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BLOG: The benefits of an old-fashioned family picnic

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Ever dream of lying on a blanket on the grass, under a bright blue sky, enjoying the sounds of children playing nearby while you picnic with your family?

In Palm Beach County, it's not a dream. There are plenty of places to lay your blanket, or find an open picnic table, and embrace the outdoors with your family.

And there are countless benefits, such as...

  • Spending time outdoors in a serene setting: Being outdoors has been proven to boost moods, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mental wellness. This is a chance for you and your family to be away from the stresses of every day life and enjoy a natural setting.
  • Bonding with family members: Because many people live fast-paced lifestyles, there aren’t many opportunities to slow down and spend meaningful time with the people who matter. Play games, get up and walk, or simply sit still and bond over a good meal.
  • Communicating more effectively: Small talk, or even deep conversations, are essential to any good picnic. Head out and learn more about what’s going on with your family members – whether it’s school, work or friends – this is a great opportunity to connect with the people you care about and encourage effective communication skills in kids.
  • Developing healthy eating habits: Instead of buying a pre-made meal to enjoy on a picnic, try preparing a meal for your next trip. Meals prepared at home are typically healthier and more nutritious than pre-made meals. Make sure you include all the basics for a full, healthy meal.
  • Encouraging active lifestyles: Having group or family picnics on a regular basis allows families to form traditions that are passed down from generation to generation; make picnics a habit and turn it into an outing! Bring supplies for games like tug-of-war, soccer or football and encourage the kids to get up before eating to fit in some physical activity during the picnic.

To find picnic areas at county parks, which are available at no charge from sunrise until sunset on a first-come, first-served basis, click here.

For more picnicking options, check out the local city parks in or near your community additional picnicking locations.

Please Note: While picnicking,please do not feed wild or stray animals. Animals that are fed can become aggressive and harass people. Wild or stray animals can become extremely territorial and bite the hand that feeds them. This can transmit disease. Animals that become used to human contact are susceptible to disease, injury, and random acts of violence. Also, the survival skills of wild animals are threatened when they lose the ability to forage naturally for food. This can happen when they are fed by hand or when they eat food left out for stray or abandoned pets. Stray animals hunt and kill native wildlife, even when well fed.

Bibi Baksh is a public relations specialist for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

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