4 tips from Birmingham’s own “Picnic Nancy”

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I love Picnics
A “Very Important Picnics”. Photo via Nancy Tran

Got an anniversary coming up? A friend’s birthday? Looking for ways to spend time with the family or a special loved one?  Here is an idea. Have a picnic.

That’s on my “to do” list this summer. 

So, of course, I connected this week with Birmingham’s own picnic expert Nancy Tran… aka “Picnic Nancy.”

Bonafide

A little bit about Nancy. She is a bonafide picnic connoisseur. Owner of “I Love Picnics” – she offers full service picnics called VIPS— “Very Important Picnics”.  These picnics come complete with a “Picnic Butler”—basket and activities.  She will even drive you around in a 1985 Lincoln (they have a big truck for baskets). Visit nancy@ilovepicnics.com for additional details.  

“I just want to make people happy, and I want to “generate happy”, and that’s what “I love picnics! It is all about generating “happy.”

Now, obviously many people prefer DIY picnics.  Here are 5 tips from Nancy:

Get a Picnic Basket

I’ve got to admit, Yogi and Boo-boo scheming about raiding picnic baskets have been going through my head while I write this story.

Nancy’s encourages folks to use picnic baskets and trucks

Pack It.

Remember the essentials. Food, blankets, utensils and beverages.

Here are Nancy’s picnic food and beverage favorites:

  • Fried chicken and champagne
  • Rose’ and cold beer
  • Deviled eggs
  • Pimento cheese and crackers

Work Up a Picnic Appetite

Before you eat, spread out and enjoy the outdoors. Some of Nancy’s all-time favorite games and activities to do while picnicking are croquet, badminton, hiking, painting, even reading.

“You can do pretty much anything fun with family and friends.” ~ Nancy

Best Picnic Places Around Birmingham

Caldwell Park
Entrance to Caldwell Park in 2020. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Any place that has scenic views or shade will work. The Birmingham area is blessed with parks and green spaces in nearly every neighborhood.

Some of Nancy’s best picnic spots? Try these:

Wise words

Why does Picnic Nancy love picnics – she got it from her father. She summed up her love for picnicking this way.

“I grew up picnicking. I was raised by a single dad. We didn’t have much money so we didn’t go out to eat at restaurants. He just made every meal, a picnic, whether it was as simple as a ham and cheese sandwich or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He turned it into a celebration and a feast, whether we went to a park, the beach or lake. I’ve always had fond memories of picnics growing up.”

 Be like Nancy – create your picnic memories today.

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  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.