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What's in your family picnic basket?

There are many wonderful places to picnic in the Buffalo area. Countless parks to make countless memories. But beyond the location and having some little sweeties to share it with, there’s not much needed for a perfect picnic. The trick is to be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Here are ten things to include in your picnic basket.

Sunscreen. In my opinion, it’s more important than the food. Lunching outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air, enjoy the warm breeze and sunny views but it can damage to our skin. My kids know it’s a part of life and don’t complain about it. And yes – you still need to lather them up if you have an umbrella or if you’re under a shady tree.

Food. Bring picnic food in all shapes and sizes. Small pieces usually work out best for us Because my kids will no doubt drop something. Bite-sized sandwiches, some cheese and crackers, a variety of fruit cut into small pieces. It's easy stuff that they love.

Watermelon is a must for our picnic. That and bite-sized anything. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Baby Wipes. We pretty much never leave home without baby wipes. From dirt to sticky foods, handy dandy wipes will save your day on a regular basis. Sure, hand sanitizer can help kill off bacteria, but wipes actually remove dirt from those little hands and fingers, both before and after they eat.

Water, water and more water. Water to drink with lunch. Water to drink before lunch. Water to drink after lunch. Water to drink when they’re hot and sweaty. You can never bring too much water. It will keep everyone nice and hydrated in the warm sun. We fill a few thermoses with ice and water so it stays super cold.

A blanket. You can sit at a picnic table, but if your kids are like mine, they’re likely to fall off. We will sit at a table if we have to, but there's nothing better than sprawling out on a blanket. Everyone can spread out and enjoy lunch on a blanket. Make sure it’s big enough for everyone or bring two. You need lots of room for the guests and the food.

Kids can spread out and enjoy their lunch on a blanket. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

First Aid Kit. Basic supplies, bandages and some hydrocortisone cream and tweezers, because someone’s bound to skin a knee or get a splinter in their finger. My 5-year-old loves the monkey bars and can finally do them, which generally means she gets a blister on her cute little hands every time we go to the park. Nothing a bandage can’t fix - at least temporarily.

I always keep a first aid kit handy. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Kitchen towel. Sometimes I grab some paper towels, but a nice, absorbent towel is always a better option for me. It’s great for spills or to cover foods and help keep bugs away. It’ll make your picnic a bit more fancy, too.

Ice packs (also good for the first aid needs). Mayonnaise-based foods like potato salad can spoil and salad greens can wilt in the heat, so even if you have cold water bottles, you might want to throw a few ice packs in your picnic bag or basket just to be on the safe side.

A camera. Sure, it can be your phone, but if you have a nicer camera, dig it out and bring it along. It’s fun for you and the kids and it’ll make some great memories for your scrapbook. I always let my 5-year-old take a few pictures with my camera. It's nice to see what she thinks is cool. Plus, they’re always fun to post on social media.

There's nothing better than a fabulous picnic, on a beautiful day with the people you love.

Picnics are the best - as long as you have what you need. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Something to help pass the time. The entire idea of a picnic is to spend time together, in a nice, relaxing way. That being said, little kids are generally not huge fans of sitting still for too long. That's why I usually pack things like books, a game of checkers, coloring books and crayons, and bubbles. Always bubbles.

Garbage bags. You know the rule, what you bring with you, take with you. And that means your garbage, too. There aren't always garbage cans nearby so having your own bags to put trash in is easier than trying to stuff it in the basket or cooler, especially if you still have leftovers. So, bring a bag to avoid spills. They’re also great to put under your blanket if the grass is wet.

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