After staying at home almost all the time for the past month, is there any better time to plan a picnic, even if it’s just with your closest family?

April 23rd is celebrated as National Picnic Day, encouraging everyone to pack up their lunch or other light meal and take it outdoors.

This meal hearkens back to mid-18th-century al fresco French dining when all you needed was a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, some cheese and fruit and you could have a party under the sky. But there are a variety of ways to take part in a picnic.

From barbecues to simple cold plates, picnics are light informal affairs intended to be relaxing and fun for everyone to enjoy the day. Some favorite picnic foods include sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit and vegetables, light salads, and homemade dessert. Ppicnics can be expanded to include grilled items, too. Burgers and corn on the cob cook up nicely on a portable grill. During larger picnics, guests often bring a dish to share creating a pot luck atmosphere.

The fresh air tends to rev up our appetite, so getting in some physical activity while enjoying a picnic is nice, too. Games of Frisbee, catch or flying a kite add to the fun of the day, if there’s the space to roam — and these days the social distance from other people.

How to observe #NationalPicnicDay: Celebrate this day by having a picnic of your own. Pack up a cooler or basket with a few of your favorite items. Make sure to include a beverage or two. Be sure to keep perishable items on ice so no one gets sick. Visit a favorite park or recreation area.

But if they are closed because of COVID-19, just lay the blanket out in your front or back yard, or substitute with the bad-weather alternative: have a picnic in your home on the living room floor! Don’t make the ‘stay at home’ declaration make you pass up a chance to have a picnic today!