It’s picnic season! With the warm sun and light springtime breeze, it’s the perfect time to grab your favorite wicker basket, round up the kids and head over to your local park for a relaxing family picnic. Here are some essentials you definitely can’t skip:
Pick a Location
Not all parks are created the same and that’s why we’ve rounded the best picnic-friendly parks in Dublin, Chino Hills, and Newark, CA. With large open fields, numerous playgrounds, and shaded benches, these parks are perfect for your outdoor family picnic.
Emerald Glen Park is one of the biggest in Dublin. Locals consider the park to be one of the best in the Tri-Valley area. The City of Dublin hosts numerous events there, such as Movie in the Park nights, Tuesday concerts, and Thursday farmers markets.
Park amenities include: an outdoor water park (The Wave) with discounted admission for residents, a skate park, ball courts, a trail along the creek and a wide open fields perfect for flying kites.
Kolb Park is a serene, grassy park located right next to the Dublin Unified School District.
Park amenities include: stone benches, large grassy area, plenty of shaded areas, a kid-friendly rock wall, restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, and barbecue pits.
Grand Avenue Park is a gorgeous 12-acre park that is perfect for large family gatherings. The park also features multiple trails which are great for walking your dog or an early morning hike.
Park amenities include: two soccer fields, a roller hockey rink, basketball courts, tennis courts, two age-specific playgrounds, covered picnic areas, a trike play area, restrooms, walking trails, and bike racks.
English Springs Park is one of the most scenic parks in Chino Hills. The park is inhabited with ducks, geese, and turtles that freely roam around the pond. Due to the park’s popularity, locals suggest parking near the east entrance instead of the main entrance.
Park amenities include: a playground, three gazebos, picnic tables, barbecues, restrooms, two basketball half-courts, a volleyball court, and a pond.
Newark Community Center Park is a prime location for a Sunday morning picnic. Located right in the heart of Newark, this 16-acre park is perfect for your family’s fresh air picnic.
Park amenities include: age-specific playgrounds, a combined basketball and handball court, lighted tennis courts, and family picnic facilities.
Lakeshore Park is one of the best hidden gems in Newark. The park’s main attraction is its peaceful and serene man-made lake which is inhabited by several geese and ducks.
Park amenities include: walking trails, shaded benches, large parking lot, and a beautiful man-made lake.
Prep the Menu
The food is arguably the most important part of a picnic. The key to perfect picnic menu is choosing foods that travel well, are best when served at room temperature, and can be eaten without utensils. Make the most of this picnic season with these fresh, hand picked recipes: Broccoli Pesto Pasta, Caprese Sandwich with Parsley Pesto, Korean Kimbap recipe, Curried Potato Salad, Triple Dipped Fried Chicken,and Sweet Pea Green Goddess Dip. For dessert, bake these deliciously gooey Blueberry Hand Pies.For your picnic beverages, shake it up with these refreshing cocktails: Non-Alcoholic Pineapple Mojito,Strawberry Lemonade, and Mango Raspberry Punch.
Pack your Basket
The trick to a perfectly planned picnic is in the packing. For your convenience, here is our picnic packing guide:
Food– pack sturdy items such as glass containers first and pack delicate items like salads and chip bags last. Allow foods to cool completely before storing them in freezer bags.
Utensils & Tools – pack a sharp knife, plastic grocery bags, an ice pack/freezer pack, plastic utensils, bottle openers/corkscrew, plates and cups, water, wet wipes for spills, paper towels, and napkins. If you plan to sit in the grass, bring a cutting board as a makeshift table for drinks.
Gear & Entertainment– pack sunscreen/bug spray, a heavy duty blanket, an umbrella for shade, a football and/or frisbee, a deck of cards, and a portable speaker.
May 28th is Memorial Day, which means a fun, long weekend under the sun for most families. However, it’s also important to remember why we celebrate this holiday. Memorial Day is an American holiday commemorating the men and women who died while serving in the US military. It is traditionally observed on the last Monday of May. While there are many ways to celebrate, here are a couple ideas and tips for a fun-filled Memorial Day:
No celebration would be complete without red, white, and blue decorations. One simple way to incorporate the holiday’s signature stars and stripes is with this easy DIY Memorial Day mason jar that utilizes tissue paper and electronic tea lights. Decorate entrances and ledges with these colorful DIY patriotic pinwheels. One creative idea that the kids will love are these painted lawn stars – just be sure to use construction marking paint, instead of regular spray paint.
Grilling Safety Tips
Nothing says Memorial Day party like an outdoor barbecue. Here are some helpful grill safety tips to keep your holiday celebration accident-free. Make sure to thoroughly clean your grill before using it because leftover grease and dust could start an unwanted fire. To safely extinguish flare-ups, carefully put the lid back onto the grill. Never use water to extinguish a flare-up fire or grease fire. Do not allow young children or pets to play near the grill. For more grilling and barbecue tips, check out our article on How to Host a Backyard BBQ.
Sun Safety Tips
Memorial Day weekend is traditionally filled with trips to the beach, barbecues, and spending quality time with friends and family. Protect your skin during the long weekend with these important sun safety tips. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Wear hats and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Remember to apply sunscreen before sun exposure and to re-apply in every two hours.
Remember to Give Thanks
Teach your kids the importance of Memorial Day by having them draw pictures or write letters for veterans and active military communities. Founded in 2003, Operation Gratitude sends individually addressed care packages to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen deployed overseas. Their mission is to lift spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities. Find letter-writing instructions here.
For your young inventors, throw a birthday party that will get their creative juices flowing. These locations are perfect for busy parents because they require zero clean-up and are budget friendly. Color Me Mine celebrates the art of having fun. Party goers will get the chance to choose, paint, and take home their very own ceramic creation. Let your kids’ imagination run wild at their very own Birthday Build-A-Bear Workshop. Each guest will get to experience the magic of Build-A-Bear and make their own full-sized fluffy friend to take home. Since LEGOLAND is located in Carlsbad, opt for a LEGO themed birthday party instead that your little builder will love. Check out these fun ideas on how to throw an awesome birthday party by LEGO themselves.
For your little zoologists and marine biologists, throw a celebration at your local zoo or aquarium. At the Santa Ana Zoo, you can host a birthday picnic under the canopy of shady trees, visit endangered and exotic animals, and take a ride around the Crean Family Farm in the Zoofari Express. For an unforgettable aquatic birthday party, host it at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Their birthday packages include all day aquarium access, a visit from an Aquarium Costume Character, animal touch time, biofact discovery, a take-home souvenir craft project, and a 30-minute birthday celebration at the end of the day.
For your young scientists, the museum is great place to host a fun and educational party. Discovery Cube OC’s birthday package includes all day admission to the Discovery Cube and 1.5 hours in the private Party Zone where kids can eat cake and open gifts. Attendees will get a chance to spend the day discovering and exploring two whole floors of interactive exhibits. For children in grades Pre-K to 2, Bower’s Kidseumis a perfect place for a fun-filled, unique birthday party experience. The Kidseum’s birthday packages include all day admission for up to 30 guests, a party room for 2.5 hours, a private face painter, and a private art project for every attendee.
For your little energizer bunnies, throw the ultimate birthday party at a nearby amusement park. Boomers takes the stress out of planning by handling all the details: food, decorations, invitations, and most importantly, clean-up! All parties include balloons, a personalized sign, games, paper products, invitations, and a choice of attractions.
The internet has no shortage of mouthwatering cooking channels. Hosted by your favorite celebrity chefs and self-taught food gurus, these cooking channels are sure to spark your inner creative cook. Now, grab your apron and tablet and press play on some of our favorite cooking YouTube channels.
No cooking channel roundup would be complete without mentioning Tasty by BuzzFeed. This popular cooking video series needs no introduction. Tasty’s overhead instructional food videos have dominated the internet for the past 2.5 years. Their quick “snack-sized” how-to videos feature visually-appealing dishes plus tons of cheese pulls and gooey chocolate. Tasty’s appincludes a Step-By-Step instruction mode that helps to you follow along the recipe at your own pace.
Binging with Babishis a cooking show dedicated to recreating delectable (and occasionally horrible) foods from movies, TV, and fiction. Andrew Rea recreates dishes like tamales from the movie Coco and Flanders’ Hot Chocolate from The Simpsons Movie. In a rush? Rea has you covered with his easy-to-follow recipes featured on his website.
Cooking with Dogis a cooking show hosted by Francis, a talking grey toy poodle, and a mysterious Japanese Chef whose real name is not disclosed. Chef cooks a variety of popular Japanese dishes while Francis narrates in English. Lauded for its simplicity and granular step-by-step approach, Cooking with Dog has accumulated over 1.3 million subscribers and has uploaded over 290 recipe videos. Although Francis is no longer in the kitchen, Chef continues to release episodes commemorating Francis with a stuffed toy poodle.
Byron Talbottis a culinary veteran that has worked at the Michelin-rated Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood and the LA Times award winning restaurant Bouchon Bistro. In his self-titled culinary YouTube channel, Talbott teaches you how to create delicious dishes such as his Short Rib Breakfast Hashand his Warm Chocolate Lava Cake.
BonAppetit’s YouTube channel features the latest food trends, dining destinations, hosting ideas, and of course, mouthwatering recipes! Follow along as Bon Appetit’s food editors recreate recipes, like Short Ribs with Crispy Garlic and Chile Oiland BA’s Best Shrimp Scamp, filmed straight from their test kitchen.
Laura in the Kitchenis an interactive cooking show hosted by Laura Vitale, a self-taught Italian chef with a passion for home cooking. In addition to uploading over 1,200 cooking videos, Laura also hosted her own cooking show, Simply Laura, on the Cooking Channel. Her most popular recipes include Nutella popsicles, bite-sized Croissants, and crispy Mozzarella Sticks.
Maangchiis lauded as YouTube’s Korean Julia Child. Maangchi, also known as Emily Kim, shows you how to prepare authentic Korean cuisine in your very own kitchen. Her videos feature Korea’s best dishes ranging from classics like Japchae (glass noodles stir-fried with vegetables) to more modern options like Crunchy Korean fried chicken. Bring Maangchi’s recipes home with her best-selling Korean cookbook, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, which contains over 300 pages of never before seen recipes.
With winter well over, we’re dressing lighter, exploring nature, opting for fresher, greener diets. This spring, push yourself to eat healthier, cleanse your body, and give yourself a fresh start. The goal of any cleanse is developing simple daily habits that can be easily converted into a regular part of our lives. Check out our guide on how to eat, drink, and move during your springtime cleanse:
After a long winter of indulging in comfort foods like hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, it’s time to take advantage of the spring season’s fresh produce. With so many seasonal fruits and vegetables, there are a variety of fresh spring recipes to kick off your cleanse. Head over to your local farmers market and look for these delicious options.
Broccoli is a versatile vegetable that is perfect for any dinner table. When picking your broccoli, look for a blue-green color and tightly closed flower heads. These little green “trees” can be roasted, boiled, and sautéed. One of our favorite recipes is the Roasted Salmon and Broccoli with Chile-Caper Vinaigrette. This recipe is chock full of protein, deliciously browned broccoli, and has a kick of spice from the jalapeno peppers. Satisfy your Chinese take-out cravings with this healthy Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry. The key ingredient is oyster sauce, which adds a sweet and savory flavor to the recipe. This stir-fry is not only a champion in taste, but also in simplicity and ease.
Grape & cherry tomatoes are packed with flavor and add a pop of color to any dish. Choose tomatoes that are plump and vibrantly colored. Looking for a healthy way to eat pasta? Try making this quick, meatless pasta dish. This Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pastamakes a great light and healthy lunch. Another great springtime dish is Sautéed Cauliflower & Grape Tomatoes! This paleo, Italian-inspired dish uses tasty pancetta and pairs well with roasted chicken and white fish.
Fresh mixed berries (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry) are the best way to kick off your new springtime diet. Choose berries that are shiny and vibrantly colored. Avoid berries that show signs of dull or wrinkled skin. Since berries are very delicate, make sure to check the bottom of the container for any damaged berries. Indulge your sweet tooth with these tender Maple Mixed Berry Muffins. These guilt-free muffins make the perfect low-calorie, to-go breakfast. Another deliciously sweet recipe is this Raspberry Coconut Crunch Smoothie Bowl. This simple and delicious smoothie bowl features crunchy shredded coconut bits, English toffee bits, and chopped walnuts.
At the top of our list of healthy drink suggestions is Green Tea. Drinking green tea has proven to lower cholesterol, promote weight loss, and lower blood pressure. Green tea is rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, and other antioxidants which are thought to strengthen eye tissues. This zero-calorie drink can be consumed hot or cold.
Another beverage that promotes weight loss is Cranberry Juice. When shopping for cranberry juice, make sure to choose the 100% juice variety and avoid the sugary cocktail variety. High in vitamin C, E, and K, cranberry juice helps to boost your immune system, firm up your skin, increase oral health, and improve bone health.
Aloe Vera is best known for treating skin burns, but drinking the juice of this prickly succulent also has wonderful health benefits. Aloe Vera juice can help treat digestive issues, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss and detoxify the body. This refreshing beverage is perfect for rehydrating your body after heavy exercise.
With the sun shining and breeze blowing, springtime is great for going for a hike or taking a walk outdoors with some friends. For a quick and easy workout, here are a couple basic exercises that will spike your metabolism:
Lunges help to firm your backside and tone your legs. To properly lunge, make sure to keep your upper body straight and keep your head facing forward. Next, step forward with one leg while lowering your hips until both knees form a 90 degree angle. Take smaller steps and keep your weight in your heels to avoid overextending yourself.
Table top sit ups tighten your stomach and are a great alternative to regular sit ups. First, bring both knees together and create a 90 degree angle. Place both hands behind the head and engage your abs as you curl your head and shoulders towards your thighs. Now, lower your upper body back down to the mat with control. The key to this exercise is maintaining control and not digging your chin into your chest.
Step ups are a great way to target your upper hamstrings and backside. Locate a short park bench and place your foot on it. To do a proper step up, your knee should be bent at a 90 degree angle when on top of the bench. Securely place your entire left foot onto the bench and shift your weight to your left heel as you step onto the bench. To complete the exercise, step down with your left foot and return to starting position.