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A picnic always sounds nice--before you start thinking about bugs, crowds and how on earth you’ll stop your wine from getting warm. But don’t worry--we’ve got you. Here are six ways to have a truly idyllic (and delicious) picnic in Chicago.


Up Your Blanket Game

The perfect picnic blanket is not only pretty--it’s practical. Look for blankets that can be wiped off with a damp cloth. (That grass gets messy in the dryer.) Ones that are waterproof always win. And consider portability. Some blankets even come with handles attached, or zip up into easily transportable tote bags.

Try: World Market ($25); Target ($27); Kate Spade ($45)

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Bring a Mini Table

It can be hard--actually impossible--to slice your cheese without a hard surface. So consider springing for a table that easily folds up. And if you want to get extra fancy, deck that table with some fresh wildflowers from Flowers For Dreams. It can deliver the blooms right to your picnic spot.

Try: Sears ($46); Bed Bath and Beyond ($90)


Show Those Bugs Who's Boss

There may be bugs. OK, there will be bugs. But fear not: There are some remedies that actually smell decent. Many bug repellents are made with essential oils (mmm, lemongrass). And hey, Jessica Alba even makes one.

Try: Burt’s Bees ($8); Honest ($13); Aromaflage ($65)


Keep Your Wine Perfectly Chilled

Nothing kills an idyllic outing like a glass of warm Champagne. Be choosy when picking out your picnic basket, and look for something with insulation.

Try: Bed Beth and Beyond ($38); Picnic-Basket ($48)


Don't Forget the “Outdoor Glassware”

Let’s face it: You may drop something. So, pack glasses that are meant to be used outdoors (read: unbreakable). You don’t want to forget your grandma’s china in a park.

Try: Bed Bath and Beyond ($30); Pottery Barn ($18 to $21)


Get the Perfect Picnic Foods

Remember, wine and cheese need no utensils. So hightail it to Pastoral. (Here?s exactly what to get there.) Sandwiches are super portable, and you?ll find great ones at J.P. Graziano Italian Grocery and Sub Shop. And if you?re facing a time crunch for picnic prep, fast-track it and get all your shopping done at the French Market. Its vendors sling pastries, sandwiches, cheeses, wine and deli meats--you could even build a totally raw picnic from RAW.

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