Fall in the Bluegrass brings beautiful weather and many fun outdoor activities, like Picnic with the Pops, UK football games and Keeneland. With so many outdoor activities to enjoy, you’ll be taking your autumn parties on the go. But before you go, follow these tips for a fantastic bash out and about!
Gather up your Equipment
One of the first items you’ll need for a party on the go is plenty of coolers. Plan to bring a minimum of two coolers – one for drinks and one for food. Make sure you also have plenty of ice or ice packs to keep each of your coolers cold.
Picnic baskets can hold both non-refrigerated foods and table décor. If you don’t have a picnic basket, gather wooden crates, luggage with wheels, or plastic bins to transport all of your gear. If you will have to park and walk a long distance to your party location, you could also pack the goods in a backpack.
For outdoor parties, you’ll want to consider whether you need to bring seating for guests. Comfort is key, so think about whether your venue provides picnic tables or other seating. If not, make sure to pack your car with plenty of seating and blankets. And, remember to bring a table for serving all your delicious food!
Choose Disposable Décor
At any party on the go, you may want to consider using disposable and non-breakable items. For example, if you’ll be serving a cake at your party, use a galvanized steel cake stand instead of glass. Disposable plates, cups and utensils in bright colors can be thrown away after the party, which is much simpler than lugging home dirty dishes! If you want to give your dining table a little upgrade, use linen tablecloths with the disposable plates. The tablecloths feel more well-appointed than plastic table liners and are simple to bring home.
Other paper decorations, like menu signs, tissue pompoms and paper medallions are light for transporting and inexpensive enough to throw away after the party. Some other disposable décor choices are fresh flowers that you can send home with guests, balloons and personalized banners.
Plan Your Menu in Advance
Two questions to consider when planning your menu are: Will guests be sitting at a table to eat or eating while standing? How long will your party last? If guests will be eating at a table, your food choices are unlimited. But, if party goers will mostly be standing around snacking, choose food that is easy to eat on the go. Some favorite choices include caprese salad or fruit kabobs, individually wrapped sandwiches, meat and cheese trays (just make sure the meat and cheese is already sliced), individual servings of pasta salad in small plastic or paper cups, and veggie trays. Cookies, cupcakes and cake pops work well for dessert.
When planning your menu, also think about how long the party might last. Never pack items that spoil quickly, such as potato or pasta salads that include mayonnaise. Deviled eggs and coleslaw typically contain mayo, so they too should be left off of the menu. Soft fruits such as peaches and bananas that bruise easily are also better left at home. Finally, chocolate bars and candies can melt quickly in warm temperatures, so plan for other dessert options.