If you can hear the birds singing and the music of the ice cream truck driving by, then you know that it’s finally picnic season! There’s nothing better than whipping up a mountain of your favorite summer treats and eating them outside with people you love. You don’t need a fancy basket or a checkered blanket to have a wonderful picnic– all you really need is delicious food and an outdoor area.
Luckily, if you live in the Berks county area, you’re surrounded by beautiful parks and recreation areas that are perfect for picnicking– many of them even have designated picnic pavilions! Here, we’ll tell you about some of the best picnic spots nearby so that you don’t have to go hunting for them, and we’ll also provide some recipes to inspire you to get into the kitchen and get ready for an afternoon summer fun!
If you’re at a barbecue, cookout, or any other summer party, chances are you’ll find a platter of deviled eggs there somewhere. They’re really the perfect appetizer for a celebration: they’re flavorful, poppable, and full of nostalgia that will have everyone remembering the summers of their youth. This recipe for classic deviled eggs features tabasco sauce for a little kick and chives as a garnish. If you want to make them even easier, load the filling into a plastic zip-top bag and snip the corner off to make an impromptu piping bag that you can throw out when you’re done!
Enjoy them this summer at Red Bridge Recreation Area, home to Pennsylvania’s longest single span covered bridge, as well as a badminton court and picnic pavilion.
Potato salad is another summertime classic that can make or break a picnic. There’s a reason that in many places, making the potato salad is an honor reserved for the best cook or for the matriarch of the family. Some foods are just sacred! If you’re in the mood to spice it up, though, try this potato salad recipe that has you roasting the diced potatoes before combining them with the mayonnaise and other ingredients. It gives the salad a complex flavor and some great texture!
Try taking this potato salad recipe to Gring’s Mill Recreation Area, a site with some wonderful historic buildings that are definitely worth exploring, as well as conveniently placed restrooms, an 18-station exercise course, and a fun ranch-themed children’s play area.
There’s no other beverage more perfect for summer than lemonade, and it’s been that way for hundreds of years. Almost everyone loves it, and nothing is more refreshing and delicious on a hot day. Some of the best lemonade you’ve probably ever had has been from big state fairs and festivals, and the secret to that unmistakable taste is something called oleo saccharum, which is just a fancy word for the liquid you’re left with when you allow sugar to absorb the oils from citrus peels. This secret ingredient just about guarantees a sweet, zesty flavor that can’t be beat.
Sip on a glass of this tasty beverage at Berks Leisure Area, where there’s a shady and comfortable picnic pavilion with plenty of tables as well as horseshoe pits and biking and walking trails.
Since they’re handheld, portable, and don’t leave too many dishes behind, sandwiches make an ideal picnic lunch, and a savory BLT is one of the most delicious sandwiches you can make. It’s an accepted fact that the bacon-lettuce-and-tomato is only ever as good as its tomato, so the summertime is the perfect time to whip one up. Only in the hotter months will you be able to find fresh, local tomatoes that are ruby red and so juicy it’s impossible to eat this sandwich neatly. A winter BLT can never compare to one packed with summer produce and eaten under the sun!
Bring these sandwiches to Antietam Lake Park and enjoy them on the waterfront. This serene location is full of fascinating heritage and beautiful views that you can take in with someone you love.
You probably have fond childhood memories of eating thick slabs of sweet, juicy watermelon on hot summer days with your siblings, cousins, or with neighborhood kids. If you want to capture the same appeal of watermelon for your picnic but dress it up (and maybe make it a little less messy), try this Greek-inspired watermelon and feta salad with mint and a red wine vinaigrette that packs in fresh, fragrant flavors with the same juicy goodness you remember.
Take this salad along with you to Blue Marsh Lake Recreation Area for your picnic. Here you and your picnic partners can beat the heat by boating, fishing, and swimming!
We hope you have a wonderful time exploring beautiful Berks county parks and enjoying seasonal picnic foods this summer. Remember to bring your sunscreen and water bottles, and have fun!