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Six Ways to Prepare a Picnic at the Pool

We partnered with creator, nester and blogger Kelley Nan. See how she used six picnic ideas and great deals on outdoor living essentials from Tuesday Morning to start a new poolside summer tradition.

School is out and summer activities are officially underway. The days are longer and with sunny, warm weather, there’s more time to tackle projects and accomplish goals, but also, there’s more time to have fun. You don’t have to plan grand events to fill every day but if you are looking to switch up your family time, kids’ activities, get-togethers with friends, or date nights, picnics on location are affordable and the locales are endless. From parks to road trips, from the lake to your own back yard, a constant change in scenery will keep your adventures feeling fresh and new. A favorite summer tradition in our home? Picnicking at the pool.

picnic ideas

1. Beat the Heat, Beat the Crowd


Do you have your own pool or do you frequent a public/neighborhood pool? I use our neighborhood pool which I love, but, I also strategize my pool days. While most don’t head for the water until afternoon, when the sun is high in the sky and blazing, I prefer to start my day early. At 9:00 a.m., you can still catch those rays but with less heat and lounge chair competition.



2. Don’t Underestimate Hydrating Food


Instead of packing a heavy lunch, consider a breakfast picnic by the pool. You can grab some pastries and fruit, nothing too heavy, and snack on them throughout the morning. Plus, fruit like watermelon will help to keep you hydrated if you forget to sip your poolside beverages. Keep a cooler with ice at your picnic home base.


3. Stock Up On Insulated Bottles


Don’t rely on store-bought water in thin plastic bottles to keep your beverages cool. You will have hot water within the hour. With well insulated water bottles, you can leave your container out for constant hydration without worrying about taking it in and out of a cooler. If you plan to have festive drinks, use the water bottles as your main supply and use shallow/short drink cups, pouring only a little at a time to keep them cool.


4. Keep a Cooler with Cold Washcloths


In addition to your fruit, make sure you have a little room for cold, wet washcloths in your cooler. You can always take a dip when the temperature rises but having a few cloths on hand for the family will help soothe and protect against areas where you may have too much sun.


5. Pack Zipper Pouches for Water Protection


Keep your picnic paper products (along with valuables and electronics) stored in a zipper pouch. Even if napkins start off dry, loose in your beach bag, they won’t be dry for long. All it takes is one person jumping out of the pool and running to the beach tote to hunt for something, dripping wet, for the entire bag to get drenched.


6. Have a Wet Towel Solution


Like having storage to protect dry paper products, have a solution to protect everything from wet towels. The worst is if everyone wears their wet towels home- have you seen what can happen to wet car seats on hot days? Your drives to work do not want that. Bring a non-bulky, lightweight bag (like a laundry bag) that can be dedicated to wet towels, swimsuits, etc. after your pool day is finished.



If you already have the summertime blues and boredom is running rampant in your home, consider nearby places and match them with not-so-obvious meal times. Head to a scenic overlook with a morning picnic and watch the sun rise. Set up in your back yard after dark for a twilight snacks and movie. Switching things up this summer will create memories for a lifetime.

To see more of my dining, table and picnic ideas, visit my tablescapes HERE. You can also catch my latest summer home tour HERE.

For more outdoor dining inspiration and picnic ideas, check out the Tuesday Morning Outdoor Dining Pinterest board!

To stock up on outdoor, dining and home necessities this summer, find your nearest Tuesday Morning HERE. You can also sign up to receive all their deals, straight to your inbox, HERE.

Follow along for inspiration and in-store deals on Tuesday Morning here:

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Featured products: Acacia Adirondack Chair $99.99 (compare at $199.99); Acacia Folding Side Table $39.99 (compare at $98.00); Pink Straw Tote $14.99 (compare at $37.00); Clear Zipper Pouches (set of 3) $12.99 (compare at $30.00); White Bamboo Lantern $19.99 (compare at $39.99); Striped Fringe Kitchen Towels (set of 2) $4.99 (compare at $12.99); Washcloths $5.99 (compare at $9.99); Flamingo Napkins $1.99 (compare at $4.99); Parfait Straws $1.99 on sale for $1.19 (compare at $4.99); 33.8 oz. Easy Lock Canisters $4.99 ea. (compare at 12.99); 77.8 ox. Easy Lock Canister $5.99 (compare at $14.99); Laundry Bag $6.99 (compare at $19.99); Water Bottles $9.99 ea. (compare at $19.99); Cocktail Glasses $2.99 ea. (compare at $10.00); Coral Pillows $14.99 ea. (compare at $24.99); Floppy Hat with Gold Chain $12.99 (compare at $22.00); Gray and White Striped Towels $9.99 ea. (compare at $29.99); Sunglasses: $9.99 (compare at $36.00)

Dining and Kitchen, Furniture, Outdoor, Seasonal
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Kelley Nan

Meet the Contributor

Blog: Kelley Nan

My home Tuesday Morning location: Norcross, Georgia

My favorite Tuesday Morning department: Serveware and dishes! I always find the most unique, affordable pieces; many have served as the inspiration for some of my most popular table settings.

A little about me: I’m a stylist, hostess and self-proclaimed “homebody.” Having grown up in Georgia, I’m a firm believer that being polite trumps manners if it comes at the expense of kindness. If you are cooking for two, you should prepare enough for four. Creating a retreat in your home is greater than retreating on vacation and “turning into your mother” is an achievement. My husband is the BEST sport and I am likely that dress-up-playing dog mom you would roll your eyes at. I’m addicted to flowers, casseroles and anything that resembles school supplies. I love decorating and re-decorating my world, shopping in my home, finding “key purchases,” planning weekly menus, binge-watching all shows (yes, all of them) and savoring the small moments that end up being the greatest memories.

What I love to write about: Using my own home as my primary canvas, I love writing about all things “gracious living.” From entertaining tips to thoughtful styling and room makeovers, I thrive off of showing my readers how anyone can turn their home into their favorite place.

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  1. Reply Gretchen Thomas

    What a great post! Picnics make every meal better. I love all of the special tips. I love all of Tuesday Morning’s so cool selections. Kelley Nan ices the cake!

  2. Reply May Iles

    Our “new” Tuesday Morning corner of 9th & Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica has been totally remodeled and is so gorgeous now, my dog & I visit every day as on our block. We buy her treats, my treats at good prices and we love the staff, friendly. Now it is more than a pleasure to visit.

    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      We’re so glad you and your pup love our store! We hope to see you again soon, May!



    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      Hi Patricia! Please call Customer Service at 1-800-457-0099, 8am-5pm CST Monday through Friday, and we will do our best to help you locate this item. Thanks!

  4. Reply Linda Alberts

    I lived in my 1st home for 27 years. There were 10-12 neighbors who all gathered, sometimes all of us, sometimes only a few. Ate, visited, did coffee mornings, Holiday partys, just talking across the yards. I miss this so much. Our new neighborhood, 15 1/2 yrs, we hardly know any of our neighbors.
    A few of us wave as we pass or say hello. One couple and one of their daughters are very friendly.
    This new time in our lives, most homes are both husband & wife must work.
    Does not leave much time for communicating and bonding with neighbors.
    I am anxious to read your book. Thank you for your thoughts, recipies .and your book.
    By the way my Mom and now myself, our favorite color is Turquoise. Given the opportunity to choose bedroom carpet color at 10 or 12 years old, I chose Turquoise. Several years ago I chose a Turquoise Stand mixer and recently a Keerug. I found a slab of ?quartz white with a thick streak of Turquoise running through it! It was in Atlanta (on vacation) and I Live in Arizona. LOL
    I do have some items of Turquoise in every room..