Gransnet forums


70th Birthday Picnic

(35 Posts)
Flowerofthewest Tue 24-Apr-18 12:35:10

I've decided to organise my own Grand Birthday Picnic for family and friends.
So far there are about 40 plus adults and children. We have found a nice venue with a good size car park. Checked that it's ok to hold picnic there. My dilemma is do I ask people to bring food to share. I am intending to provide rolls, bread, several salads and fillings etc. I was going to say something like 'Bring a dish if you wish' also for them to bring picnic chairs..tables...blankets etc although I can provide quite a few of these.

Jalima1108 Tue 24-Apr-18 12:42:42

Yes - but you could suggest savoury, sweet or extra salads otherwise you could get 20 plates of sausage rolls or 20 pavlovas!!

I think it is reasonable - and to bring what they like to drink as you could provide some (but not all).

Can we all join in virtually? It sounds fun grin

Situpstraight Tue 24-Apr-18 12:53:51

I think you might need to be more specific, do you want them to bring and share food? Or sit on their own blankets and sit and eat their own food?
If the former then you will need to organise long tables and plates, serving spoons etc. And maybe even someone to serve it.
Might be nicer for everyone to have their own picnic set ups and food, but maybe bring and share the puddings?

My DD organised a similar party in a london Park, we arrived early and set up, but we only provided the drinks, everyone brought their own food, plates, blankets etc. We organised the games though, the donkey thing where you hang it up and hit it with a stick? And sweets fall out?
I’m sorry my heads a bit muddled today, I’ll think of the word after I’ve posted this I guess....
Hope it goes well.

Situpstraight Tue 24-Apr-18 12:54:38

PIÑATA better late than never, I had to google it ?

MawBroon Tue 24-Apr-18 13:03:49

???I hope no real donkeys will be harmed in this brutal-sounding game? shock
Effigies of Nigel Farage, on the other hand........grin

ninathenana Tue 24-Apr-18 13:46:26

?????sounds great

?? Oh I hope it does shine for you

hildajenniJ Tue 24-Apr-18 13:52:30

We have a big family Boxing Day party in which everyone brings a food or drink contribution. Usually, whoever is hosting it, (we take turns) arranges with people to bring savouries, salads, puddings, nibbles and drinks. It all goes off very well, and there is usually plenty left over to share out and take home.
If you do this sort of thing, it should be wonderful. I hope you have the weather for it!

Panache Tue 24-Apr-18 15:02:51

Sounds very much my "cup of tea"and I think it is a treat that with a little careful planning and some good weather will be enjoyed by all,and it may become an annual event!
I think you do need to be specific in what you expect others to provide whilst drink and foodways again you need some idea of what each can bring so that you have a well mixed menu and nothing left out.
Wishing you well and lots of winesome roastchicken in sandwhich form perhaps plus the best sunshine ever!!

gummybears Tue 24-Apr-18 19:25:57

Sounds lovely but either make clear your expectation that everyone will bring food to share (in which case ask everyone to let you know in advance what they are bringing so you can get a decent variety of stuff); food for their own family/group; or nothing at all.

I fear leaving it “as you wish” means that folk will turn up empty handed expecting you or others to bring stuff, and there won’t be enough to go around.

Willow500 Tue 24-Apr-18 20:22:16

When I was in the WI they had get togethers or the annual BBQ & Christmas dinner and everyone each brought a dish - salads, mains, deserts and cheese and biscuits - we all supplied our own drinks, plates, glasses and cutlery for the BBQ. We've also had family parties where everyone has brought a dish of their choice. I'm sure everyone would be more than willing to provide something and also bring their own chairs etc. Sounds a lovely day so hope the weather is great for you all.

Nanabilly Tue 24-Apr-18 21:35:57

If you will be seeing the guests before the big picnic then I would probably put food types on bits of paper and fold them up and put them in a hat to let folks pick out of the hat what they are to bring. They might feel as if they have chosen themselves that way but you do need to have some control of what people bring otherwise you could end up with lots of the same ..imagine a picnic with 20+ massive bags of tortilla chips and dips...eek!!!
So make a list of everything you need and cut it into pieces that way you will get everything that makes a picnic.
I think it's a great idea ,one which we as a family have done a few times.

Each person can bring their own chairs and picnic table or rug and their own drinks but you can always take a bit for everyone too , don't forget not drinks too either by flasks or a bbq or camping cooker and kettle . You could provide paper plates ,plastic glasses and some drink and maybe the cake .

Missfoodlove Wed 25-Apr-18 09:48:59

Why not circulate a list of food and let your friends tick the item they would like to bring?
Hay bales with blankets over would make great seating.

Patticake123 Wed 25-Apr-18 09:50:17

I did something similar for one of my big birthdays. I told people I didn’t want gifts but that if they could bring along a plate of savoury food to share with others, that would be great. I then went to the supermarket and provided all of the desserts! It went like a dream. Little effort for me and a brilliant buffet for around 120 people. Enjoy your celebration!

Sheilasue Wed 25-Apr-18 09:55:45

How lovely hope you have a great time.
Just do what we used to do when our children had a school Christmas party, make a list ask people to decide if they want to bring sweet or savoury things, salad pasta or rice and tell them to let you know what they are going to bring.

Pinkshoes26 Wed 25-Apr-18 10:04:06

Hello Flower...... We have just had a 60 ++++ birthday party. Not so many people but it was organized to meet in a large free park. We had to pay £5 car park per car. It was said to bring your own sandwiches and then sharing food.
It was a wonderful day. Adults, children and x2 dogs.

blueberry1 Wed 25-Apr-18 10:11:17

Sounds lovely-have a great day!

Gerispringer Wed 25-Apr-18 10:14:00

I’ve done this. No one minds bringing one dish or supplying baguettes or crisps if they haven’t time to cook, just make a list and ask people to pick one thing they’d like to bring. Maybe a group WhatsApp or email. Organise a game of cricket or rounders or a walk, and cross fingers for the weather.

bmteal Wed 25-Apr-18 10:24:13

I have just organised my own 70th, with help from family and friends. They all made something for an afternoon tea and brought drinks. I provided allsorts and did feel quilty for asking them for help. They were all so brilliant and we had a wonderful party in a lovely Beach Hut in Lytham St Annes. The sun shone down on us, so we were blessed with a fantastic day and this was the middle of April.!!!! Don't be afraid to ask for help, because everyone will want to. ? Have a wonderful day. ? ? ?

Magrithea Wed 25-Apr-18 10:51:35

I would ask about half to bring a main type dish and the other half to bring a dessert. It's not unreasonable given the numbers and the venue!

pamdixon Wed 25-Apr-18 12:14:33

Why not ask people to bring a dish to serve 6/8 people (no one minds contributing that!) and ask them to check with you first so that you don't end up with 10 salads and no puds for instance!! Definitely get everyone to bring their own picnic tables/chairs/rugs. Hope it all goes well.

Peardrop50 Wed 25-Apr-18 12:33:10

We do this sometimes and it works well. We have a general idea of who is best at what, we request savoury from the cooks, sweet from the bakers amongst us and ask for some cheese and biscuits or fruit from the less confident in the kitchen. If it's mainly friends and family they will often communicate so doubling up doesn't happen. People generally bring a bottle of wine or a few beer cans. We supply the venue, home, garden or beach depending on weather, the cutlery and crockery, soft drinks, wine at half bottle per person and a few cans of beer per guest. We supply seating and tables unless it's a beach do when we ask people to bring a blanket or towels for seating. We have a good supply of folding beach chairs between us all after years of doing this.
Weather permitting we follow up with rounders and boules otherwise dancing once the dining room has been cleared.
I sincerely hope that your day is a resounding success. If anything is forgotten in the way of food, drink, entertainment, etc., laughter fills the gaps beautifully.
Have a lovely time.

mostlyharmless Wed 25-Apr-18 12:34:22

In my experience, these bring a dish parties are always very successful with lots of high quality, home cooked food. I’ve also found that specifying savoury or sweet isn’t necessary as it usually balances out beautifully anyway.
A big table and serving spoons will be needed as Situp said above. Disposable plates and cutlery might make it easier (and a black sack).
Have you got contingency plans in case of bad weather?
Have fun!

Peardrop50 Wed 25-Apr-18 12:35:43

Forgot to say we do the bread and salads too

Flowerofthewest Wed 25-Apr-18 12:43:40

Thanks for lovely ideas and comments.
No contingency plans
I've decided to provide savoury foods myself and as people to bring a pudding if they wish.
My friend is in charge of childrens' there are brick barbeques on the site my youngest had put himself in charge of that (not in original plan and barbequs) no loos but a garden centre 5 mins away if desperate.

Jalima1108 Wed 25-Apr-18 12:45:09

Ask if people can bring gazebos in case it does rain - or it's too hot to sit in the sun!