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We’re lucky to live in the City of Oaks, where parks abound and the weather is beautiful. A great way to experience both? Gather your friends, family, or special someone and pack the perfect picnic basket! There’s no better way to enjoy the great outdoors right here in Raleigh than with delicious food and great company. We’ve put together our list of must-have picnic items as well as the perfect spots to dine alfresco.

  1. If you’re going to pack a picnic, you’ll need something to put it in and on! For sturdy containers and hi-tech blankets, head to REI or Omega Sports. Coolers will keep both food and drinks cold and REI’s ENO Islander blanket is a great choice for picnics that may go a little later into the night: it has lights on the edges! If something a little more festive is the order, head to Target, Charlotte’s, or Vineyard Vines. There, you’ll find colorful baskets and soft blankets perfect for enjoying a casual picnic.
  2. No picnic is complete without delicious snacks! We’ve got you covered for lunch or dinner.
    • Harris Teeter makes it easy with their prepared foods section. Create the perfect cheese board with fresh marinated olives, an array of cheeses, delicious meats, and some of their freshly baked bread.
    • Zoes is a one-stop shop for a perfect picnic. Select an array of dips and spreads like pimento cheese, chicken salad, and hummus. Toss in a few cookies, a slice of house-made chocolate cake, and a gallon of sweet tea and you’ll be set for an afternoon outdoors!
    • Spice up your picnic with delectable dinner from Cowfish! Select from a wide array of fantastic sushi rolls and great appetizers like edamame and Crab Rangoon dip. Plus, they’re all easily transported in your cooler or basket.
    • Don’t forget dessert! Stop by Edible Art for sweet treats like their Red Velvet or signature Blemonberry (blueberry and lemon) cupcakes or go all-in for a triple chocolate cake.
  3. Document your outing with pictures! Whether simply on your phone or a step up to digital camera, photos are a great way to make special memories last forever.
  4. Jazz up your picnic with a few decorative touches. A small bouquet of flowers, citronella candles (to add ambiance and keep the mosquitos at bay), and a Bluetooth speaker set to a playlist of your favorite tunes go a long way to making your picnic perfect.
  5. Your picnic is packed and you’re ready to go. If you want to keep it local, why not Midtown Park? Plenty of grass and parking make it an ideal spot for a picnic. For something a little more secluded, the grounds at the North Carolina Art Museum allow for picnics, exploration, and art appreciation. Speaking of the North Carolina Art Museum, be sure to check their event page to see upcoming concerts in the park. Pack a picnic and take it along to one of the many fantastic music offerings this summer!

Where will you picnic around Raleigh?! Share your pics or great picnic spots with us @northhillslive!

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