How to Picnic Like a Pro
Tips on what to pack your picnic in, how to book a space for a picnic party and more.
photograph by jared sych
Oak & Olive Athertyn two-person basket, $140; blue blanket, imported from Nicaragua, $42; Ridley's Five-of-a-Kind game, $25; Pocket Disc crochet frisbee, $14 to $20; DecoLite Starry string lights, $11 to $13.50; Bohemia Cotton Pom Pom white blanket, $145; all from 28 Blankets.
Tyler Rygus and Cory Edwards are experts in the art of picnicking. As co-hosts of Calgary’s Le Dîner en Blanc (a picnic soiree that originated in Paris and now runs in cities around the world) they have lots of tips for the many guests that take part in the event.
For Edwards, it’s the little things that count. “[At Dîner en Blanc] a little bit of decoration goes a long way. When people think of a picnic, they think a basket and a blanket, but if you bring a little bit of decoration, it really sets it apart,” says Edwards.
Rygus notes that the one piece of essential gear that picnickers most often overlook is something to carry all their items to their chosen spot.
Laura Rowsell, sales associate at 28 Blankets in Inglewood, suggests packing your picnic in a One Hundred 80 Degrees wicker picnic basket or a Bohemia Design beach bag, then adding battery powered LED Fairie Lites and a crocheted Pocket Disc or a selection of Ridley’s games for stylish fun.
There are plenty of places for picnicking in the city. If you have something more extravagant in mind than a blanket on the grass, consider booking a picnic spot through Facility Bookings at the City of Calgary. The City has 49 bookable spaces in nine parks, and you can see which spots are open at calgary.ca/liveandplay. Booking cost depends on the number of guests — $66.95 gets you a cool six hours for you and 24 of your closest friends (with the exception of popular Bowness Park, which clocks in at $373.45 minimum at particular spots during peak season). Day of, all you need to bring is your permit, your picnic, fuel for a fire and, of course, relief that memories of frigid February are finally melting away.