The sun is warm, and not scorching for a change, the wind has a nip in it and the grass is green. Skip the boring birthday bashes with bouncy’s, toy trains and fake magicians. Instead, throw your child a picnic birthday bash. To make your life easier, we spoke to party planners and parents to come up with some innovative ideas for the perfect picnic party.
Finding a perfect picnic spot is never easy, so start searching beforehand. Opt for parks that are accessible and avoid those which hazards such as large water bodies. Also find out essentials such as fees or prior permission—parks, normally, allow non-commercial activities for free.
The most important part of any birthday is the cake. “It does not make sense to take a heavy cream cake for a picnic. The perfect cakes would be plain chocolate or marble with simple icing as kids always love icing” says Bethika Singh, founder of Bethika’s Cakes in New Delhi. Another creative option would be to take cupcakes, put colourful gems candy on them and create a shape or a pile to form a single cake for the child to cut. “For an outdoors picnic party, it is recommended to take ham and cheese sandwiches and other cold foods,” says Chaudhry. Go for chicken nuggets, baked beans and bread or even cold pastas. You can also call up your local caterer and ask them to pack a small boxes for each child—this way cooking is one less thing you have to worry about. Don’t bother with taking silver cutlery or fancy bags, keep the theme simple with picnic essentials like paper glasses, plastic spoons and a wicker basket. The bright colours will add to the mood.
Invitations make a party. For a picnic party, get creative. “Invitations set the mood, they should be such that the kids look forward to the party,” says Naadia Mirza, founding partner of Party Bonanza, Bangalore. There are so many themes and possibilities to let your imagination go wild. If you are taking the children on a bus then the invitation can be a bus-shaped paper saying “Join the ride”.
Next get a fix on the theme. Do you want a jungle theme picnic, a regular park picnic or do you want to do a bus tour of the city? A jungle theme party would mean a complete outdoors experience. Get personalised knapsacks for the kids to carry and fill them with lunch or other goodies—the plus point is that they make great return gifts as well. Make the experience authentic by setting up tents for afternoon naps or just as part of a game. Play games such as sack race, three-legged race or a treasure hunt.
A city bus tour is another innovative way to get out and learn some history and culture. Though very young children may get bored, for the tweens and teens this is a perfect activity. There can be many fun activities such as antakshari, ‘Simon says’ or ‘I spy’ to play on the bus. “When I organized this, we gave away denim bags with personalised story books starring each of the children on this city tour,” says Mirza.
Getting out of the house is great but always be vigilant and get all the help you can to manage children.
Places for picnics:
Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri: Free
Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Road: Free
Garden of Five Senses, near Saket: Rs15 per person
Uran, Manori or Alibaug beaches near Mumbai: Free
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivili, Mumbai: Rs10 children, Rs20 adults
Cubbon Park: Need permission
Bannerghatta National Park : Need permission
Unwind Island : A resort specially designed for kids (fee depending on party)
Yelahanka farm houses on hire : depending on the house and rates
Essentials: Mosquito repellent, first aid kit, sunscreen, caps