Say you're a stay-at-home mom in a small town, and one of your kids or even your husband has vacation plans and is going to be away for a week or so. You have your own worries about keeping the house clean around the kids, and figuring out how to send out cute new toys when everyone is gone, and... well, you know what real worry soms are. Not to mention the weather if it's lucky enough to be able to take them all to the beach for a few days. You know you have to come up with something big to do, so when is the best time to have a family picnic?

Most towns have parks, rivers, or lake banks that host picnics which are really nice if you get lucky. I've had picnics virtually anywhere from the beach to grassy meadows. But what about those from your city? What is the best time to try something new when it comes to picnics?

Now, the weather is also important, unless, of course, it is summer. Although many places have picnics, that doesn't mean everyone does. And even then, if it happens to be a gales day, you have to come up with a plan, and it may mean knowing when in the year you can break the rules.

In my mind, the best time to have a picnic (and preferably one that's not messy) is the spring or summer months. The best supplies will already be on hand, and while you may not have as many choices in weather, the chances are that the variety of anything will be better than in winter. Plus, people have never been so Obnant!

It's also a good time to break out some type of "family hobby" that you used to do in the winter. I bet you already have a variety of current family practices, like bike riding, boating, horseback riding, and beyond. Look at this time of the year to add more to that leisure activity list, and you'll have some great activities planned.

That's not to say you won't also need to have a Preparing a picnic for when the weather turns work. If it's getting too cold, though, you'll need to think about better ways to deal with that.

There is one tip I can share from personal experience. The holidays are usually a great opportunity to have a snow job. But chances are you can take some of those doe-eyed extras during the summer months, and they're usually gone by the time you need them.

So while you're shut indoors, take time to get outdoors. The grass, trees, and, yes, the wild animals are all more easy to spot than the plastic boundaries of your indoor facility.

And just as important, just as important as the spring and summer course. Make sure your kids have some clothes for everyone in the family. They should be geared for varying weather, if anything. And then too, have backup activities planned, just in case. Always.

Some kids will love the idea of making their own food. Others do not seem to mind. The important thing is to make it easy to do. Does everyone need a grill? Should everyone have their own cooking utensils? If you do, arrange for all this to be done before you put everyone together.

But when it comes to activities, kids love to just play and jump around. At least that's what they used to do under your roof. They've old used to be kids outside, playing pennies, making tents, telling spooky stories, and so on... and so on. And that is the essence of the holiday.

Have fun, spend quality time with your family, and then get outside!