Think about the essentials for an enjoyable picnic
When planning for a Mexican picnic, it’s important to think about the essential items you’ll need to make it an enjoyable experience.
Consider packing picnic blankets, folding chairs or beach chairs, and a cooler or ice chest to keep food and drinks chilled. Hand sanitizer, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses can provide comfort on a hot, sunny day.
Plan for traditional Mexican food and drinks
Of course, you’ll want to bring traditional Mexican food and drinks to your picnic. Pack favorites like tacos, enchiladas, tamales, burritos, nachos, guacamole, salsa, churros, flan, and tres leches cake.
Bring Mexican beer like Corona, Dos Equis, or Modelo. Other drink options include horchata, jamaica, tamarindo, Mexican Coke, and jarritos.
Include picnic supplies and serveware
Don’t forget plates, napkins, cups, and utensils so everyone can easily enjoy the picnic spread.
Pack a tablecloth and consider bringing decorations like paper flowers, papel picado banners, piñatas, or Mexican blankets to create a festive atmosphere. Don’t forget serving utensils and condiments like hot sauce.
Play Mexican music to set the mood
Music is a must for any picnic! Create playlists with mariachi, banda, norteño, ranchera, cumbia, or classic Mexican pop. Consider bringing a portable speaker to play the music aloud.
The festive sounds will get everyone excited for the delicious food and fun.
Add games and activities for all ages
Picnics shouldn’t just be about the food! Adding games and activities makes the event more lively and memorable. Bring a frisbee, cornhole, ladder ball, or Mexican lotería.
A piñata full of candy is perfect for kids. And of course, bring a soccer ball or football to toss around. Having engaging activities prevents boredom and brings everyone together.
Prepare for cleanup and trash disposal
Don’t let trash ruin the fiesta! Come prepared with large garbage bags for cleanup. Having a designated trash area will help keep the picnic spot clean.
You may also want to bring wet wipes and other cleaning supplies in case of spills. Be sure to discard all waste properly when finished to leave no trace behind.
Check the forecast and pack accordingly
Before the picnic, check the weather forecast. If rain is expected, bring tarps and canopies.
On a hot day, pack a picnic umbrella or sun shade. If it may get chilly later, bring light jackets. Preparing for the elements will allow you to enjoy the day despite what nature brings.
Have fun outdoor games and sports ready
In addition to traditional picnic games, consider bringing equipment for popular Mexican sports. A soccer ball allows for an impromptu game, which is loved across Mexico.
Volleyballs and nets are easy to transport and set up. Frisbees or footballs are great for throwing around. The variety will appeal to guests of all ages and activity levels.
Add a portable grill or stove
For cooking on site, bring a small propane grill or camping stove along with grill tools and cooking utensils.
This allows you to cook fajitas, carnitas, chorizo, quesadillas, and more. Be sure to safely transport propane tanks and follow local regulations when grilling in parks. Grilling completes the festive Mexican picnic.
Bring insect repellent and first aid kit
Don’t let bugs or minor injuries ruin the picnic! Insect repellent will keep pesky mosquitos and flies away.
Bring a first aid kit stocked with bandages, antiseptic cream, anti-itch medication, and other essentials. This can treat splinters, small cuts, bee stings, and other mishaps quickly so the fun isn’t interrupted.
Pack extra blankets for comfort and seating
You can never have too many blankets at an outdoor picnic! Pack several blankets so people can sit comfortably and easily move to shady spots.
Simple solid or patterned blankets work well. You can also bring traditional Mexican zarape blankets for bold style. Having spare blankets also comes in handy if needed for makeshift sun shelter.
Keep hand sanitizer and wipes accessible
With everyone digging into the same picnic foods and passing serveware, hand hygiene is important.
Keep hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes readily available, especially before and after eating. Cleaning hands minimizes the chance of spreading germs and illness among your group.
Bring games and activities for kids
Let kids join in the fun with their own picnic toys and games!
Bring simple outdoor toys like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, kites, and jump ropes to keep them engaged. Pack a Frisbee, ball, or bike/trike for active play. Bring art supplies like coloring books, crayons, clay, and paints for more creative pursuits. Keeping kids entertained will allow the adults to relax.
Prepare a backup indoor space in case of bad weather
There’s nothing worse than having a picnic rained out! If the forecast looks iffy, scout out a covered pavilion or indoor spot to move the picnic as needed.
A picnic shelter, gazebo, screened patio, or garage can save the party. Just be ready to quickly move everything indoors if showers roll in unexpectedly.
Research the picnic spot ahead of time
Don’t leave anything to chance! Research your desired picnic destination ahead of time.
Check if parking is readily available, if there are restrooms on site, and if you’re allowed to bring grills or pets. Ensure it’s not too crowded and has enough open space and shade.
Proper planning prevents hassles once you arrive.
Have emergency gear in case of injuries
Accidents can happen anywhere, so come prepared. Pack a well-stocked first aid kit with bandages, gauze, antiseptic, pain relievers, bee sting treatment, and other medical essentials.
An emergency blanket, small flashlight, and whistle can help with serious emergencies until help arrives.
Don’t take chances – bring emergency supplies just in case.
Make a detailed packing checklist
The key to a smooth picnic is organization! Make a detailed checklist of everything you plan to bring several days in advance.
Check off items as you pack the car. Having a master list prevents forgetting critical items like food, drinks, and supplies that could ruin the event. Review it multiple times so nothing gets left behind.
Keep picnic food properly chilled
Warm guacamole and salsa can ruin a Mexican picnic quickly.
Use plenty of ice or freezer packs in your coolers to keep food chilled. Perishable items like meat, dairy, and egg dishes need to stay cold.
Transport coolers in air-conditioned cars, not hot trunks. Keep coolers in the shade once at the picnic site. Proper chilling prevents unsafe food conditions.
Bring plastic tablecloths for easy cleanup
Save yourself the headache of sticking food and massive cleanup with plastic tablecloths.
They provide an instant clean surface for food and drinks. When the picnic ends, simply roll up the tablecloth and discard any spilled food and crumbs. It also helps protect table surfaces underneath from damage. Pick festive colors to complement the Mexican theme.
Make a yummy tres leches cake
A Mexican-themed picnic must include tres leches cake for dessert! This light and fluffy soaked cake is a perfect picnic treat.
Prepare it in advance and transport it carefully cooled and covered. The sweet taste of tres leches with berries or caramel is sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth after the savory main dishes.
Have fun piñatas for the kids
Piñatas are a staple at any Mexican party! Bring along a colorful paper piñata filled with candies and small toys to excite the kids.
Hang it from a tree branch and let the kids take turns whacking it with a stick until it bursts open. This fun tradition will create lasting memories. Just be sure to designate a piñata area away from food and seating.
Pack biodegradable plates, napkins, utensils
Be kind to mother nature by utilizing picnic supplies made from renewable materials.
Bring biodegradable plates, napkins, and utensils made from bamboo, palm leaves, or recycled paper. Avoid harsh plastic and styrofoam which can’t decompose.
Your eco-friendly picnic habits will help protect parks and other natural areas.
Remember sun protection like shade tents and hats
Don’t underestimate the power of the sun on an all-day picnic! Come prepared with ample shade by bringing pop-up tents, canopies, and umbrellas. Designate shady trees as your picnic spot.
Have everyone wear sun hats, visors, and breathable clothing. Don’t forget sunglasses and broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater. Stay safe while having fun.
Make fruit aguas frescas for flavorful refreshment
Cool off with fresh fruit aguas frescas! These Mexican drinks are made by blending fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, or oranges with water and sugar.
Prepare a large pitcher ahead of time and serve over ice. The natural sweetness perfectly quenches thirst on a hot day. Provide an alcohol-free drink kids will love too!
Pack a fully charged Bluetooth speaker
Music sets the mood for any fiesta! Be sure your Bluetooth speaker is fully charged before packing it for the picnic.
Bring extra batteries or a portable charger as backup to keep the tunes playing all day. Select a lightweight yet powerful speaker that can be heard but won’t disturb other park goers.
Then cue up your favorite Mexican playlists and let the good times roll!
Keep wet wipes handy for sticky fingers and faces
After gooey churros and drippy paletas, kids will inevitably have sticky fingers and messy faces.
Keep packs of wet wipes or a washcloth handy to tackle the inevitable messes. Gently wiping sticky residue will refresh kids without ruining the fun.
You can also use wipes to clean up spills on clothes and surfaces. They’re a picnic mom’s secret weapon!
Make it dog-friendly if bringing your furry friend
Want to bring your pup along? Be sure dogs are allowed at your picnic spot and keep them leashed.
Bring bowls for food and water. Have waste bags and clean up after your dog. Pack a doggie first aid kit too. Watch for signs of overheating and provide shade.
Your furry friend will have as much fun as you while staying safe.
Label ingredients for guests with food allergies
Keep your guests safe by labeling foods with potential allergens like nuts, eggs, wheat, and shellfish. or providing a list of ingredients.
This allows people who may have severe allergies to avoid risky items.
Tell them what’s in your homemade salsas, guacamoles, and other items so they can enjoy worry-free. Being aware prevents medical emergencies.
Transport and serve food safely
Improperly handled food can cause serious illness.
Perishables need to stay cold. Transport coolers in air conditioned cars, never trunks.
At the picnic keep coolers in shade. Don’t let foods sit out over 2 hours. Keep hot foods like grilled meats piping hot. Use serving utensils, avoid double dipping.
Take care handling raw meat. Following food safety guidelines protects your guests.
Make a fun papel picado banner
Papel picado banners add instant Mexican flair! Make an easy banner before your picnic by stringing together tissue paper cut in fun designs.
Add images like flowers, birds, or skulls. Hang it between trees as colorful backdrop for your food tables.
The tissue paper waves in the breeze, creating a festive focal point. All you need is tissue paper, string, and scissors!
Pack Mexican blankets as picnic decor
Decorate your picnic spot with traditional Mexican blankets!
Their bright colors and geometric designs add south-of-the-border style. Use them as tablecloths or lay them on the ground as festive picnic “rugs”.
Fold and drape blankets over chairs as well. The bold patterns and textures make fun backdrops for food and fun.
Keep extra sun protection on hand
The sun’s rays can quickly ruin an outdoor fiesta.
Come prepared to protect all guests by having extra sun protection supplies on hand. Bring along spare sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, and sun shelters.
If anyone forgets their protection, they won’t have to sit in misery. Being the picnic hero with sun safety backups is priceless.
Make a Mexican sweetbread wreath
Impress your potluck guests with a fun savory wreath made from Mexican sweetbreads or conchas.
Simply arrange small sweetbreads in a circle on a platter and fill the center with salsa or guacamole for dipping. You can even decorate with flowers cut from vegetable slices or cheese. This edible wreath is as festive as it is delicious!
Have a designated first-aid station
Accident prevention begins with readiness. Designate a shady, clean area as your go-to “first-aid station”.
Keep a fully-stocked first-aid kit there along with emergency items like a flashlight, whistle, and phone charger. Share the location with everyone at the start of the picnic, so all know where to go for help if injuries or illness arise. Quick access equals better outcomes.
Safely transport and serve hot foods
Improperly handled hot foods also pose risks. Use insulated containers to keep just-cooked items like fajitas or quesadillas piping hot.
Try wrapping individual portions in foil. Never let hot food sit at room temperature over 1 hour before discarding. Provide serving tools so multiple people don’t handle the same foods.
Following safe hot food rules prevents harmful bacteria from multiplying.
Make a fun recycled piñata
Let kids make their own earth-friendly piñata from recycled materials!
Have them create shapes like stars or flowers from cardboard boxes or newspaper rolled into tubes. Decorate with markers, streamers, crepe paper, and natural items like leaves or flowers.
Fill with treats, then let the kids whack the eco-piñata for candy fun minus waste!
Pack biodegradable confetti for celebration
Regular metallic confetti creates ugly litter, so embrace sustainable options! Bring eco-friendly confetti made from materials like flower petals, leaves, or paper that will naturally decompose.
Toss handfuls to celebrate birthdays, proposals, or just because! Your biodegradable confetti will make joyful memories without harming the planet.
Use reusable serveware to reduce waste
Cut down on trash by utilizing reusable serveware.
Packreal plates, cups, and utensils. Use cloth napkins and tablecloths instead of disposable paper ones. Washable plastic containers are great for storing leftovers to enjoy later.
Taking a little extra time to go reusable means less waste and cleaner picnic grounds for everyone to enjoy.
Safely transport and serve eggs, dairy and other perishables
Potentially hazardous picnic foods like eggs, dairy products and perishables need special handling.
Keep cold in insulated coolers at 40°F or below. When transporting, surround dishes with ice or freezer packs. Avoid putting perishables out in the hot sun.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours, or discard. Following food safety guidelines for transport and serving prevents illness.
Have festive paper flower decorations
Make your picnic spot pop with handcrafted paper flowers in traditional Mexican colors and patterns.
Fold or crepe tissue paper, coffee filters, or scrapbook paper into elaborate roses, carnations, daisies, and more. Use floral wire to shape the petals.
Arrange the flowers in vases or attach stems and bunch into bouquets. Hang them from trees or use as centerpieces for stunning decor.
Review safety rules with kids beforehand
Ensure kids stay safe while having fun by reviewing some key safety rules beforehand.
For example, stay seated while eating, don’t run near grills or parking areas, no throwing food or sticks, take turns, stay within sight of adults, and so on.
Giving them expectations ahead of time allows kids to self-monitor behavior. Review as needed if issues arise during the party.
Have pet-safe sun protection ready
If Fido is your picnic partner, be sure to keep him safe in the sun too. Bring extra water and a collapsible bowl to prevent dehydration.
Have pet-safe sunscreen to apply if he’ll be in direct sunlight for prolonged periods. A cooling jacket also helps prevent overheating. And never leave pets unattended – keep them cool and comfortable so they can enjoy a fun fiesta!
Make a Mexican flower crowns craft activity
Let kids make their own authentic Mexican flower crowns for fun!
Provide real or artificial floral blooms, floral crowns, and greenery sprigs. Use floral wire or tape to attach flowers into wreath shapes. Encourage kids to select colorful flowers like marigolds, poppies, and carnations for their crowns.
The creative activity will keep kids engaged while making beautiful wearable art.