A Picnic State of Mind

Great Picnic Spots in Kansas City!

History of Picnics, and More!

"A picnic is more than eating a meal, it is a pleasurable state of mind." - DeeDee Stovel

Everyone needs to eat. To be sure, most of us eat several times a day, so the very act of eating may feel a bit perfunctory.  Want a way to enhance your experience of obtaining your daily nourishment?

It is time to venture outside for a picnic.

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The act of picnicking certainly has changed radically over time. What started as medieval feasts during hunting expeditions in 14th century England, eventually was embraced by the wealthy in elaborate and elegant meals under lace canopies. The picnic continued to evolve to what some of us remember in childhood as days when mom grabbed some Dixie cups,  filled the big green Thermos jug with lemonade, and put some PB & J’s in the cooler to stop at a rest area off the highway.

Picnics have also long been a favorite subject matter depicted in the art of Monet (Luncheon on the Grass 1865-6), Tissot (Holyday -1876), and Renoir (Picnic 1893) to name a few where life idyllic was depicted on canvas and displayed for all to see.

Movies have also depicted picnics in a particularly nostalgic light as well, and set the scene for some memorable events or realizations. A few favorites:

  • To Catch a Thief - 1955 - Grace Kelly and Cary Grant have an interesting conversation over some chicken
  • The Sound of Music - 1965 - Maria wins the hearts of the Von Trapp children through song
  • Emma - 1996 - Emma makes a major faux pas and realizes she could be in love
  • Up - 2009 - A trip down memory lane with our favorite animated couple sets expectations high for "couple goals"

Embrace the Lost Art of Picnicking

We may be able to all agree that eating out has increased significantly in the last decade or more. So if we are eating out more anyway, could it be the perfect time to embrace the lost art of picnicking? Your picnic menu doesn’t have to be fancy (unless you want it to be), and an obliging drive-through or prepared food section at your local grocer could provide you with your outdoor victuals. Undoubtedly, the increased presence and popularity of food trucks actually make it even easier to picnic, since a tasty moveable feast could be parked close at hand.

Whenever good company and a good meal coexist, that could be construed as a form of art. A picnic does not have to be fancy, though it absolutely could be. An elaborate tablescape, even if it is on a picnic table, or a blanket on the grass, can add a layer of elegance or appreciation for said meal.  A thoughtful menu of favorite foods paired with a special beverage sets the tone for a special occasion.  However, don’t let the preconceived preparations prevent you from picnicking.  As we said, it doesn’t have to be complicated or even planned.  Some of the best picnics are most likely impromptu and unplanned.  Simply, making a few basic preparations, you will be able to partake in a picnic, at a moment's notice.

Some basic supplies to keep in your car for an impromptu picnic:

  • Waterproof Blanket - You can find these in a number of stores, and even some zip up into a small pouch for easy storage.  Tuck one under the backseat of your car, and you will have it when you need it.  (This also can double in a pinch for preserving your clothing when sitting roadside if you need to change a tire.)
  • Wet Wipes - These handy items serve a number of purposes.  Having these ensure that any obliging picnic table can be a clean picnic table and that you can also clean up afterward for the next person who will sit there.   They also are great for cleaning hands, drips on clothing, and other messes.
  • Sunscreen - A sunny day practically calls out for a picnic, but it also calls out for sunburn. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Bug Repellant or Natural Alternative - Nothing puts a damper on eating out of doors more than unwelcome “guests”. Keeping some repellent handy, will ensure the focus will be on the food and the invited company, instead of scratching and itching.

Onward and Outward!

So now that you have the motivation and the materials, you now need the perfect spot.  Here are a few suggestions for some particular fine outdoor dining are as follows:

Blue Springs

  • Burrus Old Mill Park, 112 NW Woods Chapel Rd, Blue Springs 64015
  • Fleming Park, 22807 SW Woods Chapel Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Excelsior Springs

  • Tryst Falls Park, Route 92, Excelsior Springs, MO

Independence

  • McCoy Park, 800 N. Bess Truman Pkwy, Independence
  • Waterfall Park, 4501 S. Bass Dr. Indpendence

Kansas City

  • Cave Springs Park, 8701 E Gregory Blvd, Kansas City 64133
  • Happy Rock Park, 600 NE Antioch Rd, Kansas City 64119
  • Kauffman Memorial Garden & Legacy Park, 4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City 64110
  • Kessler Park, Chestnut Traffic Way, Kansas City 64123
  • Macken Park, 1002 Clark Ferguson Dr, Kansas City 64116
  • Loose Park, 5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City 64112
  • National WWI Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Dr. Kansas City, MO 64108
  • Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, (grounds) 4525 Oak St, Kansas City 64111
  • Richard Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Rd, Kansas City, MO 64120
  • Roanoke Park, 3601 Roanoke Rd, Kansas City, 64111

Lee's Summit

  • Charles David Hartman Memorial Park, 700 SW Pryor Rd, Lee's Summit, MO 64081
  • Lea McKeighan Park - South, 125 NE Chipman Rd, Lee's Summit, MO 64063
  • Lowenstein Park, 2050 NW Lowenstein Dr, Lee's Summit, MO 64081
  • Miller J. Fields Park, 1301 SE 3rd Terrace, Lee's Summit, MO 64063

Overland Park

  • Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W. 179th St. Bucyrus, KS 66013
  • Santa Fe Commons Park, 8045 Santa Fe Dr. Overland Park, KS 66204

These are only a few area suggestions, for particular areas popular for picnics.  Do you have a suggestion we may have missed?  We would love to hear about it!  Finally, a picnic does not need to be at a park or anywhere particularly picturesque. Go wherever the day takes you, as long as it takes you on a picnic! 

Thinking of making a move?  The Ask Cathy Team is here for YOU! Whether you want to know how much your current home is worth, or you are just stepping into homeownership. we have the experience and the know-how to make things happen for you! Connect with us today! 

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