Arts & Entertainment

Your 2021 Winter Picnic Guide

How to perfect a COVID safe get together in the depths of winter

Noelle Avena

I consider this time of year to be peak picnic season. No crowds to box in your blanket, so you can pick
any location you want, and no bugs compete for your snacks. Although you may be eager to try your hand at
a socially distanced get-together, it’s important to know the tips and tricks to keep safe and happy
before launching into the New England winter picnic scene. The first step is picking a location. McCook’s is a classic option, but don’t forget the beauty of picnics: they can happen anywhere. Harkness, graveyards (don’t sit on somebody’s grave), your yard, or even going on a hike and finding an open space are viable options. Minimalist cakes are trending on Tiktok, and they’re just right for a picnic. Making
one of these small and simple desserts for someone is a great way to rekindle your friendship to make up for any losses it may have suffered over the pandemic. Don’t try to bring a cake on a hike, but if you’re picnicking
close to a car, you can bring wine glasses to cut it as well. While not terribly efficient, this trend of scooping up your cake in a wine glass creates perfect photos.
My next s u g g e s t i o n is to pick up sparkling cider. This charming, bubbly drink e v a p o r a t e s the gloomy
a t m o s p h e r e of 20-degree weather and invokes a r e f r e s h i n g June evening in Europe. I r e c o m m e n d a d d i n g strawberry slices for an extra burst of that ripe summer feeling. Now, time for the main course. Bringing your own food from home makes for unnecessary preparation. The Spice Club in Niantic has delectable sushi (and fried rice, for any reluctant friends) that can make the day extra special. I recommend the sweetheart sushi roll and the potstickers. Make sure to bring separate containers and utensils to avoid any possible contamination.
A simpler option: pick up one of the massive breakfast sandwiches from Giuliano’s Bakery in Niantic. Try one of their brownies as well, I’ve heard glowing reviews for the peanut butter one in particular. Before you freeze, don’t forget to bring some throw pillows, blankets, and wool socks.

For those friends whose days consist of multi- screens for multi hours at a desk, the frozen ground will not be kind on their joints. Most importantly, one checker-boarded blanket usually measures a good 6 feet and provides the perfect perimeter for maintaining social distance. Instead of a hug, show your love to
your friends through a delicious and refined picnic experience.

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