National Picnic Month: Best Places in Holyoke for a Picnic
This sweet spot of warm weather and sunshine before the chill creeps back into the air during fall is perfect for spending time outside. It makes sense that July is National Picnic Month. In and around Holyoke are gorgeous views and amazing landscapes that will be covered by snow all too soon.
Make sure you take some time this month and all throughout the summer to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and make a picnic of it. Here are a few places to visit.
Mount Tom State Reservation
For those who love to be active and outdoors, Mount Tom State Reservation offers 22 miles of hiking and walking trails. Would you rather get out your rod and reel? You can fish on Lake Bray while you visit. The kids have their own play area, too. When everyone is worn out and hungry, enjoy your lunch in the picnic area.
Look Memorial Park
Look Memorial Park is a place for the whole family. The kids can enjoy the playground and the petting zoo. There’s also a waterpark and an electric train to check out. If you’re really there to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine, there are plenty of picnic and grilling spots to choose from.
Skinner State Park
Skinner State Park is part forest on Mt. Holyoke and part amazing view of the Connecticut River Valley. Come for the views, the foliage, or to look for hawks in the area. You can choose from 20 picnic sites, some of which have grills available. July is a great time to visit, as the restrooms are only available May through October.
Heritage State Park
The Heritage State Park is a big part of Holyoke culture. It’s home to the Children’s Museum, the city’s merry-go-round, and historic views across the park. When you choose a picnic table for lunch, you’ll be treated to a view of historic downtown Holyoke while you eat.
Plan a Safe Picnic
After you’ve decided where to have your picnic, it’s time to plan what you’ll eat! While you’re choosing the menu and packing the cooler, always keep safety in mind.
- Choose nonperishable foods where possible. Chips instead of potato salad, whole fruit instead of sliced, and brownies instead of pie or cake are better options for a picnic.
- Pack your meat for the grill carefully. If you can, keep it in a separate cooler. If not, pack it tightly to make sure no juice from the uncooked meat touches the rest of your food.
- Bring plenty of water and wipes, both for people and for cleaning. If the park doesn’t offer running water through a restroom, you need an easy way to wash everyone’s hands and clean off utensils and surfaces. Dirty tables and hands that touch food could make everyone sick.
- Cook all meats fully, and keep cold foods cold until you’re ready to serve them. Store foods immediately after you’re done eating. If you need to reheat grilled meat, make sure its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
The point of a picnic is to spend time with family and friends in a beautiful and relaxing setting. Salmonella, spoiled salads, and dirty hands can spoil that for everyone. Practice picnic safety, no matter where you decide to go.
Another way to keep your family safe this summer is to make sure you’ve got enough and the right kind of auto insurance before you get on the road and head to your favorite picnic spot. One bad accident can ruin everything. Contact us at Ross Insurance so that we can explain your current policy or provide you with a free quote for a new policy.