make the best picnic ever. And that’s a fact.

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